Denver Broncos: Dontae Johnson an option to help the secondary
The Denver Broncos need some help in the secondary and former 49ers and Seahawks cornerback Dontae Johnson might be able to provide it.
The Denver Broncos may be keeping their eyes open for some help at the cornerback position given some injuries sustained by Tramaine Brock and Pacman Jones in recent weeks. The Seattle Seahawks just released Dontae Johnson off of their injured reserve list, so he’s a possibility to help the team.
Johnson had 77 tackles and an interception a season ago with the San Francisco 49ers, but he allowed over 65 percent of the passes thrown his direction to be caught.
Still, Johnson’s physicality and length at the position make him an intriguing option when healthy, so would the Broncos be interested?
Let’s take an honest look at where the team is currently not only in their depth but their quality at the position.
Chris Harris Jr. hasn’t been a dominant force this season like he has been in recent years, but he’s still playing at a high level, allowing just eight of the 14 passes thrown his direction to be caught. The rest of the cornerback position has been a work in progress at best.
The Broncos invested highly in Bradley Roby this offseason, not only by picking up his fifth-year contract option (valued just under $10 million), and he has failed to deliver. Roby is not finishing plays well so far this season, allowing 15 of the 18 passes thrown his direction to be caught with a touchdown allowed and at least three plays of 19 yards or more surrendered.
Roby’s performance has been disappointing, and it’s been compounded by the struggles of the Broncos’ number three corners so far this season.
After a strong start to the season against the Seattle Seahawks, Pacman Jones struggled badly against the Oakland Raiders and hurt his hamstring. He had strong coverage against Seattle, but Jones surrendered four catches on four targets against the Raiders and was flagged for a penalty.
At this point, he remains something of a question mark on a week-to-week basis.
Tramaine Brock has allowed five catches on seven targets for an average of 11.6 yards a catch.
Isaac Yiadom, in his first NFL action, allowed four catches on five targets with a massive 44-yard play taking up the majority of his yards allowed. He was not terrible outside of that big play, however.
To sum up, Denver’s cornerback play has simply not been good enough and if someone like Johnson can come in and help, the Broncos should consider it. Moving forward, the team will likely try to rely on Roby’s continued development along with Jones and Yiadom providing solid play when called upon, but there’s so much in the air at this point.
Not that Johnson would come in and solidify things, but he might help. He’s not likely to last too long on the open market and options from the outside are really dwindling for the Broncos right now.