Broncos have been better off without pair of free agent busts

The Denver Broncos have been far better off without Randy Gregory and Frank Clark

Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

The Denver Broncos gave pass rushers Randy Gregory and Frank Clark a lot of money as free agent acquisitions in hopes that they could give the team a huge boost not only on the field but also in the locker room. Gregory came to the Denver Broncos from a very successful Dallas Cowboys defense where he made a lot of plays in the 2021 season, and Clark came to the Broncos from the Super Bowl champion Chiefs, and the Broncos were looking to him to potentially help this team end a long streak against his former team.

Unfortunately, the money spent on Randy Gregory and Frank Clark was not money well spent for the Denver Broncos. Gregory was given a five-year deal worth $70 million in total money. The deal initially included a whopping $28 million in total guaranteed money, and the Broncos are footing the bill for most of that as Gregory is now a member of the San Francisco 49ers, where he had a pretty great game in his Niners debut (3 QB hits, 1 sack). Unfortunately for him (and the 49ers), Gregory has disappeared ever since that emotionally charged debut.

The Niners even made an additional trade to acquire Chase Young from the Washington Commanders to upgrade their pass rush.

The Broncos were unfortunately not able to trade Frank Clark, but they did cut him and cut some dead weight as Clark was nothing but a headache from the time he got to Denver. He resurfaced shortly after being cut by the Broncos with the team that initially drafted him -- the Seattle Seahawks. In four games with Seattle, Clark has just five tackles, no QB hits, no sacks, and just one QB pressure.

The Broncos traded Randy Gregory on October 6 and they cut Frank Clark on October 14. Since the team traded Gregory and cut Frank Clark, they have led the NFL in turnovers forced, the pass rush has come alive with the emergence of players like Nik Bonitto and Baron Browning. The Broncos are 5-1 with their lone loss coming on a short week to the Kansas City Chiefs. The defense has been flat-out dominant, allowing just 16.5 points per game over that timeframe.

The Broncos cut bait on a couple of free agent busts, and the defense began thriving. You never know what can happen when you get rid of some bad apples.

And we're being extremely critical of players like Gregory and Clark because these guys were supposed to contribute significantly. Gregory, especially, given the $28 million in guaranteed money he received when he signed as a free agent. The expectations for Frank Clark were a little more tempered given the price tag, but he was still expected to be a leader and produce off the edge.

Neither of these guys led by example. As a matter of fact, the narrative when Frank Clark was cut was that he was "escaping" Denver. People were making jokes at the time that things were so bad that Clark was giving the Broncos money to get out of town. And that may have been true on his part, but the reality is, the Broncos weren't getting anything from Clark on the field and he was a bust of a sigining. He rightfully gave money back from the team after doing nothing worth keeping around.


And the Broncos have been better off without those guys. They're now in the playoff hunt and young players are thriving in place of both Gregory and Clark. Perhaps those two signings will cause the Denver Broncos front office to be even a bit more calculated in terms of the people they are bringing into the building when it comes to free agent signings. We saw a huge shift in that regard in the 2023 offseason with major acquisitions like Ben Powers and Mike McGlinchey as well as Zach Allen and Samaje Perine. Those guys have brought a level of toughness and leadership that was missing from Gregory and Clark.

Next. Predicting the score of every remaining Broncos game. Predicting the score of every remaining Broncos game. dark