First Look at CB A.J. Bouye in Broncos Helmet Revealed
The Denver Broncos made some momentous decisions at the cornerback position this past spring. After nine great seasons in Denver, four-time Pro Bowler Chris Harris, Jr. was not retained and he signed with a Division rival.
Out with the old, in with the new, which is where A.J. Bouye enters the conversation. Like Harris, Bouye is a former undrafted rookie who clawed his way into the NFL by virtue of his natural talent, football smarts, and work ethic.
The Broncos acquired Bouye via trade from the Jacksonville Jaguars early in 2020. Bouye was able to fly in right before the pandemic hit and pass his physical, completing the trade with the Jaguars.
As a former Houston Texan and Jaguar, fans know what Bouye looks like decked out in another team's regalia. However, for the first time, fans got a look at Bouye in the Orange and Blue.
Resplendent, is it not? In all seriousness, it's thrilling for fans to see newcomers in their familiar colors.
This image of Bouye was captured while he participated in an 'unofficial' workout/practice that was likely organized by Broncos linebacker Todd Davis. Due to the pandemic, OTAs were canceled which is why sitting here in July, this is the first look at Bouye in Orange and Blue for fans.
A former Pro Bowler himself, Bouye is now the de facto No. 1 corner in Denver. While some believe his best years are already behind him, Bouye's prospects could be improving in light of him finally teaming up with Vic Fangio.
Fangio coveted Bouye when he hit unrestricted free agency in 2017, as defensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears. Fangio believed Bouye was a quintessential fit for his zone-centric coverage scheme but the player ultimately took a market re-setting deal in Jacksonville.
Bouye went on that first year in Jacksonville to earn his Pro Bowl nod, helping the Jags get all the way to the AFC Championship game where they came very close to beating Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Close but no cigar.
Bouye's 2018 campaign in Jacksonville was good but in 2019, when his partner Jalen Ramsey was dealt away to L.A., things did not go so well for him as he was suddenly thrust into the CB1 role. Sometimes, a fresh start in a new city is all a player needs to turn the ship around and get back to ballin'.
Personally, anyone who writes Bouye off after last year's struggles would be remiss. He's still in his prime years at 28 years old and is finally teamed up with the coach who coveted him. I'm erring on the side of optimism.