The Denver Broncos could face a tough decision next offseason, as edge rusher Bradley Chubb will be set to hit free agency.
In 2018, Chubb had a phenomenal rookie season, as he recorded 12.0 sacks and 36 pressures. Chubb appeared to be destined to be one of the best edge rushers in the game for years to come.
However, he has struggled with injuries over the past three seasons, and he has not been able to return to that elite level of production. He tore his ACL in 2019, and he suffered three different ankle injuries over the last two seasons.
This season, Chubb is fully healthy for the first time since his rookie year, and his play will have a massive impact on his free-agent value. If he can put together another productive season, he could raise his value immensely, but if he struggles, once again, teams could be hesitant to invest significant cap space in him.
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Broncos: Analyst Projects Chubb’s Value
On July 16, Mile High Huddle’s Bob Morris broke down Chubb’s potential value. He used Randy Gregory and Bud Dupree as reference points. Like Chubb, Gregory and Dupree have a lot of talent, but they have struggled to stay on the field in recent years.
“One might think a contract similar to Randy Gregory would represent the low end for Chubb, but Gregory has missed more games than Chubb,” Morris wrote. “While Gregory’s deal isn’t without risk, he’s getting just $28M fully guaranteed, while other edge rushers have received more.”
“Dupree then had eight sacks and 28 pressures that year, which ended after 11 games because of a torn ACL,” Morris continued. “However, the Tennessee Titans gave Dupree $33.75M in fully guaranteed money on a five-year, $82.5M contract. It’s hard to see Chubb taking less money than Dupree on a new contract. If Chubb has a quality season, particularly if he approaches 35 pressures and double-digit sacks, it will be hard for the Broncos to get him to take less money than Dupree.”
Broncos: Analyst Predicts Chubb to Sign $90 Million Deal
Morris predicted Chubb to sign a five-year, $90 million deal with $35 million guaranteed.
“Should Chubb have a quality season, I would expect he’ll be in line for at least a five-year deal worth $90M, or $18M APY,” Morris wrote. “He could be in line for $35M in fully guaranteed money, which was what Harold Landry got for his extension with the Titans. The Broncos should be able to manage a cap hit for the first year of that deal while still keeping Gregory in 2023.”
According to Spotrac, the Broncos are projected to have only $114,583 in cap space next offseason (top 51). So, they will have to make some moves to create space to re-sign Chubb.
Guard Graham Glasgow is a player to watch. The Broncos could open up an additional $11 million in 2023 cap space by cutting Glasgow.
Base salary restructures for Justin Simmons, Garett Bolles, and Randy Gregory are options, as well.