October 26th, 2020 at 1:41pm CST by Andrew Ortenberg
The Broncos may have had the worst injury luck in the NFL this season, and the hits keep on coming. On Monday, head coach Vic Fangio announced Mike Purcell would miss the rest of the season with a Lisfranc injury to his foot.
Purcell had started every game this year for Denver as a run-stuffer, playing a little over 60 percent of the defensive snaps, so this is a big loss. Originally an undrafted free agent out of Wyoming back in 2013, Purcell originally carved out a role in San Francisco for a few years. He then didn’t appear in a regular season game between 2017-18 before bouncing back with the Broncos in 2019 and starting seven games.
Denver sits at 2-4 on the year, and just can’t catch a break on the injury front. Fortunately for Purcell he just received some financial security, as the Broncos gave him a three-year, $14.8MM extension just a few weeks ago. He’s now signed through the 2023 season and has $6.8MM in guaranteed money coming his way. He should be back in plenty of time for next season.
The Broncos have agreed to a brand new deal with defensive tackle Mike Purcell, as Mike Klis of 9News tweets. The new pact, which the Broncos announced Tuesday afternoon, will keep Purcell under contract through the 2023 season.
The deal is worth $14.8MM and will guarantee the nose tackle $6.8MM, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Not bad for a former UDFA whose journeyman career whose final pre-Broncos stop came with the Alliance of American Football.
Purcell has been on a nationwide tour for much of his NFL career. After playing for six different teams, being released 10 times over, and having a cup of coffee with the AAF’s Salt Lake Stallions, Purcell found a home with the Broncos. Now, he has a home in Denver for years to come.
While Purcell isn’t much of a pass-rusher, he’s excellent as stopping the run. In fact, Pro Football Focus ranked the 6’3″, 330-pounder as the league’s best run-defending interior player in 2019. Purcell, 29, played in 13 games (seven starts) for the Broncos last season while posting 48 tackles (eight for loss).
The new three-year deal will begin with the 2021 season. For now, the former UDFA will earn $3.259MM, per the terms of his restricted free agent tender.
April 16th, 2020 at 10:52am CST by Dallas Robinson
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.
Mike Purcell‘s ascent into the Broncos’ starting lineup midway through last season paid immediate dividends, and the team will proceed accordingly.
Denver will place a second-round tender on the restricted free agent defensive tackle, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Purcell went from the Alliance of American Football to the NFL’s top run-stopping interior defender, in the view of Pro Football Focus, in 2019 and will be in line to stay on as the Broncos’ nose tackle.
A Colorado native, the soon-to-be 29-year-old Purcell joined the Broncos in 2019. Prior to last season, when he made seven starts and played in 13 games, he had started just eight games since coming into the league in 2014. He made 48 tackles — eight for loss — last season.
The Broncos entered free agency with each member of its season-opening starting defensive line from last season — Derek Wolfe, Shelby Harris and Adam Gotsis — set for free agency. Purcell replaced Gotsis in last season’s starting lineup, and the Broncos’ run defense immediately improved. Denver has Purcell, 2019 third-round pick Dre’Mont Jones and now trade acquisition Jurrell Casey up front.
While the Broncos still have some degree of a D-line need, they do not intend to let their RFA nose tackle go anywhere.
Two defensive linemen who have not seen regular-season action since the 2016 season will join the Broncos, one a familiar face. The Broncos signed Billy Winn and Mike Purcell on Monday, the team announced.
Winn played in 16 games, starting two, for the 2016 Broncos. The team re-signed Winn in 2017, but prior to Vance Joseph’s first season, Winn went down with an ACL tear. He did not play last season. But Vic Fangio will give the 30-year-old lineman another chance.
Winn started 18 games with the Browns from 2012-14. With three career sacks (and none since 2014), Winn would profile as depth if he makes the Broncos’ roster. Purcell would as well.
The former UDFA, though, has a history with Fangio. Purcell entered the NFL as a 49ers UDFA when Fangio was still San Francisco’s defensive coordinator. Having attended the Broncos’ voluntary minicamp last week, Purcell would be entering his age-28 season. Purcell spent the 2018 offseason with the Chiefs but did not make their 53-man roster. He started five games for the 2016 49ers but has not played since.
Former Packers second-round corner Quinten Rollins took part in the Broncos’ minicamp on a tryout basis, according to Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post (Twitter link). Also in attendance were defensive linemen Mike Purcell and Marcus Hardison, offensive linemen Jake Brendel and Jake Rodgers, and cornerback Trey Johnson. Brendel and Johnson were signed following the audition.
Green Bay used the 62nd overall selection on Rollins in the 2015 draft, but the Miami (OH) product struggled over three seasons and 33 games with the club. A torn Achilles ended his 2017 campaign prematurely, and he was waived during final cutdowns the following September. Rollins hit the workout circuit and eventually latched on with the Cardinals’ practice squad, but was cut loose in December.
Rollins clearly hasn’t posted NFL-caliber performances thus far in his career. In 2016, the only year in which he saw enough snaps to qualify, Football Outsiders ranked Rollins dead last among 84 corners in success rate and second-to-last in yards allowed per pass. In Denver, Rollins would be working with an experienced defensive staff that includes Vic Fangio and Ed Donatell, but also facing an uphill climb on a cornerback depth chart that already includes Chris Harris, Kareem Jackson, and Bryce Callahan.
The outside linebacker’s been in Kansas City since the Andy Reid regime began in 2013. He started 11 games in 2016, when Justin Houston missed most of the season with knee trouble, but will not be part of the 2018 team. The Chiefs drafted Breeland Speaks in the second round and plan to use 2017 second-rounder Tanoh Kpassagnon more extensively than they did last season.
Here’s the full list of players who won’t be on Kansas City’s initial 53-man roster.