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Published on 02/16/2009 at Mon Feb 16 12:19.
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There is no doubt that in this offseason Denver will need to look into free agency to fill that new three man line. Even though I am a much bigger fan of the draft there are just too many needs in that Denver D that the draft can’t satisfy alone. Fortunately, there are some great free agent acquisitions to be made in this offseason. Here is a list a some that should be on Denver’s radar:

2008 Statistics


Chris Canty  
Team: Dallas Cowboys
Position: Defensive End
Height: 6-7
Weight: 304
Age: 26
Games Started: 16
Tackles: 37
Sacks: 3.0
Pass Defended: 5
Prospective Grade: B: Chris Canty is the ideal 3-4 DE when it comes down to size. His production is only average if a little above for a DE (If you don’t agree check out Richard Seymour). Canty could compliment Marcus Thomas well and provide a great deal of depth to the defensive line. Imagine having a starting defensive line where the smallest guy is Marcus Thomas at 303 pounds.
Mr. East’s Wishlist: Yes – Canty has a minimal to no injury problem and has always been a solid starter.






Julius Peppers
Team: Carolina Panthers
Position: Defensive End/OLB
Height: 6-7
Weight: 287
Age: 29
Games Started: 16
Tackles: 51
Sacks: 14.5
Pass Defended: 5
Prospective Grade: A: Julius Peppers is a monster on the field, there is no questioning that. This man beast has averaged out 10 sacks a season for the past seven. He has had more passes defended as a DE than Marquand Manuel did as a safety. However, Peppers sees the success of sack monsters like DeMarcus Ware and Shawne Merriman and is now sick of being on the defensive line and he wishes to step back a few yards to the OLB position. One of the questions is, does Peppers have the speed? Peppers fastest 40 time was a 4.68 in his rookie year, Ware once ran a 4.56 and Merriman a 4.6. With that time his speed is close to par with the others, but can he play the position? That can only be answered once the season begins.
Mr. East’s Wishlist: No – Peppers will break the bank and possibly could not be worth the money if he’s not as productive in the 3-4 system.






Gabe Watson
Team: Arizona Cardinals
Position: Defensive Line
Height: 6-3
Weight: 332
Age: 25
Games Started: 16
Tackles: 20
Sacks: 1
Prospective Grade: B+: What happens if B.J. Raji and Ron Brace both fall out of Denver’s reach come draft day? Quick! Think fast! It’s okay, hopefully they’ll be smart enough to sign Gabe Watson by then.
Mr. East’s Wishlist: Yes – Gabe Watson is young and full of potential, which is exactly what Denver needs right now. He however may cost a pretty penny due to that little Super Bowl run the Cardinals had. At age 25 Denver would be foolish to at least try to land this restricted free agent.






C.J. Mosley
Team: New York Jets
Position: Defensive End
Height: 6-2
Weight: 305
Age: 25
Games Started: 1
Tackles: 17
Sacks: 1.5
Prospective Grade: C: C.J. Mosley has provided depth to the New York Jets defensive line for four seasons now, but thats about it. His production is dull and he’s only started 5 games in his career. His size, youth, and experience in the 3-4 may intrigue a inexpensive contract.
Mr. East’s Wishlist: Undetermined – C.J. has potential, but I’m tired of watching unproven defensive players make millions for lackluster production. If Mosley can be brought in for cheap then you won’t find me complaining.






Mike Wright
Team: New England Patriots
Position: Defensive End
Height: 6-4
Weight: 295
Age: 26
Games Started: 2
Tackles: 28
Sacks: 2.5
Prospective Grade: B: Mike Wright may not have a lot of starts under his belt, but thats pretty hard to do with you play on the same line as Richard Seymour and Vince Wilfork. Even though he registered just 2 starts last year he had playing time in all 16 games and provided great depth to the rotation in New England. His production can be questioned, his only sacks last season came in 3 games that were all blowouts (i.e. Denver, Oakland, and Arizona).
Mr. East’s Wishlist: Yes – Hopefully McDaniels will want to bring a familiar face to the defense. Mike Wright is young and has great experience in the 3-4 defense Denver will probably be employing this upcoming season.


