The Denver Broncos have been listed as a top landing spot by Pro Football Focus for Jacksonville Jaguars outside linebacker Josh Allen. The two-time Pro Bowler is set to become an unrestricted free agent in March and has an estimated market value of $21.7M per year (five years, $108.7M). If the Broncos' front office were to pull off a signing of this magnitude, it would be an absolute home-run addition to Denver's defense.
However, financially-wise, a contract negotiation would be tricky for Denver's end of the bargain. The Broncos are currently projected to be more than $20M over the cap limit and still have other areas of the roster to address. While pass rush is most certainly Denver's biggest positional need, aside from quarterback, heading into free agency, Josh Allen's contract would likely prevent the Broncos from filling in holes elsewhere on the roster like cornerback, interior defensive line, tight end, etc.
Besides, the Broncos still have to absorb the financial ramifications of the expected Russell Wilson release. To even dig themselves up from the financial hole they are deep in, general manager George Paton and company will likely have to part ways with expensive contracts like tackle Garett Bolles, defensive tackle D.J. Jones, and others. It is uncertain where the Broncos will stand financially in cap space when the first day of the new league year comes around therefore, star pass rusher Josh Allen is still in play for Denver.
Allen, 26, recorded 17.5 sacks, 17 tackles for loss, 33 quarterback hits, and 46 pressures in 2023, according to Pro Football Reference. The fifth-year pass rusher made a substantial jump from 2022 to 2023 and appears to be one of the favorites to win NFL Defensive Player of the Year. The Broncos are desperately missing a 1a pass rusher in their room and Allen would provide exactly that and more.
Broncos edge rushers Nik Bonitto, Jonathon Cooper, and Baron Browning all respectively had a good season and have shown promising potential as starters however, have not shown enough to prove they are worthy of headlining a pass-rushing unit -- At least not yet. The Broncos finished near the bottom of the league in pass rush win rate (34%) and run stop win rate (28%) in 2023 despite their top three pass rushers combining for 21 sacks. Sacks are nice, but they're an overblown statistic and far less valuable than consistent pressure.
If anything, acquiring Josh Allen would be the best possible addition for Bonitto, Cooper, and Browning. This would reduce pressure from the younger pass rushers and propel them to even better sack numbers while Allen would likely absorb double teams and call for extra attention on the weak side of the field. It will be tough for Denver to attempt to lure Allen in free agency given his strong relationship with the Jacksonville organization, however, money talks.