The Denver Broncos have been busy on the beginning of the legal tampering period and they added an elite piece to their defense.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Denver has reached an agreement with former Arizona Cardinals’ defensive end Zach Allen.
The deal is worth $45.7 million over three years with $32.5 million of it guaranteed. Per Jeff Howe of The Athletic, Allen’s guaranteed money will be guaranteed over the first two years of his deal.
Allen’s Time In Arizona
Allen is a former third-round pick by Arizona from the 2019 NFL Draft. Spending his first four seasons with the Cardinals, Allen has spent his entire NFL career playing and excelling under current Broncos defensive coordinator Vance Joseph.
Last season, Allen had the best season of his career by sacking the quarterback a career high 5.5 times, hitting the quarterback 20 times, and had a career best 10 tackles for loss. Allen also knocked down eight passes which is twice as many as he had the previous year.
When it came to stopping the run, Allen ranked as the second-best behind on future hall of famer Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams.
Last season the Broncos defense ranked as the 10th best rushing team in the NFL by only giving up an average of 109.8.
Allen has yet to play an entire full season, but has played in 13, 15, and 13 games in each of the last three seasons. He only played in four as a rookie.
J.J. Watt Had a Big Impact on Allen
Over the last two seasons, Allen was able to learn from newly retired J.J. Watt and nobody was more excited than the future hall of famer.
“He set the example of how to conduct yourself as a pro both on and off the field. When you have somebody like that, it’s priceless,” Allen said when describing how Watt has helped him out.
Broncos Chose Allen Over Their Own Free Agent
According to Mike Klis of 9News in Denver, Broncos ownership met with head coach Sean Payton and general manager George Paton to discuss the budget and strategy as the free agency period began.
Between Payton and Paton, the duo decided that they wanted to move on from defensive end Dre’Mont Jones and find another defensive lineman who had a better 2022 season and ended up being cheaper.
Jones is headed to the Seattle Seahawks on a three-year deal worth $51 million.
The Broncos had a chance to place the franchise tag on Jones, but it would’ve cost them up to $19.7 million for the 2023 season.
During the week of the NFL Combine, Jordan Schultz was hearing that, Jones planned to test the free agent market and ask for between $60-$70 million on his next deal.
Last season, Jones tied his career high in sacks with 6.5, tackle for losses with nine, and 10 quarterback hits. Jones also had a career-high 47 combined tackles.
Over the past three seasons, Jones has sacked the quarterback 18 times in 42 games.
It’s worth noting that Jones had 5.5 sacks in 2022 before the Broncos traded away pass rusher Bradley Chubb. After the trade, Jones had just one sack in five games before being placed on season-ending injured reserve with a hip injury.