By Arnie Stapleton, AP pro football writer
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — A person with knowledge of the deals tells The Associated Press that the Denver Broncos have agreed to terms with free agent defensive tackles Domata Peko of the Bengals and Zach Kerr of the Colts.
Peko and Kerr agreed to two-year deals, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the Broncos weren’t commenting on the agreements.
Peko, whose deal is worth $7.5 million, is the second longtime Bengals lineman to leave Cincinnati in free agency, joining offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth, who signed with the Rams. Peko started all 16 games in nine of his 11 seasons with the Bengals.
He’s joining his cousin, nose tackle Kyle Peko, in Denver.
Kerr played in 36 games in three seasons with the Colts, starting four times in both 2015 and ’16.
Poor play in the trenches cost the Broncos dearly last season as they failed to make the playoffs after winning the Super Bowl a year ago.
GM John Elway added two new O-line starters Friday by signing free agents Menelik Watson and Ron Leary. Then, he turned his attention to plugging holes on the D-line.
The Broncos sorely missed Malik Jackson, who bolted to Jacksonville a year ago, and Vance Walker, who sustained a season-ending knee injury in training camp. Their inability to stuff the run or produce pressure from the middle negated their strengths: Von Miller rushing the passer and Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr. defending the pass.
The four free agents, all of whom weigh more than 300 pounds, meet Elway’s goal of filling his biggest needs in free agency so that he can go into next month’s draft and focus on adding talent rather than plugging holes.