The potentially most anticipated by Broncos Country in the lead-up to free agency finally appears to be happening. According to Benjamin Allbright, the Broncos are expecting to sign Bryce Callahan, formerly of the Bears.
Via text: the Broncos are expecting to sign former Bears CB Bryce Callahan.
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) March 15, 2019
Adam Schefter is now reporting it will be a three-year, $21 million deal for Callahan in the Mile High City:
Former Bears’ CB Bryce Callahan reached agreement with the Denver Broncos on a three-year, $21 million deal that includes $10 million fully guaranteed, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 16, 2019
Callahan will join former Texans defensive back Kareem Jackson as Denver’s off-season additions to a secondary that ranked 22nd in pass coverage according to Pro Football Focus.
The move will also reunite Callahan with his defensive coordinator, and defensive backs coach from Chicago in Ed Donatell and Vic Fangio. Under the tutelage of Fangio and Donatell, Callahan steadily improved every season since signing with the Bears as an undrafted free agent back in 2015, his role increasing each year. From a rookie year in which he played only 325 snaps and earned a grade of 64.5 to last year where he played 676 snaps, earning a grade of 81.4.
In 2018, Callahan was part of a Bears secondary that finished atop the league with a phenomenal coverage grade of 95.9 from Pro Football Focus, the highest they’ve ever given a team over the course of a season.
Callahan likely lasted as long as he did in free agency due to concerns around his injury history. He has yet to play a full 16-game season and missed three contests last season for Chicago with a broken foot. However, Callahan should be fully ready to go for the Broncos’ OTAs which start the first week of April.
The Callahan is so far the most impressive of general manager John Elway‘s 2019 free agent class, as he’ll solidify the potential turnaround of the Broncos secondary from one of the league’s worst, to one of the league’s best.
With the addition of Jackson, the Broncos guaranteed having two of the top-seven corners in the league per PFF. Now, Denver will have three of the top-13 cornerbacks in the league, likely giving the Broncos the deepest set of corners of any team. In a pass-happy NFL, those stars will go a long way towards earning Denver more wins starting in 2019.