Swapping out Dre’Mont Jones for Zach Allen will not be the Broncos’ only notable move on their defensive line this offseason. Sean Payton‘s team is adding veteran Tyler Lancaster as well, per ESPN’s Field Yates (on Twitter).
While Lancaster signed with the Raiders in 2022, he did not play last season. The Raiders released the veteran D-lineman. Lancaster previously spent four seasons with the Packers and started 21 games in Green Bay’s 3-4 defense.
The Broncos, who have used a 3-4 look since 2015, have Allen set to team with 2022 addition D.J. Jones as the top pieces up front. The retooling team, however, still rosters veteran nose tackle Mike Purcell and 2022 draftees Matt Henningsen and Eyioma Uwazurike. Dre’Mont Jones started for much of his Denver rookie deal but left for Seattle in free agency. That came shortly after Allen committed to reuniting with new Broncos DC Vance Joseph. Former Bears UDFA Jonathan Harris (four 2022 starts) also resides as a D-line supporting-caster in Denver.
Lancaster, 28, suffered what became a season-erasing injury in August. The Raiders placed Lancaster on IR before the season and released him with an injury settlement in September. The 313-pound defender had started 10 games for the NFC championship-bound 2019 Packers edition, lining up alongside Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry that year, but spent much of his Wisconsin time as a rotational presence. He played 31% of Green Bay’s defensive snaps in 2021.
Pro Football Focus rated Lancaster as a middle-of-the-pack D-lineman in 2019 and ’20, with run defense being the former UDFA’s strength. He finished with three tackles for loss in 2021. After an injury-marred year, the Broncos will give the Northwestern alum a chance to earn a job as a complementary presence up front.