Every Denver Broncos free agent in the 2023 offseason

DENVER, COLORADO - DECEMBER 11: DreMont Jones #93 of the Denver Broncos takes the field against the Kansas City Chiefs at Empower Field At Mile High on December 11, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)
DENVER, COLORADO - DECEMBER 11: DreMont Jones #93 of the Denver Broncos takes the field against the Kansas City Chiefs at Empower Field At Mile High on December 11, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images) /

Although we’ve seen Denver Broncos general manager George Paton hand out some pretty impressive contracts, and although we saw the Walton-Penner Family Ownership Group cut some pretty massive checks in 2022, we did not see any in-season extensions for impending Denver Broncos free agents. Was there significance to that? One of the top candidates, pass rusher Bradley Chubb, was traded in a package for a first-round draft pick.

Did the Denver Broncos put a pause on handing out contract extensions knowing there could be a change with the team’s head coach or possibly even general manager? At this point, it doesn’t look like George Paton’s going anywhere, but the Broncos did decide to wait even with some obvious in-house candidates for in-season contract extensions.

Let’s take a look at every prospective 2023 free agent for the Denver Broncos and where the team might stand with each.

Denver Broncos 2023 unrestricted free agents

These are players that will hit the open market in March. The Broncos can negotiate with them before then but they do not have first right of refusal.

DL Dre’Mont Jones 

Dre’Mont Jones is one of the Denver Broncos’ best young players. Despite only playing in 13 games he led the team with 6.5 sacks and 9 TFL (tackles for loss). He was second on the team with 10 QB hits. Jones should command the biggest contract out of any Broncos free agent in 2023. He is a candidate to be franchise-tagged.

LB Alex Singleton

The marriage between the Denver Broncos and Alex Singleton, was fruitful, to say the least. After signing on for less than a late Day 3 NFL Draft pick, Singleton led the team with 163 total tackles, he played every single game, he made an impact on special teams, and earned another 2-3 year deal. If I had to guess right now, I would say there’s about a 99 percent chance he and the Broncos will hammer out a deal.

S Kareem Jackson

Kareem Jackson is available (17 games in 2022) and still racks up the tackles (94 in 2022) but his plays on the ball are more infrequent than ever. Jackson had 10 passes broken up in his first season with the Broncos, and he’s had just nine in the 42 games since then. As a veteran presence, Jackson has been very valuable. But as far as altering the game, it might be time for Denver to move in a new direction.

DL DeShawn Williams

If nothing else, DeShawn Williams has proven himself as quality defensive line depth over the last couple of years. He had 4.5 sacks in 2022 as well as 8 QB hits in 17 games, playing just over 50 percent of the snaps. If the price is right, the Broncos would be wise to bring him back for another year.

RB Latavius Murray

There’s no question here: The Denver Broncos must bring Latavius Murray back for the 2023 season. After Javonte Williams’ injury, Murray came in and established himself as the RB1 and not just in title alone. He was running well and running hard at the age of 32. The Broncos should have him as proven depth with Williams still in recovery.

QB Brett Rypien

Brett Rypien is hitting unrestricted free agency, and is now a vested NFL veteran. Some people see Rypien as a future NFL coach and he could certainly work his way up the ranks quickly. He showed improvement as the backup QB this year, however, and may want to continue slinging the rock another year before turning in his shoulder pads just yet. My guess is he will have no shortage of opportunities to do either anytime soon.

OG Dalton Risner

The Denver Broncos’ starting left guard for the last four seasons seemingly said his goodbyes recently, after finishing his fourth season in Denver on IR with an elbow injury. Risner wants to be “valued” and there will almost certainly be some bad NFL team with a lot of cap space willing to pay Risner way more than the Broncos will want to.

OT Cam Fleming

Cam Fleming is a versatile guy, you’ve got to give him that. He was a better run blocker in 2022 than his pass-blocking abilities would seemingly indicate. Is he a franchise cornerstone? No, but he’s a valuable depth piece and depending on what happens with the Broncos’ coaching staff in 2023, it wouldn’t be shocking to see him back.

OT Billy Turner

Was Billy Turner in Denver because of Nathaniel Hackett? Maybe. If that was the case, it’s possible we may not see him back. I would like to see another year and a healthy offseason for Turner, because he’s a good player when healthy.

