KANSAS CITY MO - DECEMBER 05: Quarterback Matt Cassel #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs loses the ball as he is pressured by Mario Haggan #57 and Justin Bannan #97 of the Denver Broncos during the game on December 5 2010 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Even with the signing of Peyton Manning in the offseason, Denver still has holes to fill. Their most recent signing shows where the main area of concern should be for John Elway and the Broncos brass.
The Denver Broncos on Wednesday showed exactly how desperate of a situation they have at the defensive tackle position as they have brought back veteran Justin Bannan, a player they themselves released following the 2010 season. Bannan signed a one year contract with the club and financial terms were not disclosed. In his one previous season in Denver in 2010, Bannan started all 16 games but the team finished with a 4-12 record.
Last season Bannan played for the St. Louis but was part of veteran purge of players by the Rams organization following the season. In his one year in St. Louis, Bannan started fourteen games and collected 35 tackles with one sack. At this point in his career though Bannan appears to be nothing more than a stopgap for the Broncos at a position they clearly have problems at.
Before the Bannan signing the Broncos rotation at defensive tackle consisted of two players, Ty Warren and Kevin Vickerson, who are coming off season ending injuries along with Ryan McBean who is facing a possible six game drug suspension. There is still a chance that Denver re-signs free agent Marcus Thomas but they have already lost their best player at the position from last year in Brodrick Bunkley who left to sign with New Orleans.
It's the same scenario in many ways that mirror the Chiefs's need along the defensive line. Kelly Gregg could move on from the team or even retire, but even then he's the likely one-year stopgap if he does return. Jerrell Powe is developmental and needs this entire offseason to show the team what they have in hand.
Even with the signing of Bannan it has to be strongly assumed that Denver will select at least one if not two defensive tackles in the upcoming NFL draft this month. In various mocks, the Chiefs and Broncos are often linked to defensive tackles and both teams would have to think seriously about Michael Brockers.