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Sacco Sez: Regardless of name recognition, Broncos' free-agency class could have big impact


Now that free agency is underway in the NFL, the Broncos have been very active in the marketplace.

Many of our great fans are not familiar with some of our new players, but remember, a very small fraction of the people on NFL rosters are household names in the NFL.

Sean Payton and George Paton are not building a team with star power. They are building a team to win their way, and soon.

Many fans have assumed that parts of the past team that they felt were solid will not be touched. But that is incorrect.

The coach is not interested in my opinions, nor those of anyone else.

But I have watched many regimes turn over in the NFL, and I know that nothing stands still, and very little stays the same.

When the Broncos team that won consecutive Super Bowls was being built, free agents were a big part of it.

This included free agents from other teams (Ed McCaffrey, for example) and street free agents, as well. Guys who had no football homes, and who had been rejected in the draft completely. Guys like Rod Smith, Dwayne Carswell, Harald Hasselbach, as well as late-round draft choices like Terrell Davis.

They all had a common trait, in addition to talent that had either been unseen or certainly was untapped. They were winners. They hungered for leadership and for the excellence that they were buying into.

Many times I heard guys talk about the lack of meaning that individual stats had.

When I was writing a book about individual players' greatest games, Smith cited one in which he had zero receptions. It was Super Bowl XXXII, which we won over Green Bay.

"I blocked for Terrell Davis, and we won the Super Bowl," I recall him telling me. "Literally nothing could have been bigger than that."

So fear not if many fans have not heard the names of many of our free-agent signings.

That is the least of Sean Payton's goals here.

It is particularly exciting to see new guys, fresh faces and, at the same time, a hope for a return to championship-caliber football for the Broncos.

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