3. Marquez Callaway, wide receiver
The Denver Broncos signed free agent wide receiver Marquez Callaway to a one-year deal worth $1.135 million in total money and just over $300,000 in guaranteed money. But you would think the Denver Broncos landed one of the biggest fish at receiver in free agency based on the way some fans have been talking about him.
Although Marquez Callaway's history with Sean Payton and the Saints give him an advantage, it's fair to wonder if he's even a roster lock at this point in time. Callaway had a breakthrough season in 2021 for the Saints in which he caught 46 passes for 698 yards and six touchdowns.
That's impressive production especially when you consider the Saints were dealing with transitioning to Jameis Winston that year, then Winston got hurt, and Taysom Hill started a number of games at QB. It wasn't the most favorable of circumstances for a young receiver like Callaway, but he had a big year anyway.
Then in 2022, that production fizzled to barely a fraction of what we'd seen in 2021. He caught just 16 passes for 158 yards and a touchdown last season, but many Broncos fans are acting like that 2022 season is just simply vacated because Payton wasn't on the coaching staff in New Orleans anymore.
There's some validity to that, of course. If Callaway is a "Payton guy" then it would make sense that he wasn't as heavily utilized when Payton left. And he did play just 397 snaps last year compared to 833 snaps the year prior. It's reasonable to expect that Callaway could return to his 2021 form under Payton now that the two are together again in Denver, but it's not fair to just simply put his name in Sharpie for the 53-man roster at this point.
Callaway's one-year deal is mostly non-guaranteed. The Broncos have a number of other intriguing wide receivers vying for roster spots. If there are two spots available on the 53-man roster at receiver, it's fine to pencil Callaway in for one of them, but I don't think he should be considered a roster lock. He barely played any special teams for the Saints while someone like Jalen Virgil emerged last year as a quality gunner for the Denver Broncos.
Callaway is an intriguing flyer for the 90-man roster. He's not among the team's top three receivers currently, and maybe not even the top four depending on how things turn out with guys like Marvin Mims and KJ Hamler.
Many people are just assuming that Callaway is going to return to the trajectory he was seemingly on at the end of the 2021 season but you can't take that to the bank just yet.