Denver Broncos player no. 7: Mike Purcell, DL
One of the areas the Denver Broncos know they have to get better in the 2022 offseason is against the run.
Some might say it’s counter-productive, then, to predict that one of the team’s bigger salary cap casualties could be run-stuffing nose tackle Mike Purcell, but that could very well wind up being the case.
Although Purcell played at an extremely high level for the Broncos in 2019 — Vic Fangio’s first year with the team — he simply hasn’t been the same player since that time and has struggled with injuries.
In 2019, Purcell racked up eight tackles for loss among 48 total tackles in 13 games played.
In the 19 games he’s played since then (just six in 2020 and only 13 again in 2021), he has just three tackles for loss.
Obviously, Purcell’s game is more than just racking up TFLs, but he was given a new contract by the Broncos because he was able to capitalize on the penetration he was getting behind the line of scrimmage. For just over $4 million, perhaps the Denver Broncos will assume that Purcell is going to get back to form after a thumb injury in 2021, but there could be close to $3 million in savings if Purcell is released outright.
We’ll see if the Broncos decide to bring back their starting nose tackle for the 2022 season now that Vic Fangio is out of the picture.