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.