What do you think Denver fans? Any of these players look appealing? Air it out!

  • KMA

    Canty would be my first choice, Watson my 2nd. I was unaware of Mike Wright, he sounds like he could be catch too! I totally agree with the Peppers analysis, he will be paid way too much and and I think, under-perform.

  • mikebirty

    as far as i’m concerned there aren’t any FA defensive players that could possibly make the Broncos worse, we’re just talking about various levels of improvements. Even a bank-breaking unproductive Peppers is going to be an improvement. same as with drafting on defense – there’s really no way the defense can get worse – can it???

    Ok maybe if Big Sam Adams came back.

  • broncobobmeridian

    whats are cap #

  • Bleading O&B

    Mikebirty I am in total agreement there is no way our D could get worse… I think last years D would have been up there with the worst D teams in history… 3rd and 20 = 1st down lol… I would love to see Peppers in Denver that guy lives in the back field and will be a major difference maker… Canty would also be a great fit we could bring in both of these guys and if they stay healthy are D will be better. Manualuga from USC is who I hope we draft the guy has a bad A## attitude which Denver could use on D.

  • Bleading O&B

    I think Peppers will get better in the 3-4 he has more size and strength than Ware and Juice Merriman and is almost as fast… The guy is an absolute freak!! look for him to have over 15 sacks playing OLB… If Jarvous Moss can stay healthy him and Dummervil could share the other side. I think this would strike fear into QBs playing Denver… We will still need safety help but a good pass rush makes bad safety play ok!

  • Bleading O&B

    Here is my Dream starting D 3-4
    3= Canty, Ron Brace , Thomas
    4= Peppers, DJ, Ray Manualuga, Jarvous Moss(Dummervil)
    DB= Champ, Bly, Mcree, and either a FA or 3rd round Drfaft pick

    What is everyones thoughts on this starting 11

  • (dee)

    Great choices Mr. East , I love the insight you bring. Also I was happy to see you selected players in their mid 20’s and not the traditional bronco trend of bringing in players in their mid 30s

  • CJ

    absolutely Dee it would make no sense to bringing in defensive players that only have 1 to 2 years left when we should be using our cap on youth. Much like our offense!

  • NathanH

    Hopefully we can bring in 1 or two of these guys. I’ve read some stuff that Brace lets nagging injuries keep him out and he struggled with back problems last year. That scares me a lot from a guy with his size. If we can’t get Raji, I think our #1 FA priority needs to be Gabe Watson. With out a NT, we can’t run the 3-4.

    If we don’t get Raji, i’m hoping we land Maybin or maybe Orakpo or Brown, that would fill the other OLB spot, leaving Peppers out of our FA.

    If we could get Canty and Watson, along with Maybin and an ILB and Saftey in the 2nd and 3rd that can contribute i’d be thrilled.

    Maybin?-DJ-2nd rounder-Moss
    Champ-crap-3rd rounder-?(not dre hopefully-cut him)

    I’d really like us to get Jim Leonhard somehow in FA too. I think a few other teams will definatly be interested in him, but the Ravens already have Ed Reed and want to keep Landry(and RFA) at saftey and will probably let him go. He had a good playoff stretch but didn’t have much PT before so he won’t be that expensive hopefully.

    We need to bring in a minimum of 5 new guys right now to start in offeason which is gonna be hard to do if we sign to big of a name. If we landed Canty, an ILB, Leonhard, Watson, and Maybin i’d be shocked though so we’ll see. Its at least a 2 year process which sucks because someone like Boss may still start in the inside next year.

  • Garrett Barnes

    I like Gabe Watson and would love to get him depending on how he is tendered. If he is tendered for a third rounder than I will have to jump but anything higher and I just wouldn’t feel good about it.

