Should The Broncos Pursue Another Cornerback?
After a loss to the Ravens (27-14) this past weekend, it’s no secret that the Broncos need assistance at the cornerback position. Baltimore’s receiving corps was able to dominate the game on the opposite side of the ball. Joe Flacco passed for 277 yards while several different receivers had 40 or more total yards in the game. It goes to show the offseason trade of Aqib Talib to the Rams has been more costly than Elway thought it would be.
As of today, there are plenty of choices on the FA market, or Denver can make the bold move of pursuing a trade. Let’s run through some choices:
Patrick Peterson – Arizona Cardinals
One big name that comes to mind when shopping for cornerbacks is Pro Bowler Patrick Peterson. Peterson is sure to be unhappy with the production the Cardinals have produced this season. Starting 0-3 isn’t the best way to start the season, especially when you dump $20 million into your QB. It would be a perfect fit for Denver, but it will most likely cost them a high draft pick.
The other wrinkle is his current contract. Peterson is still due to make $11 million in 2019 and $12.5 million in 2020, very similar numbers to what management shed in trading away Talib. The Broncos are due to have $28.5 million in cap space in 2019, but they will have some big name free agents that one would assume they will try and retain. If this trade were to happen, Peterson’s current contract would need to be reworked.
Since his entrance into the NFL in 2011, Peterson has earned himself seven Pro Bowl and three All-Pro selections. Peterson has started in every game for the Cardinals (115 straight), nabbing 22 interceptions, 19 forced fumbles, 11 fumble recoveries, three sacks, and 316 tackles.
Rather than having to develop a newly drafted rookie, it would be in Denver’s best interest to pursue Peterson. You know what type of production you’ll get out of the seven-time pro bowler, over a chance on a rookie. Not to mention, he is only 28 years old, so you know he still has quite a bit of tread left on the tires.
Ronald Darby – Philadelphia Eagles
Another player that comes to mind is Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby. Darby was a breakout star in Buffalo before being traded to the Eagles in the 2017 offseason. With an injury sidelining him for half of 2017, Darby still put up career numbers in eight games.
With him being on the last year of his contract, Philly might as well get a pick back for him. The Eagles have shopped the idea around asking for a third-round pick in the past. Eagles GM Howie Roseman has been known to try to get everything out of a players value, even if it means trading them. If the Broncos can jump on this it would vastly improve their defense and not cost much.
Free Agent Market
The only promising free agent on the market is Super Bowl 48 champion, Byron Maxwell. Maxwell has yet to sign with a team after low productivity in the 2017 season. Between playing in Miami and a second stint in Seattle, Maxwell had career lows in sacks, tackles, and interceptions.
If Denver can make the move to bring in the experienced corner it would be a great move for the team and the front office. The Broncos would be able to sign him for the veteran minimum and have leadership in the clubhouse. Bringing in Maxwell can be a win-win situation on and off the field.