Shaq Barrett and Broncos' Worst Free-Agent Losses

Shaq Barrett is now sacking for the Tampa Bay Bucs, not your Denver Broncos.
Shaq Barrett is now sacking for the Tampa Bay Bucs, not your Denver Broncos. YouTube
Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Shaq Barrett is leading the NFL in quarterback sacks, with an ultra-impressive eight in just three games.

That's eight more than Von Miller, Bradley Chubb and the rest of the once-vaunted Denver Broncos defense have recorded during the same period en route to an 0-3 start, the franchise's worst in twenty years.

This contrast is worth underscoring because Barrett could have been smashing those QBs while clad in orange and blue. After all, the onetime CSU Ram had been a member of the Broncos for the past five seasons and would no doubt have stuck around had he received a reasonable offer from the team. Instead, executive John Elway and company allowed him to sign as a free agent with Tampa Bay and received zilch in return.

This is hardly the first time the Broncos have seen talents to whom they no longer felt like writing checks pay dividends for other squads.

Below are our picks for the seven other players beyond Barrett whose free-agency exits have been the most painful — plus a coach whose departure was arguably the most agonizing of all.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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