As NFL teams continue to prepare for the season, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell has ranked each team’s offseason "relative to its situation the day after the Super Bowl." After adding quarterback Russell Wilson and making a couple splashes in free agency, the Broncos came away with the top spot.
"The Broncos will be thinner after sending two first-round picks, two second-round picks, a fifth-rounder and three players for Wilson and a fourth-rounder, but Wilson gives them a bona fide superstar at the most important position in sports," Barnwell wrote. "It's one of the biggest upgrades any team made at any position this offseason."
In addition to Wilson, the Broncos also made significant acquisitions on defense, beginning with the signings of outside linebacker Randy Gregory and defensive tackle D.J. Jones — though the decisions in the secondary also were highly regarded.
"Most of the other upgrades the Broncos made this offseason came on the defensive side of the ball," Barnwell wrote. "After nearly coming to terms with the Cowboys on an extension, Randy Gregory balked at a language change and joined Denver on a five-year, $70 million deal with $28 million guaranteed. Underrated defensive tackle D.J. Jones left the 49ers to take over as an interior lineman on a three-year, $30 million pact. And slot corner K'Waun Williams followed Jones on a two-year, $5.2 million deal, while the Broncos were able to re-sign Kareem Jackson to a one-year deal."
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NFL.com's Marc Sessler came to a similar conclusion, as he picked Denver to be one of the six most-improved teams.
"It all seems perfect -- maybe a tad too ideal -- but Russ can fly with Denver's ready-to-rock lineup of weapons," Sessler wrote. "Adding Randy Gregory and K'Waun Williams to the defense helps, too, but football's wildest offseason scenery-shifter is all about the Broncos finally getting their dude at the most important position in sports."