4. Samaje Perine, RB
Heading into the 2023 offseason, the Denver Broncos needed some insurance at the running back position with Javonte Williams recovering from major knee surgery last year. With the shocking update that Williams was a limited participant at OTAs, it's clear now that Samaje Perine is more than just insurance, but the vision is clear that he will be the RB2 in a backfield where Sean Payton wants to split carries and keep backs fresh.
The Broncos added Perine on a two-year deal worth $7 million in total money, and a total guarantee of just $3 million.
NFL analysts, pundits, and fans alike have been singing Perine's praises all offseason. The former fourth-round pick out of Oklahoma and the all-time leading rusher in Sooners history doesn't have a lot of wear and tear on his body as an NFL back despite being 28 this coming season.
He has just 502 touches in 401 career games. He hasn't fumbled since his rookie year in 2017. Perine contributes on all three downs and has the type of size to really wear down defenses late in games.
Perine is such a valuable back to have with his blocking abilities and pass-catching abilities, and it seems like head coach Sean Payton is incredibly excited to have him.
"We signed him because we knew he was durable and reliable. He played on first and second down and he played quite a bit of third down, if you really look at the snaps for Cincinnati. We felt like we got another solid runner—you guys been around him—who's built in a strong way. There are a lot of things he does well. When we signed him, there was still uncertainty. I was taught a long time ago to stack them up at that position. It’s a tough position in our league."- Sean Payton (via Broncos PR)
I think he is going to end up being one of the biggest free agent steals of the 2023 offseason for the Denver Broncos.