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Broncos general manager George Paton gets his man, cornerback Blessuan Austin.
The Broncos are signing Austin, 25, according to 9News insider Mike Klis. Austin will add depth to the secondary after having started 17 games over the last three seasons with the New York Jets and Seattle Seahawks.
Austin is one of seven players who tried out for the Broncos during voluntary minicamp this week. Like with the re-signing of Melvin Gordon Tuesday, Paton abolishes a draft need hours before the NFL draft Thursday.
Austin presumably slots into the No. 4 cornerback slot for the Broncos behind Patrick Surtain, Ronald Darby, and K’Waun Williams. He’ll be used in the team’s dime package (six defensive backs).
A sixth-round pick in the 2019 NFL draft, Austin’s played in 29 games in his career. He’s totaled eight pass breakups, two forced fumbles, 98 total tackles, three tackles for loss and two QB hits.
Signing Austin doesn’t prohibit Paton from still drafting a cornerback with one of the team’s nine picks. But the point is the team has much-preferred optionality now with the Austin and Gordon signings. After adding Gordon and Austin, the Broncos have 21 open roster spots.