For the plethora of NFL pundits and fans who thought the Broncos acquiring standout defensive tackle Jurrell Casey from the Titans for only a seventh-round pick was borderline larceny, Denver general manager John Elways agrees with you.
In Elway's first comments regarding the offseason, the Broncos' president of football operations characterized the Casey acquisition as a "steal."
"We're excited about how it] unfolded," Elway said, [via the team website. "You never know. We still have to go win football games. But it was a good start for us this offseason with A.J. Bouye, trading for him at the corner position and then Jurrell Casey, trading for him at the defensive tackle position that we needed and steal a very, very good football player, a five-time Pro Bowler."
Indeed, Casey's found his way to five consecutive Pro Bowls in his nine-season career.
Largely overlooked and underrated tucked away in Tennessee, Casey is still only 30 and has never had less than 14 starts in a season. He'll be looked to bolster a Broncos defensive front that boasts Von Miller and the returning Bradley Chubb. From the Titans' point of view, they essentially dumped Casey's salary, as he's due $11.85 million in base salary in 2020. His production is likely to determine if the deal was a "steal" or not.
As aforementioned, the Broncos also traded for Bouye and they signed interior lineman Graham Glasgow. Another big splash was had when they agreed to terms with running back Melvin Gordon. Notable as signing Gordon, one of the league's top backs, was, it was also a bit puzzling considering the emergence of Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman being an asset, as well.
Elway tackled the thoughts behind bringing in Gordon, as well.
"Obviously we had two good backs in Royce Freeman and Phillip] Lindsay," Elway said. "We know that [Lindsay] is a guy that's had a great year for us. I know there's people going, 'Why do you need another horse?' Well, when you have an opportunity for [Melvin Gordon to come in here, we felt like it was an addition to the team. He's a guy that obviously has had a lot of success in this league. He's scored a lot of touchdowns and has caught the football a ton. So we feel like with him -- with Melvin, as well as Phillip -- that we've got a great one-two punch, and we'll only get better in the backfield.
"Ultimately, we have to score more points this year. We've struggled on the offensive side the last two, three years, and so we've got to get better on that side. I think Melvin will be one of those key pieces to help us get better."
It's only March, but Elway believes the Broncos got a steal and a formidable one-two backfield punch.