Broncos still have major needs after Adam Trautman signing

The Broncos re-signed Adam Trautman, but big needs remain for this roster.

Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

The Denver Broncos have been extremely active in the early goings of NFL Free Agency, but not exactly in the way many fans have wanted. The decisions to cut Russell Wilson and Justin Simmons as well as trade away Jerry Jeudy have been coupled with losses of players like starting center Lloyd Cushenberry III and starting linebacker Josey Jewell in free agency.

Nobody should have anticipated the Broncos to be overly aggressive in pursuit of Tier 1 NFL Free Agents, because GM George Paton literally told us all they wouldn't be. However, the Broncos cleared a boatload of cap space and found themselves nearly $50 million under the salary cap as of March 12. The team has made a couple of minor moves like signing defensive lineman Malcolm Roach, re-signing fullback Michael Burton, and re-signing tight end Adam Trautman.

After the decision to re-sign Trautman, additional question marks for this roster remain.

The biggest issue facing the Broncos right now is the quarterback position. The Broncos were apparently interested in free agent Sam Darnold, but he accepted a one-year, $10 million deal with the Minnesota Vikings instead. Almost the entire free agent market has worked itself out at quarterback, leaving the Broncos with options like Ryan Tannehill, Joe Flacco, and possibly Jimmy Garoppolo in the near future as well as players like Justin Fields and Zach Wilson via trade.

Nobody knows if the Broncos are going to dip into the veteran QB market, but if they do, they're likely to make a pretty unpopular decision among the fan base at this point. The 2024 NFL Draft appears more and more likely by the hour.

The Broncos will need to supplement their depth at wide receiver and that market has been extremely slow-moving at this point.

The center position appears likely to be addressed in-house with either Luke Wattenberg or Alex Forsyth, but what about on the other side of the line of scrimmage?

Are the Broncos satisfied with their current depth on the defensive line? Zach Allen and DJ Jones are holdovers from last year as far as major contributors, and Malcolm Roach will factor into that mix now. Matt Henningsen, Rashard Lawrence, Elijah Garcia, and Jordan Jackson are other options for the team, but none of those players inspires much confidence. The Broncos desperately need to address their defensive line depth as a whole, or this team isn't going to be able to properly "rebuild" in 2024.

Let's say the Broncos continue their modest approach in free agency. If they don't raise the floor on the defensive line, the investments they've made in the secondary will be a complete waste. The Broncos don't have the luxury of investing in the defensive front in the 1st round of the 2024 NFL Draft, so they have to continue to add there in free agency.

With news of Drew Sanders possibly moving to the EDGE position full-time, the Broncos have a gaping hole at off-ball linebacker next to Alex Singleton. That hole could be filled by Jonas Griffith, but his availability over the last two years has been virtually non-existent.

The Broncos going with a youth movement is exciting. The Broncos scraping the bottom of the barrel is not. There are ways this team can utilize its available cap space -- even with the atrocious Russell Wilson dead cap -- to at least get some additional young talent on this roster. And they really need to.