Broncos agree to terms with CB Drayton Florence

The Broncos today announced they agreed to terms with free agent cornerback Drayton Florence. According to Adam Schefter, Denver will give the 10th-year veteran a two-year deal worth $4.5M.

Mike Florio reports that Florence will receive a $1.5M signing bonus and base salaries of $1.5M in 2012 and $1.5M in 2013, with an additional $1M of incentives available in $250K increments based upon 2012 playing time.

Florence had visited the Titans earlier in the week and was reportedly also pursued by the Chargers, who originally drafted him in the second round (46th overall) of the 2003 Draft out of Tuskegee. The 31-year-old spent five seasons in San Diego, the past three in Buffalo, and he played for Jacksonville in 2008 under then-Jaguars coach and new Denver DC Jack Del Rio.

In nine seasons, Florence has started 96 of the 135 games he's appeared in, with 17 interceptions, including two pick-sixes, plus 441 tackles. He started all sixteen games for the Bills in 2011, grading out at minus-10.9 overall according to PFF (-3.5 run, -0.2 pass rush, -4.2 pass coverage, -3.0 penalty) on 1,022 snaps.

Tracy Porter, whom the Broncos signed in March, was graded similarly at minus-10.4 last season (-1.7 vs. run, -0.9 pass rush, -7.2 pass coverage, -0.6 penalties) with one QB hit, 62 tackles, two assists, eight missed tackles, and 11 stops on almost 200 fewer snaps than Florence played (826).

Says Florence of his decision to join the Broncos:

Denver’s defense played great last year. Then obviously the offseason additions with Peyton Manning coming in are huge — you don’t really see franchise quarterbacks on the free agent market. Peyton chose to come here. I just think it’ll be a good fit for me, coming in, playing with one of the best corners to ever play the game in Champ Bailey and a very aggressive and young defensive front. I just thought it would be a great fit for me. I can possibly end my career here with a Super Bowl ring. I felt Denver would be a great place for me.

I just thought as a unit, as a whole on defense, guys were solid. They were competing back in the secondary. You’ve got to have three corners in this league to match up with those receivers. I just thought it was overall a good fit for me. I’m excited to get out there and start working with the guys.

As Andrew Mason sees it, Florence and Porter will compete with each other for a starting role opposite Champ Bailey, with the loser potentially pushing Chris Harris out of the nickel and into the dime role. It may be hard to imagine a smaller role for Harris after a standout rookie campaign, but the addition of Florence undoubtedly hurts the chances of third-year players Syd'Quan Thompson and Cassius Vaughn making the team.

Florence tells Mike Klis,

In the NFL very rarely do you see just 2 receivers line up. Now with the bigger TE, more athletic, you need more defensive backs to line up.

The offseason additions with Peyton Manning, obviously, you have a guy like that playing the QB position, it gives your team a great opportunity to go out and win ballgames. With the defense they already have in place there, I thought it was a great fit.

Denver had flirted with the possibility of acquiring veteran corner Asante Samuel prior to the draft, but Philadelphia ended up dealing him to Atlanta after Samuel and the Broncos were unable to agree to a renegotiated contract.


Updated 8:43 pm ET

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM