I like what they’re doing in Denver. They started by adding a couple of new offensive line starters, and now they’ve signed Samaje Perine.
Per Spotrac, it’s a two-year deal worth $7.5 million, with $3 million guaranteed.
Perine won’t be a huge part of the offense, but he adds depth and will be a contributor. He can play on third downs, and he can be a short-term starter. That’s notable, with Javonte Williams a question mark as he comes back from a knee injury.
Perine’s No. 1 asset, I think, might be pass protection. I think that’s why he was on the field for more plays than Joe Mixon in two of Cincinnati’s three playoff games. When he’s on the field in obvious passing situations, it’s not so much to catch passes (he finished last year with 46 receptions in 18 games) but to buy the quarterback more time.
With the Broncos earlier having signed Ben Powers and Mike McGlinchey, as well as Chris Manhertz (who operates more as an offensive tackle than a tight end), I think the effort is to help out Russell Wilson – make sure he has an adequate pocket, and make sure he has time to throw.
Wilson has taken plenty of sacks for his entire career. He took over 40 sacks in eight consecutive seasons in Seattle, and last year he was sacked on over 10 percent of his pass plays, 2nd-worst behind only Justin Fields. I’m thinking Sean Payton probably wants to change that, and he’s taking the steps to make it happen.
I remember when the Saints signed Jameis Winston. Winston had thrown 30 interceptions the previous season with Tampa Bay. I don’t recall the exact words, but I remember Payton stepping to the mic and saying that Winston wouldn’t be throwing interceptions in New Orleans. And sure enough, Winston threw only 3 picks in his seven starts for Payton – Payton was able to correct that issue.
Through some combination of lesser offensive lines and a tendency to hold the ball too long, Wilson has averaged 2.8 sacks per game as a pro. While I haven’t heard any specific promises or goals, my guess is that Payton will reconfigure Denver’s offense, with Wilson coming in below 2.8 sacks per game this season.