Adam Schefter is reporting that the Broncos have signed longtime Patriots Defensive Lineman Ty Warren to a 2-year, $10 million deal with $2.5 million guaranteed. I discussed the prospect of having eight quality NFL D-Linemen, and now it seems likely that the Broncos have nine. Warren has primarily been a DE for the Patriots, but he grew up as a DT for the Texas A&M Aggies, and I expect that he’ll mostly play inside for the Broncos.
Warren is 6-foot-5 and weighs 300 pounds. He missed the entire 2010 season with a hip injury that he suffered in training camp, and he was released last week when he failed the Patriots’ demanding physical. Evidently, the Broncos have a less rigorous one.
It’s advisable not to get too hung up on the distinction between Warren’s role in New England and his likely role in Denver. The truth is, the Patriots do just about as much one-gapping as two-gapping up front, depending on the matchups and the opponent. For that reason, their defensive linemen can reliably be projected to be able to play in any scheme.
If we’re looking for Warren to be an All-Pro, I would say that that’s unlikely, but if we’re looking for him to be a key rotational player in what projects to be a pretty stout front 4, that’s realistic. The puncher’s chance that I mentioned earlier just got a little bit better. Big up John Elway, Brian Xanders, and John Fox for making another smart acquisition with good football upside and minimal financial risk.