Free agency key for Broncos with so little draft capital

Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton speaks during a press conference at the NFL football...
Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton speaks during a press conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)(Michael Conroy | AP)
Published: Mar. 10, 2023 at 7:32 PM MST
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(AP) - Free agency looms large for the Denver Broncos this year because they only have five draft picks and aren’t scheduled to pick until the third round in the NFL draft. The Broncos traded away this year’s first- and second-round picks as part of the Russell Wilson trade a year ago. They jumped back into the first round by trading pass rusher Bradley Chubb to Miami last fall. But they had to part with that pick this offseason as compensation for the New Orleans Saints when they hired away new head coach Sean Payton. Needs include O-line and running back.


UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DE Dre’Mont Jones; S Kareem Jackson, ILB Alex Singleton; RB Latavius Murray; RB Marlon Mack; G Dalton Risner; RB Mike Boone, FB Andrew Beck; TE Eric Tomlinson, T Cameron Fleming; T Calvin Anderson; RT Billy Turner; G Tom Compton; TE Eric Saubert; DE DeShawn Williams; CB Darius Phillips; LB Dakota Allen.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: QB Brett Rypien; S P.J. Locke; CB Essang Bassey; LS Jacob Bobenmoyer; LB Jonas Griffith; P Corliss Waitman; DE Jonathan Kongbo.

NEEDS: New head coach Sean Payton and holdover general manager George Paton have plenty of work to do to upgrade a roster that is paying dearly for Paton’s moves a year ago. They’ll have to make some noise in free agency because they only have five draft picks next month and don’t pick until the 67th overall selection in the third round. Needs include revamping the offensive line and bolstering the defensive front, especially if Dre’Mont Jones bolts in free agency after the Broncos declined to franchise tag him.

AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $9.5 million. ___