After missing the playoffs for five seasons in a row, the Denver Broncos’ new general manager George Paton knew he had to reload the roster to increase the Broncos’ NFL odds. So with a laundry list of needs and some cap space to work with, Paton went to work and had one of the most active free agency periods in the NFL.
Online football betting enthusiasts noticed the Broncos’ signings, leading to many bettors putting money on the Broncos’ playoff chances in 2021.
So, did the moves improve the Broncos’ NFL betting odds after their free agency grabs? Let’s look at the Broncos NFL free agency decisions and consider how their moves will impact this team in the future.
Holding Onto Simmons
2021 was the second year in a row the Denver Broncos used their franchise tag to keep their Pro Bowl safety, a move that generally isn’t popular with NFL players.
It all worked out for the Broncos and Justin Simmons in the end, as both parties eventually settled on a four-year, $61 million deal.
Simmons has shown he’s a player worth keeping. He hasn’t missed a defensive snap on the field since 2018, making him the only NFL player who’s made every snap during that period.
His 96 tackles and five interceptions in 2020 made him a top priority for Paton and Head Coach Vic Fangio during free agency. Signing him to a four-year deal should help the team defend against division quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Derek Carr.
Building Up the Broncos Defense
The Broncos initially chose not to pick up safety Kareem Jackson’s third-year option, but they kept the door open for him to return if he didn’t find what he was looking for in NFL free agency.
It was a good move for both Jackson and the Broncos’ defense. He got a one-year, five million dollar deal, and the Broncos got a veteran safety back on the field.
Keeping defensive end Shelby Harris was another priority for the Broncos. In 2020, Harris had 32 total tackled, 2.5 sacks, and a forced fumble in 11 games. He’s a versatile defensive end that can drop back into pass coverage when needed. This signing shows that Paton and Head Coach Vic Fangio want to keep veterans on the Denver Broncos’ roster to mentor younger players.
Free Agency Grabs
The Denver Broncos’ roster got another boost when they signed former Chicago Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller. Fuller’s versatility to play both left and right cornerback strengthens their secondary and gives them flexibility in blitz packages.
Fuller has never finished a season with less than 55 tackles and hasn’t missed a game during his career. He’s also very familiar with Vic Fangio’s defensive system as they worked together in Chicago.
Giving Fuller a one-year deal also gives them options next season, as they can either extend this contract or use a first-round draft pick to grab a younger cornerback in the next draft.
They also signed Ronald Darby from Washington to help the defense on a three-year deal worth up to $30 million ($19.5 million guaranteed). In 2020, Darby logged over 1,000 snaps. He fits in well with the defensive plan of combination coverage.
Giving the Special Teams a Boost
In a surprising offensive move, the Broncos also signed running back Mike Boone, who spent a relatively uneventful three seasons with the Vikings.
Why is this a good move for the Broncos? They needed help on special teams, and Boone spent over half of his time with the Vikings on that unit. This move will help the Broncos with field position, making life easier for the offense and defense.
The Broncos’ NFL Odds Likely Improved Because of Free Agency Moves
Will these offseason moves help the Broncos get back to the playoffs? Only time will tell. Starting the season 2-0 is a very positive step in the right direction, though.
Look for the Broncos’ NFL odds to continue to improve as they fine-tune their defense with these free agency moves. Do you think that the Broncos’ roster moves will help carry them into the playoffs? Ready to place your bets on their odds of making the playoffs or winning the AFC West? Create your account on BetMGM’s Colorado sports betting site today.