When March 17 arrives and the new league year officially begins, teams across the league will be able to add an influx of talent to their roster.
As General Manager George Paton enters his first free-agency period, the Broncos could choose to add to their roster in several key areas. Over the coming days, we'll evaluate some of the top options who are poised to enter the open market.
We continue with the players who create big moments in the passing game: wide receivers and tight ends.
CHRIS GODWIN, ALLEN ROBINSON II, KENNY GOLLADAY, WILL FULLER V, JUJU SMITH-SCHUSTER, COREY DAVIS, SAMMY WATKINS
If there's a strength at the top of this free-agent class, it's definitively the wide receiver position. In Pro Football Focus' ranking of the top 200 prospects, three wide receivers are featured among the top five players.
Super Bowl champion Chris Godwin tops the list of available players, as the 2019 Pro Bowler posted 840 yards and seven touchdowns in just 12 regular-season games. He added another 16 catches for 232 yards and a score in the team's run to the title. Allen Robinson II, a seventh-year veteran with back-to-back 1,100-yard seasons, could also hit the market after three years in Chicago. Robinson made his lone Pro Bowl in 2015 with the Jaguars as he caught 80 passes for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns. Detroit's Kenny Golladay — who is built in the same mold as Courtland Sutton — played in just five games last season, but he posted back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns in 2018 and 2019.
Will Fuller V, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Corey Davis are also pending free agents featured in the top 25 of PFF's rankings, and quality veterans like Sammy Watkins — who may have been the top option in free agency last year — could be available for palatable contracts.
As we'll discuss in a moment, though, the Broncos' free-agent priorities could take them elsewhere.
THE TIGHT ENDS
HUNTER HENRY, JONNU SMITH, GERALD EVERETT, ROB GRONKOWSKI
In a division full of talented tight ends, the Chargers' top weapon could potentially be on the move. Hunter Henry, who is heading into his sixth season, caught 60 passes a year ago for 613 yards and four touchdowns in 14 games. He has yet to make a Pro Bowl, but the former second-round pick is likely the top option on the market.
Tennessee's Jonnu Smith, who many believe is poised to take the next step as a receiving threat, is another high-end option. The Rams' Gerald Everett hasn't had the same red-zone impact as the previous two players, but he has posted back-to-back seasons of at least 400 yards. Tampa's Rob Gronkowski is also scheduled to become a free agent, but many expect him to remain with Tom Brady and the Bucs.
WHAT MAKES SENSE FOR DENVER?
You never want to say never in free agency, but it would be a true shock if George Paton and the Broncos pursued a top-end talent at either of these positions. The wide receiving corps is stacked with Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler still under contract — and Paton said the team would tender restricted free agent Tim Patrick, who led the Broncos in receiving touchdowns last season. If Patrick somehow winds up with another team, perhaps the Broncos could add a veteran receiver late in free agency — but it still would be no guarantee.
At tight end, the Broncos have an emerging star in Noah Fant, a talented young receiving threat in Albert Okwuegbunam and a strong blocker in Nick Vannett. Both Troy Fumagalli and Jake Butt are restricted free agents, which could lead the Broncos to picking up a depth piece at the tight end position. They could also look in the draft if they choose not to tender either player.
Over the past two years, the Broncos have loaded up at these two skill possessions. That means, in all likelihood, there won't be many — if any — new faces added to Denver's wide receiving or tight end corps.