5 free agents Denver Broncos were wise to avoid

Two wide receivers, two quarterbacks and a defensive player who spurned the Broncos for a divisional rival make the list.

Dec 31, 2023; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Gardner Minshew II (10).
Dec 31, 2023; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Gardner Minshew II (10). / Bob Scheer-USA TODAY Sports
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Nov 22, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA;  Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams (81) makes a catch against the New York Jets.
Nov 22, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams (81) makes a catch against the New York Jets. / Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Williams, WR

There was no doubting Mike Williams' physical talent coming out of college. He is a big-bodied wide receiver who can shield off defenders and make plays down the field. But most of what we have seen from Williams during his professional career is rehab injuries.

The New York Jets felt like he was still worth taking a shot on him, giving him a one-year deal that could be worth up to $15 million. Perhaps the Jets, with Aaron Rodgers, can afford to take that shot. The Broncos, who haven't made the playoffs since the 2015 season, need more of a sure thing.

After trading away Jerry Jeudy, the Broncos are going to need some players to step up in the passing game this season. Second-year player Marvin Mims Jr. should get the first start to be that guy and the team has a returning Tim Patrick and the recently-signed Josh Reynolds as well, so the room has potential.

If Williams works out for the Jets, good for them. It will be a risk that pays off. But from the perspective of the Broncos' front office, signing Patrick to a cheaper deal and bringing in Reynolds were much better decisions than splurging for the oft-injured former first-round pick in Williams.