Controversial former Denver Broncos starter could end up in the NFC North

Free agent guard and former Bronco Dalton Risner might find himself starting for an NFC team come week one

Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos / G Fiume/GettyImages

Former Denver Bronco Dalton Risner is still a free agent, but with a recent major injury, the left guard could end up with this NFC North team on the rise. On Monday, it was announced that Chicago Bears' starting left guard Teven Jenkins will some time due to a leg injury. It sounds like Jenkins, who was originally drafted to play tackle, will miss several regular season games.

Well, Dalton Risner, you might be a Chicago Bear. The free agent guard was a four-year starter for the Broncos after being drafted in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft out of Kansas State. He was one of the best linemen in the 2019 class and enjoyed a very strong rookie season, which proved to be the best year of his career.

The next three years for Risner were ones to forget, for sure. He proved to be a horrid pass blocker but did manage to stay at a serviceable level in run-blocking. Risner seemed to be projected to cash in this free agency period, but not only did that not happen, but the Broncos spent over $50 million on a new left guard in Ben Powers and Risner himself is still on the market.

I do think it's a bit of a shock that he's still not on a team, but perhaps the infamous shove of Brett Rypien on the sidelines during the Broncos' Christmas Day game has been a turn-off for some teams. Dalton Risner doesn't exactly exude a team-player mindset in my opinion, and I think that's the main reason why he is still a free agent.

However, with the Chicago Bears now needing someone to step in for Jenkins and them being a run-first team, I can't help but wonder if GM Ryan Poles is going to make a call to Dalton Risner. It might actually be a perfect fit for the player, who is likely needing to bet on himself in 2023 in hopes of cashing in during 2024.


A one-year deal worth a few million dollars is likely the best contract that Risner can get at this moment. At some point, Risner is likely going to sign a deal with someone, as I'm sure he does have an offer or two out there. Perhaps he's waiting for the right situation where he has a clear chance to start. Did the Denver Broncos make the right decision in letting Dalton Risner walk away in free agency?

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