Former Broncos amongst NFL’s top free agents

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The Boise State football organization has long been making NFL stars. With the draft only a couple months away, it’s likely there will be more former Broncos in the NFL. But before the draft comes free agency, which begins March 13. There are several former Broncos ranked in several top free agent lists, including DeMarcus Lawrence, Matt Paradis, Jay Ajayi, Orlando Scandrick and Doug Martin.

An NFL analyst has defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence ranked as the top free agent in the list of the NFL’s top 101. Lawrence has been with the Dallas Cowboys since being drafted in 2014. He is now due for a pay raise and a new deal with a new team or the Cowboys if they’re willing to pay. If the Cowboys don’t get a multi-year contract done by March 5, it is likely they will franchise tag him for the second year in a row. The two-time Pro Bowler (2017, 2018), who had another phenomenal season in 2019 with 10.6 sacks all season, has established himself as one of the league’s best.

Denver Broncos center Matt Paradis has been on the team since 2014. He has been one of the Broncos’ most consistent offensive linemen, not missing a single snap until injuring himself last November. He is ranked as one of the top centers in the league and comes in at No. 35 in the NFL’s top 101 free agents. Like Lawrence, Paradis should be a top priority for the Broncos to work out a new contract for.

Running back Jay Ajayi was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in 2015. He stayed in Miami until October of the 2017 season when the Dolphins organization traded Ajayi to the Philadelphia Eagles. Ajayi had his breakout season in 2016 when he ended the season with 1,272 yards. Ajayi tore his ACL in 2018, so his health status is also something to consider as he goes into free agency. He is ranked as the No. 61 free agent.

Cornerback Orlando Scandrick has been in the league since 2008 with the Dallas Cowboys. Scandrick stayed with the Cowboys until 2017 when he was released. He ended up signing a one-year contract with the Kansa City Chiefs in 2018.

The last Bronco that could find himself as a free agent on March 13 is running back Doug Martin. Martin was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2012. He stayed with the Buccaneers until being released in 2017, and then he was signed by the Oakland Raiders in 2018. Martin’s top rushing season came in 2012 when he finished with 1,454 yards — his career high. The only time Martin has come close to matching his career best was in 2015 when he finished with 1,402 yards. Martin was the Raiders’ leading rusher in 2018 with 723 yards, but with age, consistency and money as factors, there is a good chance that Martin will be a free agent.

Lawrence, Paradis, Ajayi, Scandrick and Martin all have the same question lingering around: will they become free agents, and if so, where will they end up?


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