Defensive tackle Ty Warren appeared to be the Denver Broncos premiere free agent pick up last offseason. The Broncos needed someone to clog the middle so they brought in a seven year veteran who had experience in the New England Patriot’s system. Warren’s best season came in 2006 when he had 84 tackles and 7.5 sacks.
In August, Warren partially tore his triceps muscle which required season ending surgery. The fuse couldn’t even be lit for this firework of a free agent to explode. His season ended before it really began, in training camp.
Brodrick Bunkley stepped up big time for the void that Warren’s injury left. He had the best season of his NFL career in 2011. He didn’t put up monster stats (43 tackles, no sacks), but he was a significant threat on every play.
We haven’t had a guy like that, not since I’ve been here. He’s been like a monster in there.” – Elvis Dumervil (Denver Post)
The Philadelphia Eagles selected Bunkley 14th overall in the 2006 draft, and he’s an unrestricted free agent now.
The Broncos will get Warren back along with Kevin Vickerson. Do the Broncos make a push to resign Bunkley? A signing like that would provide real depth at defensive tackle and with the way the Broncos run defense has been in years past, we can’t underestimate the importance of depth on the line.
Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post thinks the team needs to sign Bunkley or find someone much like him.
He was a situational player at times down the stretch — he didn’t play in the team’s nickel (five defensive backs), and the Broncos spent much of the stretch run in that set — but it was often evident when he wasn’t in there. So, if they don’t re-sign him, they had better find somebody just like him. – Jeff Legwold (Denver Post)
If the Broncos don’t put up the effort, there are plenty of other teams that will be interested.