The Denver Broncos just made one of the first major moves of the 2020 offseason in an effort to boost their secondary.
Per NFL insider Adam Schefter, the Broncos have acquired Pro Bowl cornerback A.J. Bouye from the Jacksonville Jaguars, and Denver has sent a 2020 fourth-round draft pick to the Jags in return.
Bouye spent three seasons with the Jaguars after playing for the Houston Texans for the first four years of his career. He made the Pro Bowl in 2017, when he had six interceptions and 18 passes defensed on the season. He has had just two interceptions since, so his numbers have been down of late. He’ll be heading to Denver, where defensive-minded head coach Vic Fangio molded the defense into a top 10 unit last year.
The trade will also add to the Jaguars’ enormous amount of draft capital.
Jacksonville Jaguars 2020 NFL Draft: 10 Picks in April
After acquiring the fourth rounder from the Broncos, the Jags now have 10 total draft picks this year, per Schefter, including two in the first round and two in the fourth. Jacksonville’s draft capital will remain hefty in 2021, as well, as the team will have nine total draft picks, also with two in the first in fourth rounds, so the future could be bright in Jacksonville — with solid draft choices, of course.
The trade also leaves Fangio’s squad with another solid veteran option in the secondary.
Denver Broncos Trade for A.J. Bouye: How Will He Impact the Denver Defense?
Trading for Bouye solves an immediate problem in Denver. With star corner Chris Harris facing free agency and likely departing, Fangio was smart to boost his secondary, especially by adding an established veteran like Bouye to the mix. According to Spotrac, Bouye is slated to make $13 million a year for the next two seasons, which is a lot for how little he has produced over the last two seasons, but he should have some play-making opportunities on this Denver defense, and he knows it.
Bouye told Josina Anderson in a phone interview immediately after the trade the he was looking forward to heading to the Mile High City.
“I’m definitely excited because Chris Harris always had good things to say about Denver,” Bouye told Anderson. “I’m about to watch film & look at their scheme some more and really study it. It’s CB friendly. The 3 times I played there the atmosphere & fanbase was amazing.”
The Broncos used the fourth-round pick they acquired from the San Francisco 49ers in the Emmanuel Sanders trade in order to trade for Bouye, essentially giving up a veteran wide receiver for a veteran corner.
The deal will become official on March 18, when the 2020 NFL season begins.