Broncos defensive tackle Mike Purcell and guard Elijah Wilkinson have both signed their second-round restricted free agent tenders, according to Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter link). They’ll each earn $3.259MM for the 2020 campaign.
While Purcell isn’t much of a pass-rusher, he’s excellent as stopping the run. In fact, Pro Football Focus ranked 6’3″, 330-pounder as the league’s best run-defending interior player in 2019. Purcell, who turns 29 years old later this week, played in 13 games (seven starts) for the Broncos last season while posting 48 tackles (eight for loss).
Purcell, an undrafted free agent in 2013, bounced around the league before finding a landing spot in Denver. The Wyoming product spent time with six other NFL teams and the Salt Lake Stallions of the AAF before signing with the Broncos last April.
An undrafted free agent like Purcell, Wilkinson joined the Broncos out of UMass in 2017. Promoted to the starting lineup last season, the 25-year-old played on nearly 90% of Denver’s offensive snaps.
The Broncos have since added free agent Graham Glasgow on a multi-year deal, so it’s unclear if Wilkinson will still have a starting job in 2019. Glasgow can play center as well as guard, leaving Denver with multiple possible combinations up front.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.