Denver Broncos: Desmond King a possible fit in 2021 free agency

Denver Broncos 2021 free agent target Desmond King
Denver Broncos 2021 free agent target Desmond King /

The Denver Broncos have a variety of position groups they could (and should) look to address in free agency, not the least of which is at cornerback.

From veteran options to guys who could be intriguing “flyer” types in free agency, this year’s crop of players is very strong overall and the Denver Broncos certainly have the need to pursue.

All four of their top cornerbacks from the 2020 season are either not coming back or will have injury question marks heading into the 2021 season.

AJ Bouye was released and is currently a free agent. Bryce Callahan is in a contract year and is coming off of his third straight season on season-ending injured reserve.

Rookie Michael Ojemudia had a minor knee operation (does such a thing exist?) this offseason while fellow rookie and starting nickel corner Essang Bassey suffered a season-ending ACL injury late in his first NFL season.

Duke Dawson is also coming off of injury, making cornerback the muddiest position group right now on the Denver Broncos’ entire roster.

The team needs to add players at this position group through free agency, regardless of whether they believe in the long-term prospects of Ojemudia and Bassey.

One player that could be a really fun fit for a variety of reasons is former Iowa Hawkeyes, Los Angeles Chargers, and Tennessee Titans defensive back Desmond King.

Playing a career-high 800 defensive snaps in 2018 with the Chargers, King was an All-Pro selection at the age of 24 with 62 total tackles, four tackles for loss, three interceptions, 10 pass breakups, and over 900 return yards with a punt return touchdown.

Since that time, King’s usage and productivity have dropped off a bit. He was ultimately traded by the Chargers to the Titans last year for basically nothing, but I think he has big potential as the nickel in a Vic Fangio defense.

As a rookie, King had six tackles for loss and four sacks. He has shown — even dating back to his final year with the Iowa Hawkeyes — that he is an absolute magnet for the football.

The Denver Broncos must emphasize creating turnovers in their 2021 offseason plan, and getting a playmaker like King who is still just 26 could be a very wise move.

King’s abilities as a return specialist can’t be overstated as a potentially huge asset here, either. Diontae Spencer has not really been pushed in his role as the primary return specialist in two years with the Broncos. While he certainly provides the team a weapon on special teams, Spencer has not exactly been able to find a fit in the offense.

King is a player who could contribute in the return game and defensively.

Primarily, however, this move would be about adding King to the secondary rotation. He could thrive as a nickel defender in Vic Fangio’s defense.