Denver Broncos top five free agent signings in team history

Sayre Bedinger
Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos
Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos / Doug Pensinger/GettyImages
3 of 5

3. Aqib Talib, CB (2014)

Everything about Aqib Talib screamed "Mike Shanahan signing" at the time the Denver Broncos grabbed him. Perhaps John Elway channeled his inner Shanahan for this particular move when the Broncos were coming off of one of the most recent embarrassing Super Bowl defeats in franchise history.

The drubbing at the hand of the Seattle Seahawks clearly convinced John Elway that his defensive unit needed much more attitude, speed, physicality, and playmaking ability. He was right, of course, but the initial thought was to use their primary NFL free agency assets that offseason on cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

The Broncos signed DRC in the 2013 offseason seemingly for pennies on the dollar. He played so well that he was about to land a big-money deal from Denver, until Elway decided to put the full-court press on the talented but troubled Talib.

Talib had been in trouble with the NFL on a variety of occasions prior to his arrival in Denver. The former first-round pick out of Kansas was a bit of a loose canon even though he was an outstanding football player. He had 23 interceptions from 2008-2013, and Elway must have had a hunch that Talib's ability to create turnovers was going to only get better as he hit his prime, starting in 2014.

And he was right.

Talib ended up playing four incredible seasons for the Broncos, picking off 11 passes and returning six of them for touchdowns. He was one of the most dynamic playmakers for the Denver defense and helped the team have one of the most dominant defensive seasons in league history in 2015.

The king of the pick-six, the chain snatcher, and one of the biggest personalities on one of the greatest Denver Broncos teams ever should go down in history as one of the biggest risk-reward moves in NFL Free Agency to truly pay off.