Six weeks after getting demolished in the Super Bowl, the Denver Broncos were the most aggressive team on the first day of NFL free agency.
These were two of the 10 best free agents available, and they should address the team’s lone weakness — pass defence.
Denver ranked 21st against the pass last year, according to the advanced stats from Football Outsiders. Talib, Ward, and a full year of Von Miller will go a long way toward turning that weakness into a strength.
It’s an unapologetically short-term-minded strategy.
The Broncos need to win a Super Bowl before Peyton Manning retires — a window of two or three years at the most. So while these deals look shaky in the long term (Talib has a lot of miles on him and committing $US70 million in salary will destroy the team’s cap flexibility down the road), Denver has no choice but to win now.
It looks like they aren’t stopping at Talib and Ward. There are whispers that the Broncos are looking to add a pass rusher. DeMarcus Ware, who’s on the market after being cut by Dallas, is looking at Denver. Jared Allen is also an option. Both of these guys are ageing, but they’d each have a few years left in them.
We’ve seen this strategy backfire in the past. The Eagles tried to assemble a squad of high-priced veteran free agents to push them over the end in 2011, and it turned into a disaster.
But with teams like the Seahawks and 49ers improving, it’s a risk that was worth taking for the Broncos.
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