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Broncos sign backup cornerback, special teams ace Tremon Smith

Smith averages 25 yards on kickoff returns; Broncos ranked last a year ago
Texans Colts Football
Posted at 2:20 PM, Mar 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-15 20:03:59-04

DENVER — Filing tax returns have been more enjoyable than watching the Broncos' kickoff returns in recent years.

The Broncos finished worst in kickoff return average last season at 17.5 yards. They addressed the issue on Wednesday while adding cornerback depth.

The Broncos agreed in principle on a two-year, $5.5 million deal with a $1.4 million signing bonus with the Texans' Tremon Smith.

Smith boasts an average of 24.9 yards per kick return on 94 career attempts. He also has played on special teams coverage units. The Texans wanted to keep Smith, but he saw more of an opportunity in Denver, a team that needs help in the secondary after cutting Ronald Darby and non-tendering Essang Bassey.

Smith, 26, has played with the Chiefs, Colts and Texans. He averaged a career-high 26.8 yards on kick returns in 2018 and 21.9 last season, his career low. His role on defense increased significantly over the past two seasons. He played in 34 games, making four starts and finishing with 43 tackles and two interceptions, both last year.

The Broncos have been active in reshaping their roster in coach Sean Payton's first offseason. They have agreed in principle on deals with nine players, guaranteeing $137.4 million in contracts: right tackle Mike McGlinchey ($52.5 million), defensive end Zach Allen ($32.5M), left guard Ben Powers ($28.5M), linebacker Alex Singleton ($9M), backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham ($5M), tight end Chris Manhertz ($3.34M), running back Samaje Perine ($3M), Smith ($2.5M), and fullback Mike Burton ($1.06M).

Williams heads to Carolina
Broncos defensive tackle DeShawn Williams reunited with former Denver defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero in Carolina. Williams, 30, signed with the Panthers. He has fought his entire career to make roster and was rewarded last year, posting a career-season with 4.5 sacks. The Broncos will look to add defensive line depth after losing Dre'Mont Jones and Williams. Defensive end Zach Allen addresses part of that, but Denver still needs to bring in a few more players.