Broncos Sign Veteran Safety Jim Leonhard
By Zach Grove
The Denver Broncos‘ secondary just got a little deeper.
After visiting with both the Buffalo Bills and Denver this week, veteran safety Jim Leonhard came away as a Bronco. The signing is the latest in a long line of moves this offseason focused on improving the talent in the Broncos’ secondary.
Leonhard will join a safety group that includes veteran newcomer Mike Adams, along with second-year players Rahim Moore and Quinton Carter. Moore and Carter had been competing to start at safety alongside Adams in training camp, until Carter went down with a minor injury.
Clearly, John Elway and John Fox saw a weakness in last year’s defense, and they have moved aggressively to fix it. Besides Leonhard, the Broncos have bolstered their backend with Adams, cornerback Omar Bolden (a first-round talent whose senior year injury pushed him back to the fourth round in April’s draft), and starting-caliber free agent corners Tracy Porter and Drayton Florence.
Leonhard brings with him great leadership and smarts. He was a staple in Rex Ryan‘s complex defensive system with both the New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens. He could also see time returning kicks with the Broncos.
Gone are the days of Champ Bailey anchoring an otherwise weak secondary in Denver. It’s still early, but it’s starting to look like defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio and co. will field a formidable pass defense in 2012.