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Published on 03/21/2012 at Wed Mar 21 12:02.
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Bunkley in 2011. (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)

Brodrick Bunkley was perhaps the largest factor in the Denver Broncos‘ 2011 defensive turnaround, literally and figuratively.

He won’t be a Denver Bronco in 2012.

The freshly-suspended New Orleans Saints have signed Bunkley to a five-year deal worth $25 million, according to multiple reports.

The Broncos will have to add DT depth in the draft and free agency, as well as relying on Ty Warren to be healthy this year. Bunkley’s departure leaves the Broncos with a massive hole to fill.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t understand why Bunk would leave for a team that just got hit with major fines.  I guess he doesn’t want to play for a good team this year.

  • Anonymous

    Daw, horsefeathers!

  • Anonymous

    Ugh! I let go my disagreements with the Manning signing and was actually glad to have him yesterday.

    This just smells too much like the Colts though. All focused on the offensive side. Not good when your QB’s kryptonite is the playoffs.

  • dbroncs24/7

    WTF! our front office screwed the pooch. Our defense just got significantly worse, Bunk was our only good DT looks like secondary is now the second massive hole on our D 

  • Mokptt

     ouch this hurts

  • Anonymous

    Wow.

    This is a HUGE blow. Kevin Vickerson is the only starting DT on the roster right now.

  • Fan From Spain

    WTF…

  • Dbuckj

    We’re actually f***d now….

  • Anonymous

    $5 million a year for a DT that was good in rush defense but bad in pass rush, take him. There are still some good ones out there to bring in. Derek Landri, Pat Sims, Amobi Okoye. We still need to draft a DT. But if we’re wanting to play defense with a lead, we’re going to need a pass rushing DT since opposing teams will likely pass more.

  • kerrry

    lol. hey lets get Tebow back. im sure as awesome and as great as everyone on here says he is, he can single handedly solve our run stopping woes in one solid motion.

    why is everyone freaking out about this? Bunkley was good not great, decent run stuffer but couldnt get to the QB as a DT. the draft has alot of good DT’s this year and not just one but could be had in the first 3 rounds. guys like Devon Still and maybe Michael Brockers at 25, perhaps even Fletcher Cox (doubtful but hopefully) could be had. then guys like Marcus Forston and Tydreke Powell could be had later. alot of DT depth and with us solving the QB issue and having WR’s and a young O-line, Elway and Fox can focus on rebuilding the D-line’s interior.

  • Anonymous

    KEVIN VICKERSON IS THE ONLY DT LEFT!

    This a problem that wont be fixed this year, and probably not next.

    One great DT does not fix your woes, and Denver doesn’t even have one.

  • Anonymous

    Not for that money they didn’t.  He only played like 43% of the snaps last year.   I like him, but not for that amount. 

  • Ninjaix

    Bunk was good not great and got paid big with the Saints he wasnt worth that to the Broncos and although it hurts its not the worst thing. Bring in Amobi Okoye resign Marcus Thomas pick up the best DT available at 25 then look for another with the 2 fourths that we now have maybe package them to jump back into the fourth and grab a DT that has slipped through the cracks we will be just fine.

  • CJ

    Got Ty Warren

  • Anonymous

    I guess I am confused by what you are saying.  How can this problem not be fixed this year?  Are you thinking we are not going after a DT in the draft?  IMO Bunkely was good, but was somebody we could easily replace if he left for another team.  From what I have read he only played in like 43% of the snaps last year (not quite sure it is true).  I could understand if he had an all-pro season last year, but was average at best.  I feel that he can easily be replaced.  Maybe you hold him in higher regard.  Not trying to be smart a**, but was curious why you thought the way you did. 

  • dbroncs24/7

    He’s the only sure tackling run stopper we had and we can easily afford 5 mil a year, if we would’ve paired him with a young DT in the draft (Worthy, Still, Cox) it would have increased his value as well.

