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Mile High Morning: How the AFC West could change in free agency


The Lead

We're just a few weeks away from the start of free agency, which means it's a good time to take a look at which area of the roster the team could improve by adding veteran players.

Bryan DeArdo of CBS Sports took a look at the top needs for each AFC West team, and it's clear the defensive side of the ball will be a priority for Denver.

 "The Broncos enter the 2021 offseason with the division's biggest salary cap," DeArdo wrote. "Denver will probably spend most of that money on the defensive side of the ball, specifically at defensive end, linebacker and cornerback."

DeArdo identified cornerback, linebacker, outside linebacker, tackle and quarterback as the team's top needs — though his projection doesn't account for the return of Ja'Wuan James from the COVID-19 Opt-Out list.

The CBS crew believes players already on the team's roster — including Justin Simmons and Shelby Harris — may be priorities for the team to maintain, which could limit the other free agents the team targets.

Cornerback Richard Sherman, linebacker Avery Williamson and former Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe are among the free agents DeArdo identified as players to watch for the Broncos.

He also listed Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett as an option, presumably as a veteran backup for Drew Lock.

It's clear from CBS' preview, though, that the Broncos may see their fortune improve in 2021.

"More consistent quarterback play, along with upgrades at linebacker and cornerback, should be enough to help the Broncos turn things around after a disappointing 2020 season," DeArdo wrote.

Below the Fold

After releasing A.J. Bouye, the Broncos likely have a need at cornerback. ESPN's Jeff Legwold spoke with draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. about why this year’s class of corners could be good news for Denver.

The NFL's franchise tag window opens on Tuesday. The Denver Post's Ryan O’Halloran looked at whether the Broncos will again tag Simmons — and what a long-term deal could look like.

The Unclassifieds

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