Denver Broncos could move on from Ronald Darby in 2023
Denver Broncos cornerback Ronald Darby tore his ACL five games into the 2022 season. Could the team release him when healthy instead of bringing him back? Darby going down during the Colts’ game was a huge blow to the defense, or so we thought.
He was signed before the 2021 season to a $30 million contract and played in just 11 games last year, missing time with an injury. The veteran Broncos’ cornerback has played a full season just one time in his career and has missed significant time in multiple seasons with injuries.
He had played the first five games for the Broncos in 2022 but went down several weeks ago. You’d think then that the secondary would take a step back, but I’m not sure that’s the case. In the five games that Darby played this year, the Broncos’ secondary allowed an average of 176.6 yards, which is a stellar passing defense.
In the three full games he has missed, the Broncos’ defense has allowed an average of 147.7 yards, a much better number. The defense allowed 16 points per game during the first five games and has allowed 17.33 points per game since he left the lineup, which is a small change.
The defense is also forcing turnovers at the same rate as well. Statistically speaking, there has been little change from Darby being in the lineup to him not being in the lineup. Perhaps the secondary can do just fine without him? I am not advocating for this, as I love Darby and think he’s been an exceptional player for Denver.
However, the Broncos can save $10 million against their cap next year by releasing him. Financially, it might make some sense as the team has much more urgent needs on offense to take care of. The likely scenario in my opinion is Darby returning to the Broncos in 2023 on a restructured deal.
3 Denver Broncos Ring of Fame players that could be interim head coach
What if the Denver Broncos decided to do something similar to the Colts and hire a former Ring of Famer player as interim head coach?
He’s been through injuries before so the Broncos might want to play it safe with him and might not feel comfortable with his $13 million cap number, which is the highest of his contracted years in Denver.