The Denver Broncos are expected to make several big splash moves in NFL Free Agency on March 15 as the new league year becomes official.

Denver Broncos NFL Free Agency Storylines

As the Denver Broncos enter NFL Free Agency on March 15, they’ll have various needs they must address if they hope to perform better in 2023.

These storylines will help set the table for the Broncos to get back to competing and having a better chance at returning to the postseason.

Rebuild the offensive line
General manager George Paton and new Broncos head coach Sean Payton will share mutual responsibility in helping rebuild the offensive line this off-season. One path is to fix immediate needs in NFL Free Agency which will more than likely be how both address the trenches.

With Dalton Risner set to test the free agency market, the Broncos will look at left guard options in free agency including the possibility of Risner returning. If Risner’s market isn’t as strong as his representation believes, it gives Denver leverage in negotiating a more team-friendly deal.

The former Broncos second-round pick has expressed his desire to stay in Denver, but he wants to go where he is valued.

As it pertains to right tackle, Denver could possibly re-sign Cam Fleming, Calvin Anderson, or Billy Turner and look for an eventual long-term option in the 2023 NFL Draft. Generally speaking, good offensive tackles never hit free agency — limiting the Broncos options on the open market.

Mike McGlinchey is set to become an unrestricted free agent and could be on the Broncos radar. With Garett Bolles still on the roster for now, it wouldn’t make sense for the team to pursue Orlando Brown Jr. who was not franchise tagged by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Perhaps one of the biggest needs for Denver will be at the center position. With Graham Glasgow set to account for $14M against the cap, a release or restructure is possible for the veteran offensive lineman.

There is a chance Glasgow returns to Denver considering he performed well after Lloyd Cushenberry’s injury last season. Glasgow was noticeably stronger at center and consistently provided Russell Wilson with clean snaps.

Despite dysfunction by the coaching staff, the offensive line staff in particular, Payton will look to implement a scheme that plays to the strengths of creating a punishing run game and keeping the quarterback upright.

Will Dre’Mont Jones return?
Arguably one of the Broncos’ biggest questions this off-season revolves around whether or not Dre’Mont Jones will be back in 2023. With the dominant interior defensive lineman set to test the free agency market, there is a real chance that he plays elsewhere next season if Denver can’t match a stronger offer from another team.

Jones productivity and toughness are extremely valuable on the defensive line and there was an evident drop off in quarterback pressures when he was placed on injured reserve toward the end of the last season.

If Jones departs, Denver will have to look into adding at least one free-agent acquisition to combine with further developing second-year players like Eyioma Uwazurike and Matt Henningsen.

Is cornerback depth going to be addressed?
Patrick Surtain II and Damarri Mathis are both expected to be the Denver Broncos key starters on the outside at cornerback.

Behind them, it’s fair to ask whether or not a free-agent cornerback signing could be in the cards for Paton and the Broncos.

Denver’s depth on the outside includes Ronald Darby, Lamar Jackson, and Ja’Quan McMillian. Practice squad and futures contract depth include Delonte Hood and Faion Hicks.

The Broncos could very well move on from Darby this off-season, a move that could save them $9.6M in cap space. If that personnel move is in the works for Denver, they’d more than likely need to look to add a veteran in free agency.

On the other hand, if the team believes that players like McMillian, Jackson, Hood, or Hicks have developmental traits they value — they could hold off on making any moves at the position this off-season.

A player they should consider bringing back is Essang Bassey, who is set to become a restricted free agent on March 15. Bassey stepped in last season after starting nickel cornerback K’Waun Williams dealt with several season-long injuries.

The former undrafted rookie free agent held his own and made a case to remain in Denver.

Could Sean Payton add a veteran backup behind Russell Wilson?
This is one of the biggest questions surrounding the Denver Broncos this off-season after Payton was named the team’s head coach in February. With Russell Wilson coming off of a historically bad season production-wise, Denver could look to add a veteran behind him.

Even if Brett Rypien (RFA) returns this off-season, the Broncos should consider adding another QB, preferably a veteran option in the event Wilson struggles again.

With Derek Carr signing with the New Orleans Saints, Jameis Winston could emerge as an option if cut with a post-June 1 designation. Winston could reunite with Payton once again, where the last time the two worked together, the former first overall pick was on a historic pace — throwing for 14 touchdowns compared to three interceptions through seven games before tearing his ACL.

Are the Broncos comfortable with their tight end depth?
As Payton revamps the entire offense this off-season, is he comfortable with the Broncos’ current depth?

Greg Dulcich approaches his second season in the league and demonstrated that he can be a reliable and explosive offensive option as a rookie. Behind him sits Albert Okwuegbunam who is approaching the final year of his rookie contract in Denver.

From a roster-building perspective, Okwuegbunam is not a guaranteed lock for the roster this upcoming season and Dulcich has dealt with two hamstring injuries that have impacted him early on in his young career.

Do Paton and Payton take a chance in this instance without an insurance policy in place?

Veterans Eric Saubert, Eric Tomlinson, and Andrew Beck (fullback/hybrid) are set to become unrestricted free agents. Is it worth bringing two of them back into the fold or looking at some of the other veteran options available like Mike Gesicki, Austin Hooper, and Hayden Hurst?

Payton has always valued having a combination of strong blocking tight ends and players who can impact the passing game in a positive manner.

NFL Free Agency kicks off officially on March 15 at 2:00 p.m. MT while the legal negotiating period begins at 2:00 p.m. MT on March 13.