Worst free-agent signings in Denver Broncos history
No. 1: Ja'Wuan James, 2019
Ja'Wuan James now sits in the No. 1 spot and that is for more than one reason. This wasn't just a bad signing, it was absolutely atrocious.
Still looking to fix that right tackle spot, then Broncos general manager John Elway decided to take a swing at James, a former first-round pick of the Dolphins. The potential for the move to be a good one was certainly there, but James did come with an injury history.
Still, he was given a four-year, $51 million deal in March 2019. That season, he appeared in just three games after suffering a knee injury in the season opener. The following year, the Broncos were looking for him to bounce back, but he announced that he would opt out of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2021 season came around and the Broncos were looking at how to rework James into the lineup after he had gone well over a year without playing football. But that offseason, he tore his Achilles while doing some training on his own time away from the team facility.
That ended up being the final straw for the Broncos, who let him go one week later. For all of that time that he spent as a member of the team, he played in a grand total of three games. That's almost as many as Gardener, but James' presence lingered for so much longer and that is the main reason I place him at No. 1 on this list.
He was the worst signing ever made through free agency by the Broncos.