Broncos would be foolish to not pursue versatile defensive back in 2024

The Denver Broncos could be making a huge mistake by not signing this versatile DB in 2024.

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One of the positives about Sean Payton is that he's had a solid track record in the NFL Draft, and some of his former draftees are available in free agency this year. There are some former draft picks the Broncos should most definitely bring in. Some of them may cost a bit of money, but others could be had for a modest price that fits the Broncos' current cap situation.

Back in 2019, Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints drafted CJ Gardner-Johnson in the fourth round out of Florida. Gardner-Johson has been a very quality player during his stops with the Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, and Detroit Lions. Not only is he still pretty young, but he's also a versatile defensive back who might just fit perfectly in Vance Joseph's defense.

Gardner-Johnson is 26 years old and has played 58 regular season games. He's accumulated 12 interceptions, 39 passes defended, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, 245 total tackles, four sacks, and 14 QB hits.

He's played more as a linebacker, has lined up in the slot at times, and has played safety. He is truly a player who can be deployed all across the defense, and he was tied for the league lead in interceptions in 2022 with six. Unfortunately, Gardner-Johnson was limited to just three regular season games due to a torn pectoral but was able to return for all three of the Detroit Lions' playoff games.

Being that he only signed a one-year deal for the 2023 NFL Season and his injury, he is not going to be expensive on the open market. I'd have to guess that he's probably preferring to sign a multi-year deal, but Denver can easily get him for, if I had to guess, about $5-$8 million per season, which would be a modest price for a very talented player.


I was truly shocked that he wasn't signed by the Broncos last offseason, but I think with the defensive performance in 2023, it's clear that the Broncos need to add some secondary help. Bringing in a versatile defensive back with youth and experience would be a foolish move to not make if you're the Broncos.

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