The Denver Broncos could begin their attempt to get back into contention by signing some free agents from the Chiefs or 49ers in 2020.
If you can't beat 'em, pay 'em to join you. That may be the strategy the Broncos and plenty of other teams employ this offseason as the mass exodus from both Kansas City and San Francisco begins.
The Broncos know all too well what it's like to have free agents leave for greener pastures following a Super Bowl victory, as well as what it's like to have to reload your roster after losing in the Super Bowl and feeling like you might not get back there any time soon.
Both the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers have free agents at positions of interest for the Denver Broncos, positions we expect the Broncos to throw a substantial amount of cash at when the new league year comes in March.
In the Broncos' context, signing a free agent from the Chiefs could be considered a victory in multiple ways as it not only makes your team better but also makes a division rival weaker.
There is no guarantee every single one of these players will make it to market, but with the amount of money the Chiefs, specifically, have invested at other positions and will soon have invested in Patrick Mahomes, we could see some key players from their Super Bowl run get to free agency.
The 49ers have cap space to be able to retain some key players, but they may not be able to hang onto everyone they want.
Here are some players the Broncos could be watching from the two teams represented in Super Bowl LIV.
Kansas City Chiefs
DL Chris Jones
Chris Jones is one of the two or three best interior defensive linemen in the game today. Over the past two seasons, including playoffs, Jones has 50 hits on the quarterback to go along with 24.5 sacks and 16 batted passes.
He's as disruptive of a playmaker as you will find up front and at this point, it would be shocking if the Chiefs let him get to the open market. He should be franchise tagged this year, and the Chiefs could make sacrifices to afford that.
CB Kendall Fuller
Injuries prevented Fuller from playing in six games over the past two seasons, but he's a tremendous nickel cornerback when healthy and if the Broncos feel like going the younger route to replace Chris Harris Jr., Fuller is undoubtedly an option and a player who is physical with good ball skills.
He will be one of a few players on the short list of guys I would pay a lot of money at the cornerback position for the Broncos in free agency.
CB Bashaud Breeland
Since he was with Washington, I thought Breeland was a much more valuable player than the rest of the NFL made it seem. He has 12 career interceptions in the regular season and had an interception in the Super Bowl as well.
His ball skills and instincts in that regard lead me to believe that he could be a solid fit in Vic Fangio's defense.
LB Darron Lee
Perhaps this is a name that could be re-visited in the 2020 offseason. Darron Lee was made available by the Jets last year for trade. He has a ton of speed at the linebacker position, and it's surprising to see he's been traded and relegated to backup duties in the last year or so.
He might be worth taking a shot on.
WR Demarcus Robinson
Buried on a deep depth chart for the Chiefs at receiver, Robinson doesn't have the timed speed of some of his teammates, nor the fanfare, but he's worked in an offense similar to the one the Broncos are going to run and he could be an intriguing option.
San Francisco 49ers
DE Arik Armstead
This past season, Armstead racked up 54 tackles, 18 QB hits, 11 tackles for loss, and 10 sacks. He also had a pair of forced fumbles.
The 6-foot-7, 292-pound defensive end has developed into one of the best at his position in football with 35 straight starts after some injury plagued years to open his NFL career.
DB Jimmie Ward
The unfortunately oft-injured Jimmie Ward played just 13 games this past season, but managed to break up eight passes as well as set a career-high with 60 tackles.
Perhaps he could be the nickel corner/safety hybrid the Broncos covet in Vic Fangio's defense. The 49ers took Ward in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Fangio's last year with the team.
C Ben Garland
I would have thought this was more of an option prior to Rich Scangarello leaving, but you never know. When Weston Richburg is back, Ben Garland will be the 49ers' backup center again. He's worked well with Kyle Shanahan, so maybe he won't leave San Francisco, but the Broncos could have an opening for their starting center position in a few weeks.