5. Shy Tuttle, DL, New Orleans Saints (2023 free agent)
The Denver Broncos might have to get themselves some help on the defensive line in 2023 free agency yet again with question marks right now over the status of Dre’Mont Jones.
The Broncos drafted Dre’Mont Jones out of Ohio State in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft, and he’s very clearly blossomed into the best player of that once-vaunted class. Jones will undoubtedly cost the Broncos a lot to retain, whether on a long-term deal or on the franchise tag.
Depending on whether he’s classified as a defensive end or defensive tackle, it’s going to run the Broncos roughly $18.7-20 million to keep Jones in the fold if they have to franchise tag him. Now, the team is cash rich with the new ownership group, but the entire franchise tag figure would count against your salary cap. That figure really puts you between a rock and a hard place.
Will the Broncos simply let Jones walk in free agency? It’s hard to believe they would, but it’s not impossible.
If that does end up happening, the team is going to have to be active in finding help along the defensive line and Shy Tuttle of the Saints could be a target.
The 2023 free agent had a pair of sacks this past season, three QB hits, 49 total tackles, and five batted passes. The numbers don’t leap off the page, but Tuttle is a dependable player up front who gets his hands into throwing lanes consistently.