Broncos sign UFL star defensive lineman to fascinating contract

The Broncos are signing UFL star heading into training camp
Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos / Wes Hale/UFL/GettyImages

The Denver Broncos made a fascinating roster move, signing defensive lineman Dondrea Tillman, a dominant player from the UFL champion Birmingham Stallions. Tillman is getting a fascinating three-year contract and a $10,000 signing bonus following a workout with the team.

The signing is yet to be made official because the Birmingham Stallions must first release Tillman from his UFL contract. Also, he has a pending physical, which is expected to be passed but is another formality in the overall process.

Multiple UFL players had workouts with different NFL teams this week, and when Tillman's workout with Denver was announced, the expectation was that he was getting a deal. Now there is a deal in place. Additionally, the Broncos will have to make a move to open a spot on their 90-man roster for Tillman.

Tillman played college football at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania recording 28 sacks and two defensive touchdowns in 48 games. Following his collegiate career, he played one season in the Spring League (TSL), specifically with the Conquerors. After the TSL stint, Tillman joined the Birmingham Stallions when they selected him in the USFL Draft. He spent three seasons with the Stallions (two in the USFL and one in the UFL)

He was an important piece for the Stallions' dominant defense, helping during their three consecutive championships with the following statistics:

In the USFL (two seasons):

  • 19 games
  • 66 tackles
  • 10 tackles for loss
  • 5.5 sacks

In the UFL (one season):

  • 10 games
  • 27 tackles
  • 6 tackles for loss
  • 3.5 sacks

Tillman received a 91.7 PFF grade last season and had 3.5 total sacks in his postseason career. PFF listed him as one of the six UFL players with the potential to earn an NFL contract, saying the following:

""Tillman is arguably the most deserving of an NFL opportunity based on his body of work in spring football. NFL teams have worked him out in past years, but a roster spot continues to elude him. His 113 quarterback pressures over the span are 33 more than second place, his 13 batted passes beat out No. 2 by six and his 91.7 PFF overall grade is the outright top mark among edge defenders.""

Ben Cooper, PFF

Dondrea will compete during training camp and preseason to earn a spot on the final Denver Broncos 53-man roster heading into the 2024 season, in a position room that has been weak since Bradley Chubb was traded to the Dolphins. He will be a player to watch in the next couple of months and is someone who could play on the defensive line or off the edge.