  • kerrry

    dude Denver hasnt had a great Dt in how many years? Bunkley wasnt great by any stretch of the imagination.

    so Vickerson, Marcus Thomas is still there right? so is Ty Warren i believe. so thats not one its three. and both Abryao Franklin and Shaun Rogers are free agents. we could sign noth fat asses and stick them there. im sorry my man but Bunkley wasnt a difference maker last year. not saying anyone we draft or sign will be better but certainly Bunkley is replaceable. plus the draft.

  • Man_one

    Marcus thomas is a free agent.

    Ty Warren is listed as a DE. We also have Mitch Unrein on contract and Ryan McBean tendered as a restricted free agent.

  • kerrry

    ok i wasnt sure about Thomas. no big loss there either.

  • Man_one

    *****INITIATE EMERGENCY ALL DEFENSIVE TACKLE DRAFT*****

    1) Michael Brockers, LSU
    Just how I like ‘em, big and sloppy. Suh-like potential.
    2) Brandon Thompson, Clemson
    Eat up double teams. Stops the run.
    3) Mike Martin, Michigan
    Relentless motor. Consistent pocket pressure.
    4) Jared Crick, Nebraska
    Notched 9 sacks as a Sophomore and as a Junior. Missed most of this year due to a pectoral tear. Has short arms :/
    4) Dajohn Harris, USC
    Gets good presure on qb’s. Good ability to jump snaps.
    5) Malik Jackson, Tennessee
    Super long arms. Ability to consistently get in the backfield.
    6) Jaye Howard, Florida
    Great athlete. Strong and fast.

    Obviously this is assuming the Jets trade goes through.

  • Cdub12344321

    This is messing us up in the draft because let’s not forget we still need a backup Qb. I don’t know if there will be enough talent left this year at Qb worth taking going by the position is sort of dry this year, well Atleast to me. What you think broncos?

  • Man_one

    Ryan Lindley SDSU in the 6th round

  • Man_one

    Ryan Lindley SDSU in the 6th round

  • Man_one

    And I forgot a fifth round pick……. Ummmmmmm Travian Robertson South Carolina gamecocks.

  • Man_one

    And I forgot a fifth round pick……. Ummmmmmm Travian Robertson South Carolina gamecocks.

  • Meh

     WTF INDEED! SERIOUSLY WTF!

    This isn’t a lot of money for a player of this caliber.  This is ridiculous.

  • Meh

     WTF INDEED! SERIOUSLY WTF!

    This isn’t a lot of money for a player of this caliber.  This is ridiculous.

  • yohoo

    huh, I thought every FA/RFA, rookie,veteran and teenager was going to flock to play for free with the Broncos after Pey-Pey signed and wins us 2-3 Superbowlssss ! ! !

    guess not.

  • Robertsheaven81106

    the broncos need a couple of  middle linebackers also  and we need tebow back as well  and speed at wide reciever  go for wallach

  • Man_one

    I like this. We need to bring in Landri and Okoye now! And still draft a dt in the first round.

  • Man_one

    Yup……

  • Anonymous

    Agreed, this is a serious problem.

  • http://broncotalk.net Monty

    Ty Warren … (hasn’t played a snap since ’09, but still)

  • Tom9798

    Big loss! . . . guess we were pre-occupied . . . time to focus.

  • Anonymous

    I have to agree that it isn’t as big a problem as some think. Sure I was hoping he would stay also but I don’t think its all that devastating. With the win now mentality that has been adopted I’m betting dollars for dough-nuts that they address this situation for sure!!!

  • Mikey55

    Any news on Matt prater long term or re signing Mario haggan or Marcus Thomas?

  • http://thingsatrexdoes.tumblr.com Mike Birtwistle

    Bunkley was the best tackle Denver has had in a decade!!!!!

    Although when you look at the competition, I am inclined to agree with you ;)

    He was a good player but it reflects on how bad the defensive line has been for a long time when a good player suddenly looks like all-world just because he’s standing in the shaddow of Sam Adams et al.

  • http://thingsatrexdoes.tumblr.com Mike Birtwistle

    Said it before and I’ll say it again – when was the last off season that Defensive Tackle NOT a major issue for the Broncos?