Broncos sticking to their philosophy in free agency

Posted July 29, 2011 @ 3:03 p.m.
Posted By Alex Mayster

After winning just four games and finishing with the NFL's worst defense a season ago, it's clear the Broncos have a lot of work to do.

Add in the fact that the team brought in a new head coach in John Fox — who will run a new defense — and welcomed John Elway back into the organization to work alongside general manager Brian Xanders on the player personnel side, and it becomes evident that the new-look Denver Broncos will need to develop a new offseason philosophy.

The team's trio of decision makers started to show their hand early, choosing not to jump at the league's top free agents following the conclusion of the lockout. Instead, we hear the team has decided to wait for the market to cool off and look for bargains, rather than overpaying for specific players.

With all eyes on the quarterback situation, the Broncos quietly waited their turn to address their biggest offensive need. They passed on RB DeAngelo Williams, who played under Fox in Carolina and reportedly signed a five-year, $43 million deal, instead going with another in-house connection.

Willis McGahee came with a much more affordable three-year, $7.5 million deal, and he will be reunited with running backs/former interim head coach Eric Studesville, who coached McGahee and the rest of the Bills' running backs during a stint in Buffalo.

While McGahee was brought in to improve the production of the Broncos' rushing attack, his presence will add another element that Fox has stressed this summer: competition. McGahee is just one example of the team's plan to get as many productive players into camp as possible, and the incumbent, Knowshon Moreno, is OK with that.

"We compete every day and that's what makes everyone better," he said. "That's what we have to keep on doing to make ourselves better and to make our team better. Competition is a good thing."

All indications are that the team will stick with its current philosophy as free agency rolls on, which was evident in the team's decision not to jump on a defensive tackle, their biggest need, from the get-go. The Broncos instead traded for Redskins DT Jeremy Jarmon and, while they certainly aren't done, one team insider said he expects the team will add a few lower-level defensive linemen, rather than going after someone at the level of DT Cullen Jenkins.