Denver Broncos: 2021 free agents with connections to watch for

Roy Robertson-Harris, Denver Broncos 2021 free agent target. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports
Roy Robertson-Harris, Denver Broncos 2021 free agent target. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports /
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MItchell Trubisky, Denver Broncos
Possible Denver Broncos 2021 free agent target Mitchell Trubisky. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports /

Every offseason, the free agency frenzy is one of the most enjoyable parts of the NFL season. For the Denver Broncos, it’s going to be especially critical as new general manager George Paton puts some pieces into place on the “sleeping giant” of a roster he signed up to build upon.

Although Paton asserted the NFL Draft where the team will be built, there is undoubtedly value in the free agency period and especially so if you can find players who fit your culture and team needs for the right price.

For instance, this year’s class of free agent cornerbacks is especially deep, and the Denver Broncos will almost assuredly consider adding players there prior to addressing areas of need in the 2021 NFL Draft.

One of the top things to watch out for as players change teams in free agency? Some type of connection to other teams around the league, whether it’s an executive who drafted a guy who a coach who has previously worked with someone hitting the market.

It is a huge reason why the Denver Broncos were able to sign Bryce Callahan in 2019, or why the Colts were able to sign Philip Rivers last offseason, and you could point to countless examples year after year.

How much do connections matter? More often than not, they matter a lot. Here are a number of free agents who make sense for the Denver Broncos based on the team’s needs and their current connections to the coaching staff.

Denver Broncos 2021 free agents with connections

1. Mitchell Trubisky, QB (Bears)

Although this move might not overly excite a lot of fans, Mitchell Trubisky is in the vein of the type of quarterback the Denver Broncos should be pursuing in the 2021 offseason.

It remains to be seen what kind of strategy George Paton will want to take at quarterback, but despite his flaws, Trubisky is a player who has now been to the postseason twice as an NFL quarterback and the time he and the Bears were a truly legitimate threat was in Vic Fangio’s final year as Chicago’s defensive coordinator in 2018.

Fangio didn’t work directly with Trubisky, but he was there for Trubisky’s first two seasons in the league and undoubtedly knows him well.

If Trubisky is available at the right price, it’s almost never a bad idea to give a second chance to former top-five picks who are still just 26 years old.

Look at how the strategy of buying low on a former top pick worked out for the Tennessee Titans with Ryan Tannehill. Trubisky is an above-average athlete with plenty of experience who could push Drew Lock in Denver and start for the Broncos if need be.

In addition to his connections with Fangio and other former Bears coaches currently on Denver’s staff, Trubisky has been competing against new Broncos GM George Paton for the past four seasons. He hasn’t lost to the Vikings since his rookie year in 2017 (5-0 since 2018) and also came into Denver in 2019 and got a win against Fangio and the Broncos.

Who knows? Maybe there is yet something there with Trubisky.