After the additions made in the offseason, the Denver Broncos had some high aspirations for their secondary a year ago, especially with Bryce Callahan coming back from injury. Those high expectations are much the same but hopefully, the Broncos get better results this season.
Once again, Callahan is coming off an injury, only this time, he has an impressive body of work as a Bronco to build on. Before his injury, he was playing at a near All-Pro level in the slot.
Teams were struggling when targeting Callahan in the slot but it was more than that. He also spent a decent amount of time on the boundary because of injuries to other cornerbacks and while he wasn't quite as effective as he was in the slot, he still made it difficult for opponents to move the ball against him.
Alas, Callahan's injury caused him to miss the last six games of the season, which has been a constant struggle throughout his career. He's never completed a full 16-game season since arriving as a college free agent out of Rice in Chicago back in 2015.
13 games are Callahan's personal best, which came in 2018 for the Bears. He also has never started more than 10 games in a season. Teams can't rely on him to stay healthy for more than roughly half a season so this time, the Broncos made moves to hedge against this.
Make no mistake, Callahan isn't in danger of losing his roster spot, per se, unless the Broncos decide to go cheaper at the position. He currently counts for $8.5 million on the cap and letting him go would free up over $7.1M.
Financially, it would make some sense, but with the Broncos working to solidify the corner position, letting Callahan go would compromise some of the ground GM George Paton has gained on that front. The only way Callahan's spot is in danger is if he doesn't bounce back to form after the injury and someone cheaper really steps up and makes Denver comfortable by making him expendable.
Callahan is Denver's best true slot corner and it isn't really close.
Check out the video above for a deep-dive into Callahan's 2021 outlook.
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