The Broncos are signing slot cornerback Bryce Callahan, Benjamin Allbright was the first to report (Twitter link). It’s a three-year deal, tweets James Palmer of NFL.com. The pact is worth $21MM in total and contains $10MM guaranteed, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
Callahan will now reunite with new Broncos head coach Vic Fangio, who coached Callahan as the Bears’ defensive coordinator.A broken foot ended Callahan’s strong contract year, but Fangio coached the slot corner in all four of his NFL seasons. While Callahan will be a natural fit for Fangio’s defense in Denver, his injury and the makeup of the Broncos’ secondary will complicate it.
Chris Harris has handled the Broncos’ slot duties for most of this decade and has become one of this era’s top corners, being most identified for his inside coverage skills. While Harris plays outside in base sets, the Broncos use the veteran corner often in the slot. Harris, though, has requested at multiple junctures to be a full-time boundary corner, so Callahan being brought in may appease the incumbent.
Callahan, 27, finished his abbreviated season as Pro Football Focus’ No. 7 overall corner — just four spots behind Harris — and intercepted two passes in each of the past two seasons. The 5-foot-9 defender coming to Denver will, however, add another short corner to the Broncos’ secondary. Harris and Kareem Jackson stand 5-10.
The Broncos added Jackson on an $11MM-AAV deal earlier this week. Having played both corner and safety in Houston, though mostly corner, Jackson brings hybrid potential for the Broncos. However, Denver lost Bradley Roby and does not plan to re-sign Tramaine Brock, creating a need for two new cornerbacks. Callahan would potentially complete that trio.
The Jets were the only other team linked to Callahan this offseason, with the Bears not expected to pursue him. But the Jets signed former Falcons slot man Brian Poole, taking them out of the running.
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