The Denver Broncos have made noticeable improvements on defense, allowing an average of 16 points during their three-game winning streak.
One area Denver has struggled in particular is getting to the quarterback. Per Fox Sports, the Broncos are 30th in the NFL in sacks, with just 17 on the season. According to a senior NFL reporter, Denver could make a run for the services of a former All-Pro to bolster their pass rush in the offseason.
“No one has helped their free agency profile more than Hunter, who is tracking for nearly 19 sacks on the season,” Fowler wrote in an article posted on November 15. “Hunter will be 29 to start the 2024 season, paving the way for a lucrative three-or four-year deal at well above $20 million per season.
“Jacksonville has long been a fan of Hunter’s game, but Denver also could bolster its pass rush — the Broncos are typically unafraid to spend in March.”
Danielle Hunter Predicted to Earn a Massive Payday in 2024
Hunter has made a living out of bringing down opposing quarterbacks. The LSU product has totaled 82 sacks in his career, each takedown getting him closer to earning a monster payday.
Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report predicts Hunter will land a four-year deal worth $110 million in 2024. The NFL co-leader in sacks through Week 10 will start a bidding war for his services during the offseason.
“Hunter should interest any team with pass-rushing needs and a fair amount of cap space because he is a scheme-versatile defender,” Knox wrote on November 13. “He has experience rushing from the defensive end spot and as a linebacker, although he’s having a career season under first-year Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores.”
Denver has clear pass-rushing needs, yet finding the cap space to sign Hunter will be tricky. Over the Cap projects the Broncos to have -$12,992,318 in effective cap space. The website defines effective cap space as how much a team has to spend.
Head coach Sean Payton and the front office must get creative with cap space after the season. Payton can look to the NFC as a baseline for a potential Hunter signing.
Could Danielle Hunter Become the High-Priced Defensive Signing to Stick in Denver?
Expensive misses in free agency have defined the tenure of general manager George Paton. The defense has been hurt most by his failed signings.
Since 2021, Paton has missed on players like Ronald Darby, Kyle Fuller and K’Waun Williams. Darby and Fuller are no longer on the roster. Williams is out for the 2023 season with an ankle injury.
The worst miss was Randy Gregory, who was traded two years into a five-year, $70 million deal he signed in March 2022. Gregory was traded to the San Francisco 49ers on October 6. He started six games with the Broncos and recorded just three sacks in 10 appearances.
Would signing Hunter do anything to change Paton’s history of free agent whiffs? The veteran pass rusher has been stellar throughout his eight-year career, so something has to give.
Denver is willing to dish out huge contracts whether or not a player pans out. The Broncos will continue being aggressive with Paton running the show. Expect Denver to pursue Hunter in the offseason if they can work through their cap issues.