The 2020 offseason is primed to be one of the most active in history for the Denver Broncos. The team has 12 picks to use in the draft and more than $65 million to tackle free agency with.

We already looked over how the Broncos will address their own free agents here, so let’s look at what veterans John Elway might look to add. Of course, the Broncos won’t add every player off this list, but it’s a great place to start.

Free-agent Targets

Backup Quarterback

Case Keenum (est. value: $3-5 million): If the Broncos decide Brandon Allen doesn’t cut it as their backup, which seems the most probable route, they’ll need to find someone else to serve as insurance behind Drew Lock. A reunion with Case Keenum looks like the best-case scenario.

Keenum had the best season of his career in Pat Shurmur’s offense, and he could use that familiarity with the scheme to help ease Lock’s transition.

A.J. McCarron ($3-5 million): Back when Denver was trapped in what felt like an eternal quarterback purgatory, it was reported that Elway was interested in McCarron as a potential starter.

He didn’t secure the journeymen quarterback then but he could land him now as a quality backup for pretty cheap.

Running back

Derrick Henry ($12-15 million) & Melvin Gordon ($9-12 million): The Broncos clearly don’t believe in Phillip Lindsay as a true workhorse back. Their playcalling and constant rotating of running backs over the past two seasons proves that.

It’s also been rumored this offseason that they’re unhappy with Royce Freeman’s production as their power back. That means the Broncos could look to add a back this offseason that can run between the tackles and take the bulk of the carries.

Melvin Gordon and Derrick Henry could fill that need, but should the Broncos sign a running back to a second contract, and an incredibly pricey one at that?

Probably not, considering that none of the running backs who have recently signed the second contract of their career have played to the value of the contract. Even worse, several of those contracts have been financial disasters for their franchise.

Jordan Howard (<$3 million): A much cheaper option than Henry and Gordon for the Broncos to look at would be Jordan Howard.

Fangio is already familiar with Howard from their time with the Bears. Although Howard has never been able to re-capture the success he had his rookie season, he’s still a solid player that would offer the offense more than Devontae Booker.

Wide Receiver

Amari Cooper ($19-22 million): At this point, it’s a 50/50 proposition on whether or not Amari Cooper will hit the open market. If he does, the Broncos could immediately upgrade their receiver position in a major way.

That being said, they’d have to make him the highest-paid pass-catcher in NFL history, which is a tall order for someone who hasn’t consistently been a top-10 receiver and has never been a top-5 receiver.

Robby Anderson ($11-14 million): Denver is desperate for a speed receiver, which has unsurprisingly entered them in the Henry Ruggs III sweepstakes. Their infatuation with Ruggs is no secret though, and there’s a good chance the speed demon from Alabama is off the board before they pick at 15.

Robby Anderson could be excellent insurance against that and would open up the draft for the Broncos in the first round. Anderson has had off-the-field incidents and has never produced to his ability, but he has the potential to be a legitimate 1b receiver and the perfect compliment to Sutton.

Phillip Dorsett ($3-5 million) & Travis Benjamin ($4-7 million): Like Anderson, Travis Benjamin and Phillip Dorsett could serve as insurance in case the Broncos miss out on Ruggs, though they’re much more affordable policies.

Dorsett appeared to be a bust in his first few years with the Colts but became one of the better receivers among a low-talent bunch in New England. There’s a chance he’s a product of the Patriots, but he has first-round speed and could be the deep threat Denver is missing.

Benjamin is a much better player than Dorsett, but injuries are a concern as he’s been available just 17 games over the past two seasons.

Interior Offensive Line

Joe Thuney ($13-16 million) & Graham Glasgow ($11-14 million): The most important thing for Denver to do this offseason is to make sure Drew Lock has a line to keep him upright and the weapons necessary to ensure his success. Joe Thuney and Graham Glasgow would help check one of those items off, as he’d instantly solidify the interior of Denver’s line.

Thuney has steadily been a top-tier guard for the Patriots, with a clean injury history and he’s young enough to have plenty of success wherever he lands. Glasgow doesn’t have the All-Pro upside of Thuney, but is an impressive player in his own right and is a good bit cheaper.

This year’s bunch of free-agent centers is very weak outside of Connor McGovern, so if the Broncos can’t bring him back they should look to the draft to address the center position, or get creative.

One interesting option: Signing Glasgow or Thuney and moving Dalton Risner to center.

Risner is already incredibly familiar with the center position from his time at Kansas State, and he has the requisite football IQ, so he could fill that need. A free agent could fill the void left by Ronald Leary and the Broncos are apparently confident in Elijah Wilkinson’s ability at guard, so he could take Risner’s spot. That’d give you a pretty strong interior to bolster the run game and support Lock.

Offensive Tackle

Jack Conklin ($16-19 million) & Bryan Bulaga ($12-15 million): The Broncos will have to choose whether they want to sign either a big-name guard or tackle in free agency because signing one of each is too cost-prohibitive. Denver should decide whether they feel better about the draft’s tackle class or guard class, and then address the other position in free agency.

If they decide to target tackles in free agency, Jack Conklin and Bryan Bulaga would be interesting fits.

Conklin was an All-Pro earlier in his career, and he was instrumental in Derrick Henry leading the NFL in rushing yards this season. Injuries are a big concern with him, so much so they’re why the Titans declined his fifth-year option despite his incredible play at a valuable position. If Conklin gets out of Denver’s range, Bulaga would be a cheaper, older, less talented alterative.

Defensive Line

Javon Hargreave ($15-18 million): If the Broncos were to add Javon Hargreave, they would be adding one of the best pass-rushing nose tackles to an already fierce squad of pass rushers. At points, Hargreave has taken over games for the Steelers with his elite run-stuffing and pass-rushing ability for his position.

D.J. Reader ($13-16 million): While Hargreave is an incredible player in his own right, it appears D.J. Reader is the more likely signing for the Broncos. He’s been consistently tied to the team for the past couple of weeks and he would better fill the hole left by Shelby Harris from a position perspective.

Broncos Country should be thrilled with Reader’s addition if it does happen, as he was labeled by’s Chris Wesseling and Gregg Rosenthal as arguably the best nose guard in the league outside of Vita Vea.


Prince Amukamara ($6-9 million): Adding A.J. Bouye put the Broncos out of the Byron Jones market, but that shouldn’t stop them from adding another cornerback. Amukamara is a solid veteran who knows Fangio’s scheme from their time together in Chicago when he was at his best. He also appears to be interested in a reunion with his former Bears coach.

Eli Apple ($8-10 million): As opposed to the safe bet that is Amukamara, Eli Apple is a bit of a gamble. He was a top 10 pick coming out of college but then was shipped out of New York by the Giants for being a locker room problem. He seemed to bounce back in New Orleans, but still has some untapped potential he could reach in Denver.