|The hope is that Florence can bolster the defensive backfield. (Getty Images)|
The Bills released cornerback Drayton Florence last week, and Thursday he signed a two-year deal with the Broncos, according to CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Andrew Mason.
Bronco Nation it's official ready to rock at MIle High!— Agent 29 (@DraytonFlorence) May 10, 2012
More via Mason:
"Assuming perennial Pro Bowler Champ Bailey stays healthy, free-agent pickups Tracy Porter and Drayton Florence will be competing for one cornerback slot. Another position on the depth chart figures to go to fourth-round pick Omar Bolden, who can also return kickoffs. That could leave second-year CB Chris Harris and third-year CBs Syd'Quan Thompson and Cassius Vaughn competing for one slot; of the three, Harris appears to have the edge because he played nickelback last year and is the only one of the Broncos' younger CBs not coming off an injury."
Florence, a nine-year veteran out of Tuskegee, spent his first five NFL seasons with the Chargers before playing for the Jaguars and Bills from 2008-2011. He started every game for Buffalo the last two years, racking up 12 passes defended and three interceptions.
According to a ProFootballFocus.com post in February, Florence ranked 100th last season among qualifying cornerbacks. The site described him as "an unmitigated disaster" and stated that "it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see the Bills let him go if a better option emerges."
And that's exactly what happened. Buffalo used the No. 10 pick in last month's draft to take Stephon Gilmore out of South Carolina, and he'll probably begin the year as the starter opposite last year's second-round pick, Aaron Williams. They'll be joined by Leodis McKelvin, a former first-rounder, who graded out well in PFF's rankings, and Terrance McGee.
Florence will have the benefit of playing for Denver's new defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, who coached Florence in Jacksonville. He's also familiar with running backs coach Eric Studesville and WRs coach Tyke Tolbert, who were on Buffalo's staff in 2009.
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