  • MikeY55

    bleading O&B u would put an extremly under productive semi undersized end starting at OLB over an over producing undersized as the starter commmonn nman Dumervil over moss anyday!!! besides that would be a decent d-fence… me personally i think we should load the camp roster with possible NT’s because they are so hard to find keep the ones worth keep cut the ones not but its a position that needs to be filled if we have achance at a 3-4…bring in watson (doubt arizona lets him go unless former 2nd round pick and college teamate of watson alan branch lives up to expectations) draft bj raji AND ron brace haha i know i know but why not… let them duke it out

  • Jason M

    NO, NO, NO. Gabe Watson was the ONLY name worth mentioning on this post and he would be a NT. Denver has Marcus Thomas, and then you could add a draftee or CHEAP FA to play the other DE. The 3 POSITIONS in a 3-4 that are of the upmost importance are the 2 OLBs and the NT. Denver has Dumervil who can come off the edge but that is about it. To put Julius Peppers on this list is an insult to him. Chris Canty is going to be looking for that last contract to get paid. Here is a list of guys Denver should be pursuing.

    Kendrick Allen, can play the NT and is from Minnesota

    Grady Jackson, is a good vet who we could get fairly cheap

    Two home town boys in Clark Haggins, and Marquis Harris from Pit and the Chargers respectively. And on draft day we need to draft William Moore with the 12th pick, then get Brace in the 2nd round. We do not need to be messing around with DE/DT position in a 3-4 when the we have basically NOBODY at the 3 most important positions, NT and the two outside LBs. I would not mind lining up next year with Ron Brace at NT, Thomas, and a rookie or FA at DE, DJ and Woodyard in the middle, any combo of Haggins, Dumervil, Harris, or Moss (if he can step up) at OLB, William Moore, Josh Barrett at safeties and Champ and Dre at corner.

  • Joe

    Hey by the way, according to, Denver has released six players today. Heres the list.

    ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Broncos on Monday announced the release of the following six players: John Engelberger, Nate Jackson, Niko Koutouvides, Marquand Manuel, DeWayne Robertson and Jamie Winborn.

  • Danish

    Nate and Winborn are the only players i would’ve liked to take into camp. The others are either too old, doesn’t fit the new D-scheme or helplessly bad.

  • Bleading O&B

    Jason M… I have seen Moore dropping to the 2nd round he had a terrible senior bowl. taking him at 12 would be a reach

  • Mr.East

    William Moore with the 12th pick? Are you insane? His stock has dropped all the way to the second round. Did you not see him get owned at the Senior Bowl? Gabe Watson is the only name worth mentioning? So as a GM and or head coach you don’t think it’s important to explore more than one option? Seriously man, it’s important to do your homework.

  • merc22

    with those releases, denver has the money to get some solid players. i want to get canty and wright listed above

  • David Kircus Made My Tuna Melt Sub

    Don’t forget James Sanders. Great post!!

  • broncoNM

    Yup. I was high on W Moore a couple of months ago but his stock is dropping… Fast… he will most likely be available in rd 2 if we even want to take a chance on him then. I am interested in James sanders and Mike Wright. Ill admit i dont know much about either of them but they seem like good prospects. I think Canty would be a good fit and we would not break the bank on him. I didnt realize he was 26 yrs old, For some reason i thought he was older. With the amount of cap room we have its hard not to get excited about Free Agency starting the 27th. Good info!

  • jchase8410

    I would absolutely like to see Peppers in orange and blue. He is a freak of nature, and has the skillset to play OLB..nay, dominate at OLB. if we had Peppers rushing off the edge, the front 3 just have to be able to hold up the O-line, and I’m positive we can draft a few big guys on draft day. As far as safety goes, Barrett will be just fine and we should draft Louis Delmas

  • Ian Henson

    Where’s Haynesworth my man? Peppers is someone that I like and I know that you’d disagree, there just isn’t really an excuse to not pick up a super star that’s in his prime and willing to come to Denver….

  • Mr.East

    Haha I knew I was going to hear that. I don’t want Denver going near Haynesworth, he’d cost too much money and most contract year DL guys usually don’t perform well once they’ve signed with their next team.

