Broncos free agency: Tracking every move in George Paton’s first year
4. CB Ronald Darby signed to three-year deal
The first outside free agent George Paton signed as a general manager — at least, once the negotiating window opened up — was Washington Football Team cornerback Ronald Darby.
Darby just turned 27 in January, but the Denver Broncos will already be his fourth NFL team.
Drafted by the Buffalo Bills, Darby has been traded to the Philadelphia Eagles and signed as a “prove-it” free agent by Washington. His issue has never been about talent, but availability.
After tearing his ACL in Philadelphia, Darby changed his approach in the offseason and managed to stay on the field for over 1,000 snaps in all 16 games of the 2020 season.
Proving he could stay healthy was huge for the former Florida State star, and he convinced the Broncos to the point that they were willing to give him a three-year contract worth $30 million. That’s a nice payday for anybody, but frankly with the way the cornerback market had been moving in years prior, it looks like a nice bargain.
This year’s free agent cornerback market has been very team-friendly across the board although a couple of players like Shaquill Griffin have signed for deals more in line with where last year’s market was heading, between $14-15 million per season.
Darby pencils in as the Broncos’ CB1 or CB2 based on one of the next moves that Paton made, and addresses arguably the team’s biggest offseason need.