Denver Broncos sign S Darian Stewart

The Broncos were not expected to re-sign free safety Rahim Moore this off-season (and they didn’t). That’s because the Broncos already had big contract defensive backs in their secondary around the free safety spot, in the form of Aqib Talib, Chris Harris, and TJ Ward. However, the Broncos did need a replace for Moore, who signed with the Texans on a surprisingly cheap 3-year, 12 million dollar deal that I thought was one of the better values of free agency. Stewart comes even cheaper than Moore, as the total value of this deal (4.5 million over 2 years) is similar to the annual value of Moore’s deal, though that’s with good reason as he doesn’t nearly have Moore’s upside.

However, he’s a solid cheap replacement whose deficiencies can be masked by the rest of this secondary. Stewart, a 2010 undrafted free agent, was forced into a starting role too early in 2011, grading out 82nd out of 87 eligible safeties that season. Stewart has rehabbed his value in the last two seasons though. In 2013, he graded out only slightly below average on 583 snaps and then in 2014 he graded out above average for the first time since his rookie season on 782 snaps (14 starts). He’s a fringe starter, but he’s a solid, cheap signing by a team that has a lot of talent all over the field that they have to fit under the cap in the next couple of off-seasons.

Grade: B+




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