Late in the offseason, some strong free agents remain available. With the Denver Broncos in win-now mode, there are a few intriguing options that the front office could take a look at.
On an episode of the Broncos for Breakfast podcast, Mile High Huddle’s Nick Kendell listed defensive end Carlos Dunlap as a potential fit for the Broncos.
“I’m looking for a power edge type still. Somebody that has some versatility that can kick inside.”
He liked Dunlap’s fit in nickel and dime packages.
“If you want to play four guys along the line of scrimmage and still be really good as far as your length and ability to set the edge to get more coverage, smaller on the back end, and more speed, that’s someone who sticks out to me.”
ALL the latest Broncos news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Broncos newsletter here!
Dunlap Has Proven Himself to Be a Consistent Pass Rusher
Over the past decade, Dunlap may not be the biggest name among defensive ends, but he has proven himself to be one of the most consistent game-wreckers. Dunlap has recorded at least six sacks in each of the last 10 seasons.
In addition, Dunlap has recorded the eighth-most sacks in the NFL since entering the league in 2010 (96) trailing only Von Miller, Chandler Jones, Cameron Jordan, Justin Houston, J.J. Watt, Robert Quinn, and Aaron Donald.
As a pass rusher, Dunlap has shown no signs of slowing down at age 33. Last season, he had 8.5 sacks, which was his fourth-highest mark in an individual season, despite playing a career-low 481 snaps.
To put that into perspective, Dunlap’s career-high in snaps was 944. Last season, he was on pace for 16.5 sacks over 944 snaps.
In 2019, Dunlap was one of the best run defenders in the NFL, as he posted a PFF run defense grade of 89.0. He did not quite reach that level last season, but he was still good posting a PFF run defense grade of 72.8.
Can the Broncos Afford Dunlap?
This is a big question. There is no doubt that Dunlap would be an excellent addition to the Broncos’ defensive line, but Dunlap could be searching for a deal out of the Broncos’ price range.
Per Spotrac, the Broncos have $11.25 million in estimated cap space (top 51). So, if Dunlap is searching for a deal on par with his previous contract ($6.8 million annually), the Broncos should have enough cap space to sign him.
Competition is another factor here, but that may also be in the Broncos’ favor. The Seahawks are unlikely to re-sign the 33-year-old veteran, as they are kicking off a rebuild. The fact that Dunlap remains unsigned is telling.
The Broncos can offer Dunlap a chance to play a large role for a contending team. On paper, joining the Broncos could be the best option for Dunlap.
Signing Dunlap would be a win for both sides.