Broncos get Mike Purcell back in the fold for 2020 season

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DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 22: Nose tackle Mike Purcell #98 of the Denver Broncos defends on the play against the Detroit Lions during the first quarter at Empower Field at Mile High on December 22, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Lions 27-17. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

The Denver Broncos got defensive tackle Mike Purcell back into the fold for the 2020 season by placing a 2nd-round RFA tender on him.

With only hours before the official start of the 2020 NFL league year, the Denver Broncos had only Dre'Mont Jones and DeMarcus Walker as players on their defensive line coming back with any sort of real regular season experience.

That changed in a dramatic way when the team struck a trade for veteran Jurrell Casey of the Tennessee Titans.

After the move to acquire Casey from the Titans, the Broncos doubled up on the defensive line by extending restricted free agent defensive tackle Mike Purcell to a one-year tender offer.

Until Purcell signs the tender, teams have the opportunity to negotiate with him. If they sign him to an offer sheet, the Broncos can either match or decline and receive a second-round pick as compensation.

The second-round tender effectively prevents most teams from negotiating with any prominent restricted free agent, though some teams (like the New Orleans Saints with Taysom Hill) will use the 1st-round tender to put an even bolder 'get off my lawn' type of sign on a player.

With Purcell back in the fold, the Broncos now have a decent looking starting trio up front with him, Dre'Mont Jones, and the recently acquired Jurrell Casey.

Purcell, as Schefter alluded to in his tweet, was the top-rated run defender according to Pro Football Focus in 2019. When the Broncos inserted him into the lineup last season, it was one of the biggest game changers of the year for the defense.

Purcell put some good things on tape in preseason play and worked his way onto the roster before ultimately earning a starting job at the nose tackle position.

Although he was known for his run defense, Purcell made a nice impact as a rusher when asked to do so with six pressures and two quarterback hits.

Next: Grading the Jurrell Casey trade

At this particular point in time, it's hard to project exactly where the Broncos are at in terms of available cap space. Once year one cap hits are known for their recent free agent additions, it will be clearer, but they still have flexibility to make some more moves.