ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — One of the Broncos' key defensive players will be wreaking havoc at the line of scrimmage for the foreseeable future.
Denver signed nose tackle Mike Purcell to a three-year extension that runs through the 2023 season, the team announced Tuesday.
Purcell, a Highlands Ranch native, had been scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2020 season.
One of the Broncos' best stories, Purcell played 25 games for the 49ers from 2014-16 after going undrafted in 2013. Purcell tallied 42 tackles, one sack and two tackles for loss during those three years in San Francisco, but over the next three years, he bounced around the league with stops in Los Angeles, Chicago, Carolina, New England and Kansas City.
Purcell then joined the Broncos in April of 2019 where he was reunited with Head Coach Vic Fangio, who worked with Purcell in San Francisco in 2014 and 2015 and again briefly in Chicago in 2017.
He played limited defensive snaps early in 2019 but became a mainstay on the defensive line in Week 5 as the Broncos earned their first win of the season and held the Chargers to 35 rushing yards. A week earlier, without Purcell in the lineup, the Broncos allowed 269 rushing yards to the Jaguars. Denver's success against the run continued with Purcell in the lineup, as the Broncos ranked seventh in rushing defense over the final 12 weeks of the season.
Through four weeks, the Broncos again have a rushing defense that ranks in the top half of the league. Only four teams have allowed fewer rushing touchdowns this season than the Broncos.
Purcell has started all four games this season and tallied 13 tackles, two tackles for loss, one quarterback hit and a sack.