2013 Free Agents of interest – Part 10 – Chase Blackburn , LB


Chase Blackburn – LB: 6’ 4’’, 242 lbs, 29 y/o, 8th season,  undraftred in 2005, played 8 years with the New York Giants

Chase Blackburn He signed as college free agent with the New York Giants and after making the final cut, spent the most of his first contract years as special teamer being also named captain of that unit. He was a unrestricted free agent after the 2010 season and re-signed with the Giants on November 2011, in time to intercept Green Bay QB Rodgers in week 13 of the regular season and then Tom Brady in a crucial Super Bowl turnover in Giants favor towards the end of the match.

Has been a starter at MLB since his re-signing with the Giants, for a total of 36 game over 103 regular season games he played in (in 2012 he started all the 15 games he played in).

He also has 2 Super Bowl wins in his resume (one as a starter).

Chase Blackburn is a reliable veteran that can play the 4-3 MLB position physically and has develop some big play capability more out of experience than through superlative athletic skills.

His career stats in regular season games as week 17 of 2012: 334 tackles (231 solo and 103 assisted) 4,5 sacks (3 of them in the 2012 alone), 9 pass deflections (6 in the 2012), 4 interceptions  and 5 forced fumbles (4 in 2012).

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Why the broncos would be interested:

  • The Broncos could look to add a MLB competitor through free agency mostly because is not clear whether Brooking is coming back, and even if, he’ll be a free agent. In the case Brooking won’t come back, or even if he’ll be in the 2013 Broncos training camp, having good competition with another experienced MLB could be a plus for the team and for the developing young Denver LBs.
  • Blackburn has never been a hot name in the league; anyhow he’ll provide playoffs and even more important Super Bowl experience.
  • Having started only in 2012, he could be still hungry to prove himself in the league. Denver proved to be an organization that likes experienced players that are still hungry for victories and want to be part of team success.
  • He could be a far less expensive than some other big name MLB free agent, but even more functional for Denver scheme and team philosophy.
  • He’s a good run defender, can locate the ball and has the experience for jump on the ball carrier to make plats or to fill the running lane to stop the play. The Broncos are using Brooking in the same way, playing nickel schemes the most of the time to cover over passing plays.

Why the Broncos could not pursuing him:

  • Blackburn proved in 2012 that he is a valuable player on the Giants roster. New York could be willing to retain him and he could be more interested to remain in the Big Apple area rather than relocate in Colorado for few more money.
  • The best scenario for the Broncos is that the team FO could find a reliable experienced MLB that can also cover in passing plays. Blackburn lack the speed Denver is looking for a covering LB and also his covering skills are not the best on the MLB free agents market.
  • Denver could decide to draft a MLB high (Milner out of LSU?) instead of signing an experienced player. It’s also a possibility if Denver coaches and FO don’t see Irvin or Johnson or Trevathan as their MLB of the future.

Resume:

Chase Blackburn could bring Super Bowl experience, leadership and hardworking attitude to a team that likes this kind of players. He does not have a great deal of starting experience but has been in the league for eight years out of being undrafted, and this alone deserves respect. He’s not a flashy player but could cover Brooking role in case the 15 years veteran from Georgia Tech will decide to end his career or will leave in free agency. Blackburn could even be good competition for Brooking in the training camp and could not demand an expensive deal if he’ll decide to leave the New Jersey.

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