Broncos tender contracts to Lindsay, Patrick & Johnson

Running Back Phillip Lindsay, Wide Receiver Tim Patrick and Linebacker Alexander Johnson all receiver RFA Contract Tenders (Photos Courtesy of Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

The Broncos have informed their three Restricted Free Agents they are tendering them contracts. As expected wide receiver Tim Patrick and Linebacker Alexander Johnson had a 2nd round tender placed on them, which will pay each player $3.3 Million. Running back Phillip Lindsay received an original round tender which carries a $2.1 Million salary for the year.

Teams can offer any of the players a contract, and the Broncos have the right to match those contracts. If a team were to sign Patrick or Johnson, they would have to give the Broncos their 2nd round pick in exchange for the player. Lindsay's original round, which in this case is essentially no round, as the Denver native and CU alum was undrafted, would yield no player in return if the 2018 Pro Bowler signed somewhere else and the Broncos didn't match the offer.

General Manager George Paton said he wanted all of these players back when he met the media last week. Reading between the lines he seemed more matter of fact when talking about the 2 players he gave the 2nd round tender to, than he was about Lindsay. "We’re going to tender both of those players, Paton said about Patrick and Johnson. "I’m not sure at what level. Again, two good football players that we look forward to being here in the future."

When asked about Lindsay, it was obvious Paton and his staff were uncertain what they wanted to do with the Denver South product who's proven to be one of the Broncos most dynamic players, but has also missed a number of games because of injury. "We’re still working through Phillip, he said. "Phillip is a good player and very passionate. He had some injuries last year and he brings energy and juice. He’s a restricted free agent and we do plan on tendering him. I’m not sure at what level but we want Phillip here."

It'll be interesting to monitor the market for Lindsay. Arizona is a running back needy team, and Defensive Coordinator, Vance Joseph, wields a fair amount of influence with Cardinals Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury and their GM Steve Keim. According to sources, a handful of teams reached out to inquire about the "Colorado Kid" and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him end up in a place like San Francisco to play for another Colorado native in Kyle Shanahan or perhaps a place like Houston, that's looking to establish a new identity amidst all the chaos surrounding QB DeSean Watson.

Lindsay's best year as a Broncos came in his rookie year when he made the Pro Bowl, but was unable to play in the game after suffering a broken wrist in the penultimate game of the year in Oakland on Christmas Eve. Some in the organization believe that injury affected Lindsay's ability to catch the ball the last 2 years, and he's struggled in pass protection at times as well. Nonetheless, he followed up a 1,037 yard inaugural campaign with 1011 yards on the ground in year 2. Last year nagging injuries and the arrival of Melvin Gordon III limited Lindsay's production, He missed 5 games, and was banged up in a few others, only managing to run for 502 yards.

Patrick is coming of his best year in Orange & Blue, as he hauled in 51 catches for 752 yards and 6 touchdowns. The return of Courtland Sutton could cut into Patrick's snap count, or as some believe, he could start opposite of the 2019 Pro Bowler, and last year's top pick, Jerry Jeudy could operate in the slot or as the 3rd receiver.

Johnson led the team in tackles in 2020 posting 124 stops and starting all 16 games in the middle of Vic Fangio's defense. Although the Broncos may look to upgrade at middle linebacker, whether it be in the draft or free agency, the expectation is that player would replace Josey Jewell and start alongside Johnson.

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