The Broncos made a notable, yet unsurprising, move on Thursday morning when thye announced the release of veteran defensive tackle Jurrell Casey. Casey was traded to the Broncos for seventh-round pick prior to the 2020 season and Denver only managed to get three games of play out of him before he ended up on injured reserve for the remainder of the year.
Broncos released DT Jurrell Casey, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 25, 2021
The move was a smart one for the Broncos as it relieved $11.8 million off their books for 2021 which helps pave the way for a new deal for safety Justin Simmons and a potential contract extension for Von Miller.
Casey is obviously on the wrong side of 30, but before the bad injury luck this past season, he was about as steady as you could be at the defensive tackle position. In his final season with the Titans, Casey recorded five sacks and five tackles-for-loss in 14 games. The year before, he posted seven and 11. Most notably, Casey had a streak of six-straight years of recording at least five sacks and eight tackles-for-loss from 2013-2018.
Some may point at the Titans discarding him for such a low draft pick — something that Casey publicly criticized his old team for — but it’s not all that surprising if you considered his age and the money he was due. There’s also the chance that the Titans saw something in his final season that they didn’t like, but I’d be curious to know what that was. He played in a career-low 14 games that season, which is incredible when you consider what the Chargers deal with on a yearly basis.
As of right now, I’d personally love to see the Chargers add Casey to the mix. He’s more than a well-established veteran in the NFL and arguably has been one of the best players at his position for the past decade. Unlike most of the other recent deals handed out to veterans by the Bolts, Casey isn’t coming off a year or two of underwhelming play. You can’t fault a player who got seriously injured for the very first time this late in his career. One injury of any kind was bound to happen. He’s barely removed from still being a force in the NFL and that’s the type of buy-low move that good teams make. It’s much better than shelling out a hefty price for a player or two that you hope will return to form with a fresh start.
Lastly, Casey has been playing in a similar defensive system compared to Brandon Staley’s expected scheme for his entire 10-year career. This is a plug-and-play type of move, especially if he’ll take less money to join a team with a ton of talent and potential.
And yes, I know the team has young guys in Jerry Tillery and Justin Jones. But let’s slow down there. Only Tillery has shown any flashes of potential thus far in his career and it’s tough to imagine Jones breaking out in year four. However, with a new coach and scheme in 2021, I may end up eating these words by the end of the upcoming season.
Let’s hear all of your thoughts. Does the idea of signing Casey interest any of you? Do you think he’s “washed” or too far past his prime? Let me know all of your thoughts in the comments below.