Fan and coach favorite, Mitch Unrein, has been navigating the waters of unrestricted free agency. And he finally got a bite. He has signed a two-year deal with the San Diego Chargers, making him the fourth Bronco to defect in free agency.
The Chargers need a lot of help on their defensive line and the versatile Unrein will provide it. Unrein also has ties to the organization, as he played for then offensive coordinator Mike McCoy (2011, 2012), now San Diego's head man.
Unrein's never been a player that will blow you away on tape, but he’s a smart, team-first player, with a jack-of-all trades skill-set on the defensive line. And coaches love him. The guy caught a touchdown pass from Peyton Manning, for Pete's sake.
Going undrafted out of Wyoming in 2010, Unrein debuted for the Denver Broncos in 2011. In that time, he beat some long odds to make the final 53-man roster and has found a way to contribute to the defense.
Last season, the Broncos cut ties with Kevin Vickerson in favor of the younger and more inexpensive Unrein. Unrein played only 46 snaps (the lowest of his four-year career), earning a -1.1 cumulative grade via Pro Football Focus.
Unrein’s most productive season came in 2012, when he saw 394 snaps on defense and registered 11 stops. Here’s how PFF qualifies a stop.
The number of solo defensive tackles made which constitute an offensive failure (including sacks).
With the Broncos perceived lack of depth behind their projected starters at defensive end, Derek Wolfe and Malik Jackson, it was a mistake to let Unrein walk to a divisional rival, especially when his probable monetary value is factored in. Last season he played for $1.431M on a restricted free agent tender. He now joins former Bronco Orlando Franklin in San Diego.
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