Hello Broncos Country! Oh my goodness, how exciting has free agency been?! There have been so many interesting trades, and I think Coach McDaniels and the Broncos organization have been doing an awesome job! McDaniels is really getting down to business and making this offseason count! Free Agency officially started on February 27, and from about the first minute, the Broncos started making big plays.
Let’s start off with a rundown of who we’ve acquired so far. I don’t know about you guys, but sometimes I lose track of all the new signings, because there is just so much news coming from every team! So let’s start from the beginning! Our first acquisition was Brian Dawkins from the Philadelphia Eagles, who signed a 2-year contract. Dawkins is a powerhouse safety and has been selected to the Pro Bowl seven times – this is just what our defense needs! The day after signing Dawkins, the Broncos added three more unrestricted free-agents to the roster: Correll Buckhalter, Jabar Gaffney, and Lonie Paxton. Buckhalter is a running back, who also comes from the Philadelphia Eagles. Gaffney is a wide receiver from the New England Patriots, and Paxton is a long snapper, also from the Patriots (so I’m guessing Coach knows a few secrets about these two!!)
Immediately after hearing the announcements of the signings, I simply had to find out a little more about these new players that will be sporting our fabulous orange and blue this fall. And after reading up on them, I am so excited to see what they are going to produce on the field! They are all talented, experienced players of the highest caliber. Buckhalter comes to Denver for his ninth season, having played the first eight with the Eagles. And last season, he played 14 of the 16 games. Gaffney joins Denver in his eighth season, previously playing for New England and the Houston Texans. Gaffney had playing time in all 16 games in 2008, and in 2007, he appeared in every game, assisting the team in reaching the first 16-0 record in NFL history — sounds good to me!! Paxton, also from the Patriots, will join the Broncos for his 10th season. He played 155 games for the Patriots, helping the team win three Super Bowls, six division titles and eight winning seasons out of the nine years he was there. And he has not missed a game in the last five seasons — now that’s a dedicated player!
After signing three offensive players, the Broncos switched their focus to the defensive side of the ball the next day, adding three more players. Andra Davis, linebacker from the Cleveland Browns, will be joining us as he enters his eighth season in the league. Renaldo Hill, safety from the Miami Dolphins, will be in his ninth season as he becomes a Bronco. And Darrell Reid, defensive tackle from Indianapolis, comes to Denver in his fifth year, spending his first four season with the Colts.
But the signings don’t stop there! The next day, the Broncos added two more noteworthy players to the list of acquired free agents: Andre’ Goodman and Ronnie Fields. Goodman is a cornerback who played for the Miami Dolphins and the Detroit Lions. Fields is a defensive tackle from the San Francisco 49ers who joins the Broncos after spending his first four years with the 49ers. And good news here – he played under Mike Nolan, who is now our defensive coordinator!!
And sending the free agent count into double digits, LaMont Jordan becomes the 10th player to be signed by the Broncos in less than a week! Jordan spent three years with the Raiders, four with Jets and last year in New England, making him another new player who is familiar with McDaniels’ system.
Well that sure is an impressive list! I am very excited about all of our new acquisitions, and I think they will bring a very important aspect to the Broncos that we have been lacking – veteran leadership. The Broncos are a young team that is tremendously talented and exceptionally strong. The young energy on the team is most definitely a huge factor in the future success of the Broncos. But with this energy and passion, a team must also have a nucleus of experience and knowledge. When combined, these two dimensions create a perfect balance –- a balance that, throughout history, has been a characteristic of all teams who have achieved truly monumental success. The players we have attained in free agency thus far are all highly respected in their positions, each bringing to the Broncos their own wisdom and leadership and each helping to create that perfect balance here in Denver. I believe all of these players will play a pivotal role in the 2009 season and will be a great complement to Cutler, Marshall, Royal, and many others who make up the young core of this team. I cannot wait to see all the progress this offseason and watch how all of these players work together to become a powerful and motivated team.
I’m sure there will be much more news to come with the rest of free agency, and I can’t wait to see what happens next! What are all of your thoughts on the next moves we should make???
Have a wonderful day!!