4. Chris Jones, DT
One of the most notable free agents set to hit the open market this offseason is Chris Jones, who has been one of the best defensive tackles of this generation. Jones and the Chiefs were not able to agree on a long-term deal this past offseason, but a re-worked contract through 2023 seemed to satisfy him enough.
Another strong season from Jones featured him racking up 10.5 sacks, 13 tackles for loss, and 29 QB hits. The big issue with Jones in my opinion is that he turns 30 years old this summer, so while the Denver Broncos clearly have a need for someone like Jones, the possibility of him declining in 2024 makes this move high-risk. Furthermore, Chris Jones is surely going to want a hefty contract, so would the Denver Broncos feel comfortable investing more than $20 million per season for someone like Jones?
5. Danielle Hunter, EDGE
Someone who fits the same idea as Chris Jones is Danielle Hunter, who George Paton had a hand in drafting back in 2015. Hunter and the Minnesota Vikings, like Jones and the Chiefs, agreed to a revised deal in 2023. Hunter will now hit the open market and is coming off a phenomenal year. He had 16.5 sacks, 83 total tackles, 23 tackles for loss, and 22 QB hits.
Danielle Hunter turns 30 in October. Hunter is surely going to want to be paid handsomely, but again, like Jones, hitting 30 years old could very much begin a decline for the stud pass rusher. Moreover, if the Broncos were to sign Danielle Hunter and he turns into a dud of a signing, the Broncos would have yet another contract holding them back.
However, both Chris Jones and Danielle Hunter's upside is clear, and might be worth the risk.