Analyzing Broncos Cash Commitments to ILB Room in 2024

Are the Denver Broncos under or over-spending at inside linebacker?
Dec 10, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; Denver Broncos inside linebacker Alex Singleton (49) celebrates in the first half in a game against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Yannick Peterhans-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 10, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; Denver Broncos inside linebacker Alex Singleton (49) celebrates in the first half in a game against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Yannick Peterhans-USA TODAY Sports / Yannick Peterhans-USA TODAY Sports
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With the Denver Broncos finished with the bulk of roster moves, we're going to take a closer look at the resources currently committed to each positional group. Today, we'll look at the off-ball linebackers, in which the Broncos have seven players under contract.

How much cash is the team committing to them?

It turns out it's not a lot of money. We start with Alex Singleton, who signed a three-year deal with the Broncos last offseason. He's due $6 million this season, of which $3 million is fully guaranteed.

Next up is Cody Barton, who signed a one-year, $2.5M contract with the Broncos this offseason. Of that money, $2.33M is fully guaranteed, with the remainder in the form of a per-game roster bonus.

After that is Justin Strnad, the Broncos' fifth-round draft choice in 2020. He signed a one-year, $1.3M contract during the offseason, of which $750K is fully guaranteed.

Andre Smith, a recent free-agent signing, is next in line with a one-year, $1.125M contract, with no money guaranteed. Next is 2023 third-round pick Drew Sanders, who is due $1.01M in base salary that isn't guaranteed.

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The other two are Jonas Griffith, who is due a $985K base salary, and undrafted rookie free agent Levelle Bailey, who got $140K in fully guaranteed money and a $795K base salary that isn't guaranteed.

That comes to about $14M in cash commitments to off-ball linebackers — and that's before the final roster is set. Unlike with interior defenders, the Broncos aren't committing much cash here.

This is actually a good thing because off-ball linebacker isn't a premium position. Money on defense is better spent on pass rushers and cornerbacks. Only a truly elite off-ball linebacker should be paid a significant sum.

Bottom Line

As for what the actual cash commitment will look like, Singleton and Barton will probably get two of the roster spots, while Strnad might have a leg up on a third spot. Sanders is recovering from an Achilles injury and might open the season on the physically unable to perform list.

The Broncos seem to like Griffith and he'll get his shot to prove himself after he missed the 2023 season with injuries. Smith should provide some veteran competition, while Bailey isn't guaranteed a roster spot even with his signing bonus but could be a practice squad candidate.

We'll know what the official cash commitments will actually be after the final roster is set, but the Broncos have been smart not to put a lot of money into this position.

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Bob Morris

BOB MORRIS

Bob Morris has served as Mile High Huddle's resident Cap Analyst covering the Denver Broncos and NFL since 2017. His works have been featured on Scout.com, 247Sports.com, CBSSports.com and BleacherReport.com.