The Denver Broncos are going to gamble on a player with huge potential.
To be sure, this is a gamble. The Broncos have agreed to terms with pass-rushing specialist Randy Gregory in a deal that could become one of the bigger stories of this year’s free-agent signing period.
What makes this move so interesting is that Gregory initially agreed to remain with the Dallas Cowboys. It had been at the top of Dallas’ wish list to keep Gregory in house, but their deal fell through over some language in the contract, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Randy Gregory agrees to terms on a 5-year deal
Instead, Gregory comes to the Mile High City on a deal that is reportedly going to be for $70 million across five years, with $28 million guaranteed.
This is a move that is sure to split Broncos Country right down the middle. Some are going to love it, while others will hate it. Those that hate it will likely feel that way due to Gregory’s history of off-field issues, most notably for failing the league’s policy against substance abuse multiple times.
One of those infractions led to a one-year suspension for the former second-round pick out of Nebraska.
But Gregory seems to have gotten his act together since then and flourished within a solid Dallas defense last season, registering six sacks, one interception and one fumble recovery. He did that while playing on just 37.9 percent of the team’s defensive snaps.
A number that figures to go way up in Denver.
In Denver, he will join a defense that has Bradley Chubb as its main weapon to go after quarterbacks, so Gregory will now get a true chance to be a major impact player on defense. The fact that the Broncos brought him in ahead of guys like Chandler Jones or a returning Von Miller is also telling.
Perhaps there wasn’t as much mutual interest there between those players and the Broncos or the price was going to be too high. But as Mike Klis of 9News reported, Gregory was the Broncos’ top pass-rushing target in free agency.
So how does this move grade out? The Broncos pulled one over one the Cowboys and likely ruined Jerry Jones’ day.
There is concern over whether or not Gregory can remain available. He’s yet to ever play a full regular season and his troubled past is a certain red flag. But if we trust the general manager running the team, then we must believe that he did his homework on Gregory and was confident that the contract he was about to shell out was worth it.
On the field, Gregory can make an immediate impact. He has the ability to be the best pass-rusher on the roster. Some time ago, I put together a list of early free-agent targets for the Broncos to consider. Gregory was on that list, so you know I like this move.