With free agency rapidly approaching, it’s no secret that with a lot of cap space, the Broncos will be looking to vastly improve the team. Two points of weakness for the team last year were on the line, both offensive and defensive.
In terms of offensive and defensive production, both units ranked in the bottom five of pass-blocking and run defense, respectively.
Whitworth has been more than a serviceable player for Cincinnati over his career. Despite being 35 years of age, Whitworth is coming off of back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons, with a First Team All-Pro performance in 2015.
A Whitworth signing would free up the Broncos’ options at the tackle position. Placing Whitworth on the right side of the line would be an immediate upgrade over its current options. Solidifying the right tackle position would allow former second round pick Ty Sambrailo to slide inside at guard.
With Cincinnati looking to move on to their younger talent at tackle, Whitworth will almost certainly seek a championship contender to close out his career.
At age 35, a Whitworth contract would most likely only consist of a one-year deal, with the possibility of a second year team option. In that time, it would allow Sambrailo to continue to develop into a natural tackle. Should Denver use one of its draft picks on a tackle this year, Sambrailo could stay at guard as the perspective drafted player develops.
On the defensive side of the ball, a signing of Calais Campbell would give Denver an immediate impact in both run defense and pass rush.
Campbell has been a solid starter his entire career with the Arizona Cadinals, and continued to have success last year. Campbell, playing the defensive tackle position, registered eight sacks in 2016.
Signing Campbell away from Arizona would allow Denver to potentially part ways with Sylvester Williams. A possible defensive front for Denver would be Derek Wolfe and Campbell at both defensive ends, while putting a veteran like Vance Walker at nose tackle.
Re-signing Walker would be a less expensive, yet effective option at nose tackle or defensive end.
Campbell, still seeking his first Super Bowl, would be enticed to play on the same elite defense as superstars like Von Miller and the No Fly Zone. Further motivation could come in the chance for the Denver native to play for his hometown team.
Like Whitworth, Campbell will likely be willing to take less money to play for a playoff contender.
Since being named the Broncos general manager, John Elway has been an avid seeker of veteran players who can make an immediate impact. It is often said that football is played and won in the trenches.
Denver could take a huge step towards returning to the Super Bowl, while cementing two of their biggest areas of need, if they were able to land both Whitworth and Campbell.