  • Jason M

    Bottom line we need a safety here. The Senoir Bowl is one game, he flat out performed all season. Gabe Watson was not the only name I mentioned. Kendrick Allen, and Grady Jackson as two others that came to mind. I did not mention Julius Peppers as a 3-4 DE and to put him there as I said is an insult. I also mentioned Clark Haggins, and Marquis Harris. The point of the post was simply that the discussion turned into who is going to play DE/DT and the truth of the matter is with Marcus Thomas, and just about anyone else we will be fine at the DE/DT position. The THREE MOST IMPORTANT POSITIONS IN A 3-4 are the NT and two OLB’s. The DE/DTs are a little further down on the list. Gabe Watson is a RESTRICTED FA, so here are some names and positions they could play for you, and for the record these are UFAs so we would not have to pay through the nose to get them. Shaun Cody, and Tank Johnson as your DE/DT Damane Duckett, Colin Cole, and Grady Jackson at NTs. All UFAs, all could do well in Denver. Sign them and do not waste a ton of money on ONE guy.

  • IndyBroncoFan

    Please give us Canty & Watson!!!! Wright as a backup would be good too. Stay as far from Peppers as possible! We need young guys that we can build with at a fair price & Peppers isn’t any of those!

  • BroncoFan4Ever

    My dream team with FA acquisitions and 1st/2nd rd draft picks are:

    M. Thomas (LDE)
    T. Crowder(RDE)

    Maualuga(MLB) (1st rd)
    C.Crowder(MLB) (FA)
    DJ Williams(ROLB)

    J Williams(RCB)

    Barrett (S)
    W Moore (S) (2nd Rd) – – may have to package late picks to move up

  • BroncoFan4Ever


    M. Thomas (LDE)
    R Brace (NT) (2nd rd)
    T. Crowder (RDE)

    Maualuga(MLB) (1st rd)
    C.Crowder(MLB) (FA)
    DJ Williams(ROLB)

    Asomugha (LCB)
    J Williams(RCB)

    Bailey (S)
    Barrett (S)

  • TAS

    How about Igor Olshansky or Kedric Golston?

  • BroncoFan4Ever

    I like the possibility of going after Dunta Robinson as well

  • MileHigh55

    I like the picks but I would like to add Antonio Smith of AZ with Canty and Watson , Wright looks promising. Canty , Watson , Smith would give us a line on the average of 6-6 and 310 lbs across the front. I do believe we need to bring in FA Safety and CB.
    I also think that if Denver can get what it needs to build our Defense in Free Agency that we take a RB in the first or trade down and gain a 2nd or 3rd pick. Yes there is a lot of Defensive talent in the draft but think about it. We have the LB’s to go 3-4 DJ , Elvis , Moss , Boss when healthy , Larsen , Woodyard , our D line needs the help. We can get that in FA to just a matter of being willing to gamble in FA.

  • MileHigh55

    I for got one other D Line player Igor Olshansky DE from the Chargers we have his D Line coach as well. Igor runs 6-5 300 lbs range . So my free agent D Line pick ups or go afters is
    Igor Olshansky, Chargers / Chris Canty, Cowboys / Gabe Watson, Cardinals / Antonio Smith, Cardinals then look at Mike Wright, Patriots and CJ Mosley, Jets .

  • Mr.East

    Olshansky has a terrible year and I don’t like the thought of signing a declining Charger.

  • MileHigh55

    Olshansky stats declined last year because he missed 3 games. I here Ron Bartell Rams and Bryant McFadden Steelers are high on Denver’s list for CB replacements.
    So Mr East I guess my other D Line pickups have your approval.

  • Mr.East

    I’m still on the fence about Bartell, but I am sold on McFadden if he can stay healthy. It’s going to be interesting to see what Denver does this offseason.

  • MileHigh55

    Just looking at the Bronco roster and saw we cut 13 have 9 free agents 2 restricted free agents , Tom Nalen will retire if he is smart. So that comes to a total of 22 players leaving the team minus the 2 RFA. Wow are the Broncos gonna be a new team this year or what.
    McFadden coming in would be nice , coming from the 3-4 defense he would be so helpful.
    How about Derrick Ward RB Giants we get him don’t have to draft a RB this year.
    How about Channing Crowder LB from Miami some say he could be a good pickup for Denver. I say staying away from the Haynesworth and Peppers type players would be best for Denver.