Broncos Sign $15 Million Trench Defender to 1-Year Contract in Free Agency

Angelo Blackson, Denver Broncos

Getty Angelo Blackson of the Denver Broncos.

The Denver Broncos added some beef to their front line in free agency.

Denver finished the 2023 season with the 25th-ranked run defense grade from Pro Football Focus. They are set to enter the 2024 season with many of the same faces back in the mix, with a new addition coming over in free agency.

“The Broncos signed unrestricted free agent defensive lineman Angelo Blackson to a one-year contract on Monday, the team announced,”’s Aric DiLalla wrote on April 15. “Blackson is a nine-year veteran who has appeared in 128 games in his career and started 42 contests.

“Blackson played at least 40 percent of the defensive snaps in games in which he appeared from 2018-2022.”

The 31-year-old lineman spent this past season with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

He appeared in the second-fewest games and the third-lowest percentage of his team’s defensive snaps in his career this past year, per Pro Football Reference. He still recovered a career-high three fumbles.

With no more than 2.5 sacks in any season, and 8.5 sacks for his career, Blackson is unlikely to add pass-rushing juice to a defensive line group spearheaded by Zach Allen and D.J. Jones.

Angelo Blackson Adds Battle-Tested Depth

Angelo Blackson, Denver Broncos

GettyAngelo Blackson of the Denver Broncos.

Blackson also earned the third-highest grade of his career from PFF, logging a 53.8 this past season.

He is heading into his 10th NFL season. Blackson originally entered the league as a fourth-round pick (No. 100 overall), selected by the Tennessee Titans. He has also spent time with the Houston Texans, Arizona Cardinals, and Chicago Bears.

Terms of this new deal have not yet been made available.

But Blackson is coming off a one-year, $1.2 million pact with Jacksonville. He has banked $15.9 million in career earnings and has been a role player his entire career with a career-high snap share of 55%.

That should mean a fairly reasonable cap hit to provide battle-tested depth in the defensive trenches.

He offers value on special teams too.

Mike McGlinchey Backs Broncos’ Quiet Free Agency

Mike McGlinchey, Denver Broncos

GettyMike McGlinchey #69 of the Denver Broncos.

The Broncos entered the offseason with few expectations for major splashes in Head Coach Sean Payton’s second offseason, and they have so far delivered. Five of the 13 players who signed new deals in free agency received contracts worth more than $2.5 million.

Only safety Brandon Jones received a contract worth even $10 million. He signed a $20 million pact in free agency from the Miami Dolphins.

It’s been what 9News’ Mike Klis deemed the “quietest offseason in memory.”

“We like it that way,’’ Mike McGlinchey said, per Klis on April 14. “It’s all part of a plan, right? Sean and George (Paton, Broncos general manager) have a great plan in place for the future of our team for what they believe is how to build the team the right way. I believe in the guys that brought me here and I believe in what they’re going to do for our football team. And I’m excited to see what we’ve got.

“We’ve talked about how it’s not about winning the offseason. Sean isn’t worried about making splash moves that are popular. That’s just not how he rolls. I appreciate that. I think the patience and the quiet nature in which they operate during these times I actually I enjoy because I think it’s a good thing to play your cards close to your vest.”

Coming off an 8-9 season, expectations are low. But the Broncos could have a tough time improving upon that with the scant few impact moves they’ve made.