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Broncos place second-round tender on DL Mike Purcell


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — One of the league's best run stoppers will remain in Denver.

The Broncos placed a second-round tender on defensive lineman Mike Purcell, the team announced Wednesday.

Purcell graded out as the league's best run defender in 2019 among interior linemen, according to Pro Football Focus.

After placing the second-round tender on Purcell, the Broncos will be able to match any team's offer to Purcell. If they choose not to match, they would receive a second-round pick as compensation.

Purcell, who played for Head Coach Vic Fangio in San Francisco earlier in his career, appeared in 13 games and started seven for the Broncos in 2019.

He began to carve out a role last season in Week 5 against the Chargers, as the Broncos aimed to fix a rush defense that gave up 225 yards to Jacksonville's Leonard Fournette.

With Purcell in the lineup, the Broncos held the Chargers to 35 rushing yards and earned their first win of the season. The Broncos sustained that improvement over the rest of the year. Denver allowed the seventh-fewest rushing yards per game (98.8 ypg) over the final 12 games of the year, which was a 50.5-yard per game improvement from before Purcell was a defensive mainstay.

Purcell finished the season with 28 tackles, eight tackles for loss and two quarterback hits.

The Broncos previously made another move to shore up their defensive line, as they reportedly traded Wednesday morning for Titans defensive lineman Jurrell Casey.

The Broncos previously applied a second-round tender to Elijah Wilkinson and tendered exclusive rights free agents CB Shakial Taylor, S Trey Marshall and WRs Tim Patrick and Diontae Spencer.

UPDATE [4:48 p.m. MT]: The Broncos have officially tendered exclusive rights free agent Jake Rodgers.

Rodgers earned a game ball from Fangio following the Broncos' Week 16 win over the Lions, during which Rodgers replaced an injured Elijah Wilkinson.

He made his first career start in Week 17.

Exclusive rights free agents may not negotiate with other teams.

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