Former Denver Broncos shutdown CB signs with AFC rival for pennies

CB Ronald Darby was cut by the Denver Broncos to begin the 2023 NFL offseason, and signed with an AFC rival for pennies

Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos / Michael Owens/GettyImages

The Denver Broncos cut Ronald Darby earlier this offseason, and his new contract with the Baltimore Ravens should make Broncos Country rip its collective hair out. Darby tore his ACL in week five of the 2022 NFL season and missed the rest of the year. He's now 10 months removed from the injury and should be in a pretty good spot health-wise.

Well, he originally signed with the Broncos on a three-year, $30 million deal two years ago. He's never been an interception machine, but he is excellent in coverage and was sensational with the Broncos for the 16 games he played in during the 2021 and 2022 seasons. The issue with Darby has always been staying healthy, and the 2022 ACL tear was nothing out of the ordinary.

Ronald Darby was a free agent until very recently, and he signed with the Baltimore Ravens, who are dealing with their own secondary injuries. The issue I have here is just how little Darby signed for. He got a one-year deal worth just $1.7 million with only $500,000 guaranteed. That's far from the $30 million deal he signed for two years ago.

To me, the Denver Broncos should have looked to bring Darby back to help the CB room, which is a bit uncertain behind Patrick Surtain II. K'Waun Williams is not a lock to play in week one, Damarri Mathis is an encouraging player, but unproven still, and Tremon Smith, a free agent addition in 2023, has been horrid so far for the Broncos.

Denver drafted Riley Moss at CB in the 2023 NFL Draft, and he is recovering from a core injury. The team also signed Fabian Moreau, but he's a rotational CB at best. Well, if Surtain were to go down, who is Denver going to rely on at the position? Between oft-injured players and unproven ones, the CB room is actually kind of shaky.


Ronald Darby would have been a nice piece to bring back in a CB3 type of role. Yeah, I get that Darby has never consistently stayed healthy, but imagine if Denver would have been able to sign him for what the Ravens did. It's a low-risk, high-reward investment to solidify the CB room. I think Denver made a mistake here. I get why they cut him, but to not bring him back on a smaller deal was a mistake to me.

I am worried about the CB room just a little bit. The secondary is likely going to be great once again, but if players like Surtain, Mathis, or Williams go down, the room quickly gets weaker.

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