OT Calvin Anderson

Calvin Anderson got royally screwed over by former Broncos offensive line coach Butch Barry, who benched him late in the season for really no good reason. Anderson was a project of Mike Munchak’s and when Garett Bolles went down with a season-ending injury, Anderson had a golden opportunity to replace Bolles at his more natural left tackle spot. Perhaps the Broncos will see his value there and retain him. If not, I think he’ll be a sneaky good pickup for someone looking for left tackle depth.

OL Tom Compton

Tom Compton was supposed to be valuable depth for the Broncos OL in 2022 and he suffered an unfortunate back injury that kept him out most of the season. Do not expect him back in 2023.

RB Mike Boone

Mike Boone was one of the first players brought in by GM George Paton in 2021 and the signing has had plenty of mixed results. Boone is a good player when healthy but he’s only been available a fraction of the time. Since you can’t rely on him to stay on the field, he’s probably going to linger in free agency until later in the offseason.

RB Marlon Mack

Mack’s 2022 season ended on IR but he showed some explosiveness that would be worth him coming back at some point. Probably not a high priority, but given the injury status of Javonte Williams and the fact that you need bodies at this position, there are worse dart throws you could take.

TE Eric Tomlinson

Eric Tomlinson was quietly an impactful player for the Broncos in 2022. He played in all 17 games and, believe it or not, was tied for second on the team with two touchdown grabs. He only had nine receptions overall, but Tomlinson’s primary impact comes in the blocking area. It would not be shocking if he got an offer to stick around for another year, especially if Jake Moreland and/or Justin Outten are retained by the next head coach.

TE Eric Saubert

Saubert is in a similar spot as Eric Tomlinson, although his skill set is more dynamic. He, along with Tomlinson, was one of just two Broncos offensive players to appear in all 17 games this season. How wild is that? Saubert has been valuable depth for Denver the last couple of seasons. He should be brought back to audition for the next staff as well.

TE/FB Andrew Beck

Andrew Beck is a core special teams guy and when he was “on” as a fullback, the Broncos’ running game excelled. I think Beck has some nice value to him, and perhaps if Jerry Rosburg is back in 2023, we’ll see Beck back as well.

CB Darius Phillips

We didn’t see enough of Darius Phillips to really make a determination about his 2023 status, which probably tells us all we need to know. My guess is, the Broncos will go a different direction and let Phillips hit free agency.

Denver Broncos restricted free agents in 2023

The Broncos have a first right of refusal on these players. They can offer them restricted free agent “tenders” and prevent other teams from poaching if they so choose.

S PJ Locke

The Broncos have seen Locke’s development over the last handful of years and he’s made significant progress. He could factor into the rotation in 2023 and therefore should be tendered a contract by the team.

CB Essang Bassey

Essang Bassey is quality depth at the cornerback position who played 14 games this year for the Broncos and has played quite a bit for them since coming on as an undrafted free agent in 2019. My guess is the Broncos will let him hit free agency and then perhaps make him an offer to come back at less than the RFA value.

LS Jacob Bobenmoyer

The Broncos could completely overhaul their special teams group in 2023. I don’t expect any of Jacob Bobenmoyer, Corliss Waitmann, or even Brandon McManus back next season.

Denver Broncos exclusive rights free agents in 2023

Basically, there’s very little reason for the Broncos not to bring back exclusive rights free agents unless the team simply doesn’t want them anymore. The price to bring them back doesn’t even typically count against your “Top 51” in the offseason, which is what the NFL looks at for teams staying under the salary cap.

LB Jonas Griffith

Injuries prevented Griffith from a possible breakout season, and he was Wally Pipp’d by Alex Singleton. Although Singleton is the clear starter, Griffith is young, has huge upside, and plays special teams. He should undoubtedly be back in 2023.

CB Lamar Jackson

The Broncos have the ability to bring the former Nebraska corner back for next to nothing, so why wouldn’t they? Jackson has great length and put some nice things on tape when given an opportunity late in the season.

P Corliss Waitmann

I do not see the Broncos bringing Waitmann back after a rocky 2022 campaign.

OT Will Sherman

The Broncos poached Will Sherman during the 2022 season and we didn’t get to see him play, but his development could be something the front office wants to continue to oversee with the next staff. I’m guessing he will get an ERFA tender and come back in 2023.