Examining Which Soon-To-Be Free Agent D-Linemen the Broncos Will Re-Sign
The Denver Broncos have some big decisions to make after this season on the defensive line with Adam Gotsis, Shelby Harris and Derek Wolfe all set to be free agents.
The Broncos have seen some progress from rookie Dre’Mont Jones and former second-rounder DeMarcus Walker, the latter of whom has shown flashes this season that could make the team's future decisions easier in some ways, but harder in others.
Knowing the style of play that Jones and Walker bring to the table means the Broncos know which complementary skill-sets they'll need to assemble upfront. However, one of the Broncos' strengths this year is their depth on the defensive line, and letting any of the three walk hurts that.
Yet, the Broncos don't have a lot of choices because they can’t afford to keep them all unless they're amenable to taking less than what they’re poised to net on the open market.
Even if they do keep them all, the Broncos are still missing a true disruptor on the interior defensive line that forces teams to plan for them. Having that guy makes life easier for Von Miller and Bradley Chubb. Teams can’t constantly double or triple those two pass rushers, because there is a force in the middle.
Wolfe has seven sacks, leading the Broncos defensive linemen, but he isn’t that consistent disruptive piece for the Broncos. The team had hoped Harris would be that guy, but he hasn’t developed as a pass rusher,while Gotsis is very similar to the player he was last year.
This isn’t an easy decision for the Broncos, because each of the defensive linemen has his pros and cons. Then you factor in that none of them have been what the Broncos truly need upfront and the real issue emerges.
Denver needs to get this situation figured out. Maybe general manager John Elway will go sign a veteran with a major injury history for big money to solve the problem.