The Denver Broncos won eight games in the 2023 NFL Season, showing a good bit of progress after their disaster 2022 season. Which three free agents should the team aggressively pursue in March? Right now, the Broncos are over the cap number for 2024, but do have a ton of flexibility to get under the cap, and to even give themselves a bit of money to spend.
The big story with the Broncos over the next couple of months will be to see what they do with Russell Wilson, who got benched late in the 2023 NFL Season. All signs do point to the Broncos moving on from Wilson, but will they simply cut him? Or could they perhaps swing a trade? Anyway, looking beyond the QB, and you'll see that the Broncos definitely need some help in other positons.
Which three free agents should the Broncos aggressively pursue in 2024?
3 free agent Denver Broncos should aggressively pursue in March
1. Danielle Hunter, EDGE
The Denver Broncos had a poor rush defense and a horribly inconsistent pass rush this year. The team has no dawgs up front, if that makes sense. Someone who fits this defense like a glove is Danielle Hunter. Hunter was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in 2015, and at the time, now Broncos GM George Paton was in the Vikings front office, so there is a connection there.
Plus, Hunter played extremely well this year and is one of the premier pass rushers in the NFL. The only person of note Denver is paying up front is Zach Allen. The team will likely cut DJ Jones, who is making $10 million a year, so the Broncos will have a ton of reason to make a splash signing along the defensive front to help the pass rush and rush defense.
2. Dalton Schultz, TE
Dalton Schultz is going to be a free agent in 2024 and is an excellent receiving threat at the position. Given that the Houston Texans are going to be flush with cap space this year, the team could easily re-sign Schultz and make him a highly paid target. However, you never know! Schultz caught 59 passes for 635 yards and five touchdowns this year, which is very good production at the position.
The Broncos leading receiver at tight end this year was Adam Trautman, who caught 22 passes for 204 yards. Yeah, not ideal. The Broncos were likely banking on second-year TE Greg Dulcich to take a step forward, but a nagging hamstring injury held him to just two games this year. The Denver Broncos need better pass catchers, and Schultz would be a great get for them.
3. CJ Gardner-Johnson, DB
The Denver Broncos need to get better and younger in the secondary, so I think aggressively pursuing a former Sean Payton draft pick makes a ton of sense. CJ Gardner-Johnson began his career with the New Orleans Saints before being traded to the Philadelphia Eagles. He then signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions this year, but injuries have limited him to four total games in the regular and postseason.
What you get with CJ Gardner-Johnson is a very versatile DB who can cover well and who recently was tied for the league-lead in interceptions in 2022. Sean Payton might have to make a tough decision on Broncos' stud safety Justin Simmons, and the team also has to deal with potentially losing CB Fabian Moreau in free agency.
I see open spots all over this secondary, and Gardner-Johnson might be able to fill a huge need for them.