5 lower-priced free agents Broncos could sign to get the most bang for their buck

The Denver Broncos could call on these players for a chance to turn a small investment into a big gain.

Oct 29, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers cornerback Isaiah Oliver (26) holds the ball following an interception.
Oct 29, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers cornerback Isaiah Oliver (26) holds the ball following an interception. / Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
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Irv Smith Jr., Denver Broncos
Cincinnati Bengals tight end Irv Smith Jr. (81) catches a touchdown pass in the first quarter during a game against the Buffalo Bills. / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

Irv Smith Jr., Tight End

2023 salary: $1.75 million

Irv Smith has been an underachiever thus far in his NFL career and that is why he won't land a huge contract in free agency. But at 25 years old, there is still time to get things going in the right direction.

Coming out of college, Smith looked like a terrific prospect, especially being the son of a former NFL player who also played tight end. That led to him being a second-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings in 2019.

After catching 66 passes and seven touchdowns across his first two seasons, injuries limited him to just eight games in the two years that followed, including a torn mensicus that forced him to miss the entire 2021 campaign. He's never fully recovered on the field.

He signed a one-year deal with the Cincinnati Bengals last offseason and that looked like a great fit initially. But with Joe Burrow missing most of the season, he caught just 18 passes.

The Bengals aren't exactly deep at tight end, so they could certainly plan to bring him back, but the Broncos should also give him a look. The Broncos need more at the tight end position and should consider a free-agent signing and drafting another one before 2024.