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AFC West Free Agency Recap: Denver Broncos

How much has changed with the Broncos from the start of the new league year to now?

NFL: Denver Broncos-Training Camp Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Broncos finished in the basement of the AFC West, struggling through a schedule that included the Steelers (12-4), Bills (13-3), Titans (11-5), and the eventual Super Champion Buccaneers (11-5).

One of the main themes that stuck with the team throughout the year, while continuing to follow them up to this point in the offseason, is the team’s current lack of an established quarterback. After failing to sign a veteran in free agency, combined with their low placement within the top-10 of the draft of this year’s draft, the chances they land one of this year’s top signal-callers is all but zero.

John Elway and Vic Fangio have done a good job of retaining their top players on defense while adding some firepower on offense, including 2020 first-round pick, Jerry Jeudy, to pair with their current WR1, Courtland Sutton.

The decision to retain Von MIller, along with Justin Simmons, were necessary moves that will help keep their defense competitive in a division that houses two of the NFL’s top, young quarterbacks.

Notable Additions: RB Mike Boone (Vikings), DT Shamar Stephen (Vikings), CB Ronald Darby (WFT), CB Kyle Fuller (Bears),

Boone has been one of the NFL’s best reserve rushers during his time with the Vikings. Whenever he got the opportunity to lead the backfield late in seasons, he always performed well. He’ll likely be the main backup to Melvin Gordon.

Stephen, another former Viking, provides another sizeable defender (6’5, 315) along the interior next to Shelby Harris. The additions of Darby and Fuller — a former Pro Bowler with Chicago — will help reinforce the secondary along with second-year corner Michael Ojemudia.

Notable Losses: CB AJ Bouye, RB Phillip Lindsay

Bouye was let go by the Broncos after a lone season in Denver where the veteran was limited to just seven games played. He finished the season with 23 total tackles and six pass breakups. Bouye signed with the Panthers late last month.

Lindsay leaves his hometown of Denver, along with the state of Colorado where he has played his entire football career. He ends his time with the Broncos after rushing for 2,550 yards and 17 touchdowns. Lindsay will play for the Texans in 2021.

2020 Record: 5-11 (4th in AFC West)

2021 Record Prediction: 6-11 (4th in the AFC West)

The Broncos get back Sutton to a talented receiver group and tackle Ju’Wuan James to an improving offensive line, but how much is that all going to matter if they don’t have the right quarterback under center? Unless Drew Lock takes a big leap forward in 2021, this group will have to win with their defense while taking advantages of Lock’s flashes on offense.