Deciding what to do with each of Broncos' in-house free agents

  • Lloyd Cushenberry could be in line for a nice pay day
  • Big decisions loom at inside linebacker
  • Several former Saints players are in line to hit the open market

Oct 12, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Denver Broncos center Lloyd Cushenberry (79) lines up against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Oct 12, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Denver Broncos center Lloyd Cushenberry (79) lines up against the Kansas City Chiefs. / Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
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Mike Purcell, Denver Broncos
Dec 10, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; Denver Broncos defensive lineman Mike Purcell. / Yannick Peterhans-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Purcell, Defensive Lineman

Mike Purcell is one of those guys that just finds a way to hang around. The former Highlands Ranch player has now logged five seasons with the Broncos.

If the team decides to release D.J. Jones in a cap-cutting move, something it should do, then Purcell should likely be back in 2024. The Broncos are extremely thin along the defensive line and letting go of Jones would leave only Zach Allen, Matt Henningsen, Elijah Garcia, Jordan Jackson and Rashard Lawrence on the roster.

Jackson and Lawrence signed future contracts after the season and Garcia played in just three games this past season despite a strong preseason.

The team clearly needs better options, but Purcell is an experienced veteran who played for a low salary of $1.4 million in 2023. It's not likely that other teams will be beating down the door to sign Purcell, so if the Broncos can bring him back on a similar deal to that, they should.

Decision: Re-sign Purcell to a one-year, $1.5-$2.0 million deal

Jonathan Harris, Defensive Line: Harris was able to stick around in Denver due to the lack of options at the defensive line position this past season, but he is not a player worth investing much in. He will be a restricted free agent, meaning the Broncos can place a tender on him and have the right to match any offers he may receive, but if they tender him, they have to bring him back.

If they choose not to tender him, he will become an unrestricted free agent, allowing him to sign with any team he chooses.

He played in all 17 games for the team this season and had 43 tackles and one sack but this unit needs to be entirely revamped and the Broncos need to save all of the resources that they can to find upgrades.

Decision: Allow Harris to leave via free agency