The Denver Broncos have been playing the free agent signing period very close to the vest. Instead of going out and signing some of the bigger names on the free agent list, they have been very selective in their signings.
Knowing that they needed to fortify themselves at the line of scrimmage, they grabbed a few linemen. Guard Ron Leary, and tackle Menelik Watson will compete for the starting lineup on the offensive side of the ball. Domata Peko and Zach Kerr will look to upgrade a defensive front that took a bit of a step backward in 2016. Linebacker Kasim Edebali should give the Broncos some more depth, and could provide a spark on special teams.
There are still a number of free agents that are on the market, in which the Broncos may have more than a passing interest. Who are a few of the names that are still out there that could elevate the Broncos current roster?
Matt McGloin (QB)
The talk around any sort of a move being made for Tony Romo seems to have quieted down, but the Broncos may still be on the market for a veteran quarterback. McGloin is a four-year veteran that has at least shown some flashes of being able to compete for a starting job.
In his four seasons with the Oakland Raiders, McGloin has played in just 13 games, but has thrown 11 touchdowns. The Broncos new quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave has spent the past two seasons with McGloin, and should have some unique insight on his abilities.
Kamar Aiken (WR)
After getting just 21 catches from their third leading wide receiver, the Broncos may look to get some depth at that position. Aiken has bounced around the league, playing with four different teams, but the past three seasons in Baltimore he has shown signs of being a true contributor.
In 2015 he caught 75 passes for 944 yards, and five touchdowns. This past season, Aiken didn’t get nearly as much playing time, making just 29 receptions, but that could keep his price tag relatively low. Aiken would be a solid addition for this offense.
Austin Pasztor (OT)
We all know the Broncos desperately need help at offensive tackle, but there just aren’t many viable options out there this offseason. Pasztor could be a one possibility.
The five-year veteran has spent the past two seasons with the Cleveland Browns, and has at least been serviceable. At just 26 years of age, Pasztor could continue to improve if placed in the right situation. Would he be a significant upgrade? Probably not, but he also can’t really be any worse than what they currently have at tackle.
Zach Brown (ILB)
It looked as though the Oakland Raiders might get the former second-round pick signed to a new deal, but Brown left the Bay area without a contract.
Brown was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in 2012, but he played the 2016 NFL season with the Buffalo Bills, where he had 149 tackles and four sacks. The Broncos struggled at times to slow down opposing running backs in 2016. Could Brown give their run defense a lift?
Justin Gilbert (CB)
In 2014, with the eighth overall pick in the NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns selected cornerback Justin Gilbert. It has been a downhill ride ever since. Gilbert has struggled with injuries, and mostly played a minor role on special teams.
Gilbert was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2016, after largely being a disappointment in Cleveland. Yet, if any defensive backfield in the NFL could bring Gilbert’s talent to light, it might be the Broncos’ “No Fly Zone”.
Gilbert has shown the willingness to be a hard worker in practice, and the Broncos could use his abilities to cover the loss of backup cornerback Kayvon Webster on the defense, and on the special teams unit. Gilbert could be a low risk gamble for the Broncos that could pay dividends.