(AP/CBS4) — Nose tackle Mike Purcell parlayed his surprising success in Denver last year into a big payday, signing a three-year, $14.8 million extension this week with the Broncos, his eighth team.
“It’s an amazing feeling. It’s a blessing for sure. Me and my family, we’re happy to be here and we’ll be here a little longer, now,” he told CBS4 on Thursday, two days after signing the deal. “But it’s nice to say I’m home in more ways than one.”
The 328-pound run stuffer grew up in Highlands Ranch not far from Broncos headquarters and attended the University of Wyoming. After getting overlooked in the 2013 NFL draft he signed with San Francisco, where Broncos coach Vic Fangio was then the defensive coordinator. He spent four years bouncing between the 49ers’ practice squad and active roster before getting claimed off waivers by the Rams in 2017. He got cut coming out of training camp that year and would spend time on the practice squads of the Bears (where Fangio had gone to take over as Chicago’s defensive coordinator), Panthers, Patriots and Chiefs. After getting cut by Kansas City — for the 10th time overall — in 2019, Purcell still wasn’t done with football and signed with Salt Lake City of the AAF. When that spring league folded, Purcell signed with Denver, where Fangio had recently been hired as head coach.
Purcell was inactive for three of the Broncos’ first four games last year. After Jacksonville’s Leonard Fournette ran for 190 second-half yards against Denver in Week 4, Purcell was inserted into the lineup along with inside linebacker Alexander Johnson. Since then, Denver has allowed the fewest rushing yards in the league, 101.4 yards per game, a 47.9-yard improvement from the team’s first four games of 2019.
Purcell’s solid season meant a salary this season of $3.259 million as a second-round tendered restricted free agent. His $14.8 million extension takes him through 2023 and includes nearly $7 million in guarantees.
You can catch more of CBS4’s interview with Mike Purcell Saturday night at 10:35 p.m. on the Hyundai Football Blitz. He and Michael Spencer preview Monday’s game at New England.
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