Broncos: Hard choices over free agents looming

| 2 years ago

Broncos: Hard choices over free agents looming


PFF-headlinesDenver has some tough decisions to make in the offseason. A few unsung heroes are free agents after the season and each made important contributions to the Broncos current playoff run.

Orlando Franklin has been Denver’s highest-graded lineman and ranks second in the league among guards with a Pass Block Efficiency of 98.6.  The main knock on his stellar season of work is the high number of penalties (10), third-most among guards.

On the other side of the line, Terrance Knighton has been stout against the run with the tenth-best Run Stop Percentage (8.5%) among DTs. His contributions weren’t quite as positive against the pass, coming in at 23 among DTs with a Pass Rushing Productivity of 4.6.

On the backend of the defense, Rahim Moore provided quality and quantity coverage, leading the league in coverage snaps (688) and Cover Snaps Per Target (31.1) and ranking third in Yards Per Cover Snap (0.27) and Cover Snaps Per Reception (40.5) among safeties with 500 or more coverage snaps.

Big playoff performances will only help these guys cash in this offseason.

  • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

    we don’t really ask pot roast to rush the passer so much as to push the pocket so QBs can’t step up to avoid von & ware, even then he isn’t in our nickel usually anyway. not knocking the guy, he’s a beast and i hope we retain him

    • anon76returns

      LOL. After seeing the Harris deal, it seems that Elway might have just enough wizardry up his sleeve to not have to make any hard choices at all. Just needs to keep DT, JT, Pot Roast, Franklin, Moore, Green, and Irving, while leaving enough money to pay the rookies, the IR’d guys, the dead money, the 10 practice squad members, and any other contingency that pops up. Get on it, Elway!

      • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

        julius thomas is expendable, if any of them are, he’ll command too much for not enough return

        • anon76returns

          I wouldn’t break the bank on JT. But I would happily employ the franchise tag, and I’d offer less than franchise tag-level money on a multi-year deal.

          But 24 TDs in two seasons is a lot of return- hard to say he’s not worth an offer.

          • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

            I think we’d use the franchise tag on DT first and foremost tho

          • anon76returns

            I’m still hopeful a deal gets done with DT first without the need to use the tag. Especially encouraging that he outright said he’d take a hometown discount to stay in orange.

          • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

            fulllly agree. i still don’t think julius is worth an 11mil for one year bandaid tag tho. virgil green can step up for a quarter of the cost

          • anon76returns

            Last I checked the franchise tag for a TE was around $8.2M, which seems reasonable for JT’s production levels. The WR franchise tag is considerably steeper, in the $13-14M range, so I’d prefer not to use that on DT.

          • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

            yea, 8.27 mil. is correct, my bad, started remembering the jimmy graham negotiations lol. i just value DT much much higher than JT. plus i think tagging julius wouldn’t necessarily lead to a long term deal as much as it would w baebae thomas

  • Rick S.

    Elway did a great job in signing Chris Harris enabling some of the money to be applied to 2014 which may make room for them to re-sign someone else. Overall, Elway has been great with free agency and the only mistake one could argue he’s made was letting Dumerville go.

    Denver Should Definitely Keep
    1. Demaryous Thomas – Top 5 talent who is a good guy, plays hurt and plays big in big games. He may be only player worthy of franchise tag.
    2. Terrance Knighton – One of the big reasons why Denver’s run defense has been so strong in the last two years,
    3. Orlando Franklin – Solid and versitile player that is the type of guy championship teams need.
    4. Virgil Green – He’s a great blocker with potential to be more. Don’t be surprised to see him as a breakout fantasy TE in 2015.
    5. Brandon Marshall (RFA) – Great 3 down LB. Make him a multi-year offer while they can get him on the cheap.

    Keep at a Bargain
    1. Will Montgomery – He has rated highly since moving to Center, and should be able to be re-signed for a similar price. Peyton needs a veteran Center
    2. Wes Welker – He’s more of a role player now, so if he’s willing to take less, they should try to work something out.
    3. Nate Irving – Solid special teamer and LB

    Probably Time to Go
    1. Julius Thomas – He’s great in the red zone, but he can’t block and has had health issues. He’s essentially a 3rd WR that doesn’t play special teams.
    2. Rahim Moore – Very streaky.

    • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

      we need rahim the dream more than you realize. welker is beyond expendable because e-man sanders will be our new slot guy in 3 wide looks with cody latimer playing on the outside. and nate irving will open camp as the starting mlb, in base, and not a special teamer.

      • Rick S.

        I don’t think Rahim Moore is worth the money it takes to retain him. He is inconsistent in that he has great games, and awful ones. Denver may be best served retaining Carter.

        Welker is now essentially what Brandon Stokely was in his last year in Denver, but he can also return punts. At a MUCH lower salary+incentives deal he’s worth keeping. I’m excited to see Latimore, but think its probably best to keep Welker as insurance if the price is right.

        For most of Irvin’s career he’s been a backup LB and special teamer. IMO his best work came last year when he replaced Miller at SAM. Elway has brought in too many veteran LBs over the years to compete for the starting spot (incl Daquel Jackson) for me to believe they are sold on him enough to pay him in FA as a starting MLB.

        • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

          a “starting” mlb in our D plays only a third of our snaps, so paying irving starting money isn’t an issue, he’ll be cheap, possibly league minimum even. (i would’ve lovvvved to have had d’qwell jackson tho, dudes a beast. him and freeman are great pair in indy)

          idk if i’d pay anything over 2 mil on a one year deal for welker at this point. but that would be a nice insurance policy to have, altho thats what bubba caldwell is for us already.

          q carter’s knee issues are to much to count on him being a 16 game starter, and he’s a strong safety without the range to play centerfiled like rahim anyway. i understand your issues with rahim, no doubt, but we’re not getting a top 10 pick anytime soon. and thats the only way to get an elite FS nowadays. nobody lets them walk in free agency. i guess it’ll be up to the market to determine rahim’s value, because i don’t see us giving him 5 mil or more in annual avg that he’ll want

          • anon76returns

            Looking at Clinton-Dix, Pryor, and Buchannon, there’s definitely no guarantee any first round S is going to work out in their rookie year. If Rahim isn’t interested in what Denver could pay him, than I think K Web might be part of the solution (though I really like him at corner). Bolden has improved a lot at ST since 2013- maybe we could give him another shot at FS as well.

          • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

            nothing’s a guarantee in the draft. but similar to left tackle’s, the best safties in the league have a high draft pedigree

    • Garistotle

      How did Elway “let Dumervil go”? Do you recall the fact that We offered Dumervil the same exact contract that he supposedly was going to sign prior to his fax machine “issues”? If he wanted to be in orange and blue, he would be. Had nothing to do with what We did or didn’t offer. Now that I’ve hopefully cleared that up for ya, carry on. Go Broncos!!!

      • Rick S.

        He cut his salary and the new contract “the fax fiasco” was an agreement for the restructured contract. Considering what they are paying Ware, who’s not as good at this point in their respective careers it was a mistake, but maybe his only one… Compared to most GMs that is really, really good.

        In hindsight it may have been smarter to ask Champ for a restructure and leave Elvis alone,,,, But hindsight is 20/20…

        • anon76returns

          The Ravens are using Doom in his best possible role- pass rush specialist. With Suggs, McPhee, and Upshaw on the team, they can afford to do that. We asked Ware to be an every down player, and while he wasn’t as great as we might have hoped, he was still better than Doom was in that role back in 2011 and 2012.

    • Miguel Castillo

      Let go of Julius Thomas!! what the hell are you smoking buddy!

  • MachoMenos

    Apparently, Donkey fans don’t know how to add. With $24 million in cap space, Elway is going to have to let some of these guys go, plain and simple.

    • anon76returns

      $24M in space-~$3.5M for draft picks leaves us with over $20M, and already puts us over the 53 man roster, meaning every FA re-signed will knock somebody else off the payroll.

      DT will probably want around $13M, JT around $7M, Franklin around $6M, Knighton around $6M. But those are avg/season numbers- a lot of that can be pushed down the road after Manning retires.
      Moore, Green, and Irving are all players I like, but have had limited success in the NFL, and won’t be getting big contracts.

      • Rick S.

        I think JT is gone… He’s not an every down player in the balanced offense Denver operates now, and will probably need to run for the rest of Peyton’s career.

        Elway will spend the money on DT and to retain/fortify the trenches on both sides of the ball.

        • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

          yup

      • Josh Knepshield

        I guarantee you Rahim Moore will get 5-6 Mill annually on his next deal.

        • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

          what i said above “i guess it’ll be up to the market to determine rahim’s value, because i don’t see us giving him 5 mil or more in annual avg that he’ll want”

    • ukbronco

      We have more than $24M in cap space. According to OTC we have $32M of cap space for 2015 right now.

      • MachoMenos

        You are absolutely right. However, I also got that my figure of $24 million from OTC. What happened in the few hours between my post and yours at Over The Cap is beyond me.

    • Garistotle

      Apparently, whatever your a fan of… you guys can’t tell the difference between a horse and an ass. Perhaps with yourself actually being the latter, it somehow stops you from being able to visually or otherwise identify simple differences/traits in animal species? I understand that donkeys don’t have the greatest eyesight so it is making more sense the more I think about it. Plain and simple.

      • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

        you’re sad

        • Garistotle

          Huh??? I guess you’re right though. I AM sad when that is the most clever “insult” people can come up with for our Broncos. Donkeys? Really? That wasn’t even original back in the 80’s, come on.

          • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

            lol, cheer up bud

          • Garistotle

            I will once DT signs a contract. lol

          • Forrest

            Getting all excited that you’re more clever than an Internet stranger is sad. :-(

          • Garistotle

            Excited? No, just calling a person out for being a Richard Johnson. It’s sad that someone wants to post to talk $#it to Broncos fans, just to do it.

  • a57se

    It may be time for Elway to start prepring for a post Manning team.

  • Forrest

    This was a horrible article. It talks about how there are hard choices concerning who to re-sign, but absolutely no details are given about the cap and salary situation of these players. This article is only 33% complete.

    Headlines. #noactualnews

    • LoveStats

      I think the point of the article was to highlight under-appreciated players. It’s a given no team can sign everyone so that’s implied.

    • RayneMan23

      Not a cap site, it’s about stats

  • Packfanvic

    Broncos will be done competing and fall into the rebuilding category after their playoff loss to Indy this weekend. Manning isn’t going to win them a trophy and they best start working on what their future will be at the QB position. Elway thought he was going to buy himself a superbowl and it didn’t transpire.

    • Jim Ludes

      What are you talking about? You from the future bro? Elway’s done a masterful job of getting the team right back to where they need to be.

  • DLane

    Denver will have alot of questions to answer this offseason and alot of ppl are writing off Julius Thomas. I will say this Peyton looked like he needed him down the stretch big time. Welker can walk no need to spend a dime on him, he should just retire. Von, DT, Knighton, Franklin are all assets to this team im not sure what they are going to do. Broncos fans should be very happy about one thing and thats the extension they gave Harris Jr that dude can flat out ball.