Broncos Trade Outside Linebacker to Steelers for Draft Pick: Report

Malik Reed

Getty Malik Reed of the Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos general manager George Paton loves to make moves and he just made a big one. The Broncos have traded outside linebacker Malik Reed to the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to Reed’s agent Mike McCarthy.

According to Mike Klis of 9News, the Broncos will be getting a 6th-round pick in return for the 2023 NFL Draft. Pittsburgh will also receive a 7th-round pick from Denver.

Klis also reported that multiple teams were interested in the 26-year-old pass rusher once the Broncos placed him on the trade block.

During his time in Denver, Reed totaled up 15 sacks with 13 of them coming over the past two seasons. The former undrafted free agent led the Broncos in sacks during the 2020 season with eight. Reed has also forced three fumbles including one against former Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger last season.

The former Bronco also hit the quarterback 30 times during his young career with 123 tackles with 15 of them going for a loss.

By trading Reed, Denver has created$2.43 million in cap space.

Denver Needs Draft Picks

The Broncos only own five draft picks for the 2023 NFL Draft. Denver doesn’t have picks in the first two rounds either because they sent them to Seattle in their trade for quarterback Russell Wilson.

Paton has always made it known that he wants to have 10 draft picks during the draft because it gives him more flexibility to move up and down the draft board. It also allows him to throw more darts.

Adding a six-round pick for Reed gives Paton and the Broncos more value to possibly move around in the draft come April.

Don’t be shocked if Paton continues to make more moves by the end of the week. Denver still needs to add some more depth at the defensive line and cornerback positions.

Broncos Are Banking on Their Pass Rushers

Even though Denver’s leading sack leader was Shelby Harris a year ago with six sacks and is no longer a Bronco, the Paton and the coaching staff are happy at where they’re at with their pass rushers.

Bradley Chubb and Randy Gregory are both returning from injuries and are expected to start against the Seattle Seahawks on opening night.

Chubb suffered an ankle injury last season, but returned for the final seven games of the 2021 season. The former Pro Bowler didn’t sack the quarterback once after totaling up 7.5 sacks the previous season in 14 games.

Denver picked up Chubb’s fifth-year option which guarantees his full salary this season of $12.7 million, but that means Chubb is playing on the final year of his rookie contract. Chubb and the Broncos are all betting on him this season.

The Broncos are also gambling on their newly acquired edge rusher Randy Gregory. The former Dallas Cowboy underwent an arthroscopic procedure on his rotator cuff. Gregory missed most of all of training camp while rehabbing his shoulder.

“It was something I’ve been dealing with for two, maybe three years now,” Gregory said after being cleared to return to practice.

The Broncos coaching staff also moved second-year linebacker Baron Browning to the outside after he spent his rookie season playing on the inside. The former Ohio St. Buckeye didn’t record a single sack last season in 14 games, but that’s been a different story during the preseason.

Browning has gotten to the quarterback multiple times and in the season finale, Browning forced a strip sack, recovered the fumble, and returned it for a touchdown.

Along with wide receiver Montrell Washington, Browning’s named was popular at training camp.

Denver also has depth with Jonathon Cooper who sacked the quarterback 2.5 times last season and added seven quarterback hits. The Broncos also drafted Nik Bonitto in the second-round of the 2022 NFL Draft with high hopes that he can become an elite pass rusher in the NFL.

At the end of the day, the Broncos have plenty of pass rushers and that’s just on the edge.





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