Broncos Free Agency Football

The Broncos agreed on a deal Monday to acquire Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Jarrett Stidham as a backup to Russell Wilson.

After buying the Broncos 6½ months ago for $4.65 billion, the new ownership since has agreed to spend another $559,738,000 for seven players, one head coach and stadium grass.

That amount is not coming out of Walmart petty cash.

Bud Walton, daughter Carrie Walton Penner and son-in-law Greg Penner must be serious about this football situation.

Broncos sign former Bengals running back Samaje Perine as Javonte Williams insurance

The trio gave quarterback Russell Wilson a $242 million contract Sept. 1, coach Sean Payton $90 million Feb. 3 and $226.75 million, in deals that will become official Wednesday afternoon, to offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey, offensive guard Ben Powers, defensive lineman Zach Allen, linebacker Alex Singleton, quarterback Jarrett Stidham and tight end Chris Manhertz Monday and running back Samaje Perine Tuesday.

The Broncos have blown away the rest of the NFL in future disbursements so far this week. And the Payton-George Paton pair still need a long snapper with miles to go before they sleep.

In 1974 Edward Bennett Williams, owner of the Washington football franchise, fired his coach while claiming: “I gave George (Allen) an unlimited budget, and he exceeded it.’’

The Penner-Payton-Paton plan apparently includes a blank check.

It’s good to be the richest owners in the league. According to Mike Klis of 9News, the signing bonuses to the first half dozen free agents will be McGlinchey $17.5 million, Allen $15 mil, Powers, $13 mil, Singleton $4 mil, Stidham, $2 mil and Manhertz $1.25 mil for a total of $52.75 million.

And they weren’t finished.

Woody Paige: Russell Wilson's days of non-discipline are over; Coach Sean Payton will be sure of it

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Unrestricted free agents signings in the NFL began in 1993 during the Pat Bowlen-Wade Phillips short-term era, but accelerated in 1995 when Mike Shanahan became the Broncos coach and signed 15, but only two, Ed McCaffrey and Mark Schlereth, were important contributors in 1997-98 as the team won back-to-back Super Bowls. The Broncos added Bill Romanowski and Alfred Williams a year later in free agency and Darrien Gordon, Bubby Brister, Willie Green, Howard Griffith, Harry Swayne and Keith Traylor in 1997. However, in the Broncos’ best season ever (17-2 in regular season and postseason) just two insignificant veteran free agents were brought to Denver.

The best Broncos’ unrestricted free agent recruitments were in 2013-2014, mostly because of the presence of Peyton Manning, when Emmanuel Sanders, Aqib Talib, T.J. Ward, Terrance “Pot Roast” Knight, Louis Vasquez and Wes Welker arrived.

Last March, after Paton took control as GM, the results were hit-and-miss with Randy Gregory, D.J. Jones, Singleton, Billy Turner, Tom Compton and K’Wuan Williams. Singleton received $1 million on a one-year contract, became an outstanding starter and will be rewarded with a three-year $18 million deal by returning. Jones was as exceptional as advertised and Williams was a quality nickel back when he was healthy. But Turner was hurt and started only seven games, and Gregory, the Broncos’ big ticket item in the off-season at five years and $70 million, started three games. The oft-injured linebacker was injured again. The injured Compton played in one game.

The Broncos certainly and critically have bolstered an inferior offensive line that allowed a league-worst 63 sacks and was called for false starts 23 times and holding on 20 plays, and struggled with other injuries to starters Garett Bolles and Lloyd Cushenberry III and others.

The 2023 offensive line will incorporate two new starters in right tackle Mike McGlinchey (49ers),the Broncos’ highest-paid offensive lineman ever at $87.5 million over five seasons, and left guard Ben Powers (Ravens), whose pact is $52 million.

Left tackle Bolles will count $17.823 mil against the salary cap, McGlinchey $6 million, Powers $5.25 million, center Cushenberry $2.979 million and right guard Quinn Meinerz $1.305 million.

Broncos free agency tracker: Sean Payton's Broncos go big, invest $219 million in talent

Broncos’ ex-swing tackle Calvin Anderson signed with the Patriots Tuesday. Turner, Compton, Dalton Risner and Cam Fleming still are available. Fleming could be a candidate to return, because the Broncos remain thin in the offensive line with only Quinn Bailey and Luke Wattenberg as potential reserves.

Center will be an essential pick in the draft. Although the Broncos possess only five selections, it’s assumed that they will make three trades to gain more. They’ll also draft a tight end, a defensive lineman, another edge rusher, a cornerback, a safety, an inside linebacker and, as usual, a wide receiver.

The Broncos will add a few more free agents, perhaps by Wednesday.

The Walton-Penner money is speaking loudly.

Woody Paige has been a sports and general columnist in Colorado with the Rocky Mountain News, The Denver Post, The Colorado Springs Gazette and The Denver Gazette since 1974. He has been a commentator for the ESPN network on six different shows for 20 years. [email protected]