NFL Analyst Says Broncos Could be Major Players on Trade Market

As the Denver Broncos finally get healthy at cornerback, analysts say the team should be active on the trade market -- perhaps for star wideout help.

NFL Analyst Says Broncos Could be Major Players on Trade Market

When the Denver Broncos finally re-insert starting cornerback Ronald Darby back into the lineup, they’ll have a nice and interesting problem on their hands.

Darby, who is arguably the team’s best outside corner, is eligible to return to action after sustaining a hamstring injury on the last series of the September 12 season opener at the New York Giants. He was forced to miss at least three weeks of action after being placed on short-term IR just days after getting injured.

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Darby was eligible to play against at the Pittsburgh Steelers, October 10, but was on the inactive list and didn’t even suit up to play.


Positional Glut

Once the veteran finally returns, the Broncos (3-2) will have four starter-worthy players at cornerback — Darby, Kyle Fuller, slot maven Bryce Callahan, and star rookie Patrick Surtain II. And with the 2021 NFL trade deadline upcoming, November 2, 2021, teams will certainly be interested in nabbing one of the veterans. Surtain II is most likely off limits, unless he’s offered up for a certain quarterback in Wisconsin.

One prognosticator feels the Broncos would be prime to move one of the cornerbacks, should there be an offer the team can’t refuse.

Jeremy Fowler, of ESPN.com, said Denver had already received offers for both Fuller and Callahan during the summer. Fowler continued, saying the Broncos’ asking prices were too high for inquirers, as they were reportedly seeking third or fourth rounders for the vets, per his sources. When Darby was injured in the Giants’ game, Fowler noted, trade talks soon died — but now that the former Florida State star is healthy, Fowler believes talks could re-heat.

According to Fowler, there are “several teams” who have be keeping a watchful eye on the cornerback trade market in recent months. He included teams like the Seattle Seahawks, Buffalo Bills, Houston Texans, and both New York-area squads, the Giants and Jets.

Injuries across the league is what has piqued interest from corner-needy teams, said Fowler, and the Broncos could be attractive because of their excess talent at the position, and because of the expiring contracts of both Fuller and Callahan. Including bonuses on the year, the former is making $9.5 million in 2021, while the latter, including bonuses, is making $8.5 million. Both are slated to be free agents in 2022.


Blockbuster Trade Scenario

One trade scenario is a win-win between the Broncos and an NFC North squad — and, no, it’s not with the Green Bay Packers, and, no, it doesn’t involve quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Sorry, Broncos Country.

But, as Brian Mazique said on his YouTube show, “I’m Just Saying With Brian Mazique,” this particular trade proposal would still make the fan base happy. Chicago Bears star wideout Allen Robinson is sitting in limbo, both on the field, as he’s trying to raise a rookie quarterback on the fly, and contractually. A deal involving the former Pro Bowl wideout makes too much sense for both franchises. The Bears have yet to lock up Robinson long term, while Denver has depth at cornerback, which is a need for the Bears.

 

Robinson, who is set to hit the open market in 2022, would be a great addition to a Broncos’ passing attack that’s been thinning out in recent weeks. The Broncos have been without wideout Jerry Jeudy since he injured his ankle in the 2021 season opener at the Giants, while KJ Hamler is out for the season with a torn ACL that he suffered two weeks later against the Jets. Jeudy is still weeks away, according to head coach Vic Fangio.

Top wideout Courtland Sutton looks to be rounding into form, if his 2021 Week 5 performance was any indication. And Tim Patrick essentially catches everything. But after those veterans, the depth chart is thin at receiver. Robinson would be a boon to the Broncos’ offense.

Robinson’s price tag in 2022 will certainly be high, if he becomes an unrestricted free agent, and he’s slotted to earn $17.9 million in 2021 — a big chunk that currently eats up nearly 10% of the Bears’ salary cap — but the Broncos could certainly afford the addition, as they’re roughly $18 million under the 2021 salary cap.

Getting Robinson will be more costly than just salary, however, as the Broncos would have to likely part with one of the aforementioned cornerbacks, not named Surtain II. It’s something that is a bit pricey, but if the Broncos want to lift its sagging passing attack, they’ve got to give up talent to get talent.

Follow Tony Williams on Twitter: @TBone8