Denver Broncos: Top 15 acquisitions of the decade

Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /
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Darian Stewart
DENVER, CO – SEPTEMBER 17: Free safety Darian Stewart #26 of the Denver Broncos runs onto the field during player introductions before a game against the Dallas Cowboys at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 17, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /

Signed Darian Stewart in 2015

By: Andrew Wade 

One of the more unheralded aspects of John Elway’s success in Denver has been his ability to find bargains on the free agency market. One of those bargains was free safety Darian Stewart, who upon signing with the Denver Broncos flourished in what might go down as one of the best secondaries in the history of the NFL, appropriately dubbed the “No Fly Zone”.

Although not the star of Denver’s secondary in 2015 (that honor is shared between Chris Harris Jr and Aqib Talib), Stewart’s contributions helped fuel a secondary that allowed a league-low 3,193 passing yards in 2015. More impressive than that was his individual contributions in Super Bowl 50 where he finished with 5 tackles, 2 passes defended, 1 sack, and 1 forced fumble.

Stewart followed up a great 2015 with an even better 2016, which resulted in his first and only Pro Bowl selection. Following the 2016 season, Stewarts play would begin to decline, but for an initial investment of just 2 years and $4.25 million, Elway got a lot of bang for his buck considering the former South Carolina Gamecock player would start 58 games over his four-year Denver career and finish with 463 tackles, 9 interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles.