Considering that Free Agency will begin in 2 days, and the legal tampering period in a matter of hours, it is time that I explain my plan to rebuild the Broncos.
With a project $35.3 million in cap space and no significant free agents, the Broncos have plenty of money to work with.
Overview of current roster
The overall shape of the roster is not as bad as last year’s record seems to suggest, but they are more than one offseason away from being super bowl contenders again.
Their current group of QBs is underwhelming. The O line needs 2 new starter. The defense also needs some youth. The defense also needs a help at DE, a pass covering LB and depth at CB.
The Broncos made the right choice to trade Aqib Talib. Ever since his latest incident with Michael Crabtree, I believed it was necessary to get rid of him. While he is one of the better CB in the league, he is in decline. More importantly, he was a cancer to the team, with poor attitude.
Menelik Watson needs to be cut. His play, simulating a turnstile, is an absolute embarrassment to the Broncos. Cutting him will create $4.5 million in cap space, while only creating $2.7 million in dead money.
There has been talk about cutting or trading either Demaryius Thomas or Emmanuel Sanders. While doing so would create more cap space, it is best to keep both of them. Their talents will help out the QBs, and all help is needed. Plus their presence will likely help to attract a FA QB.
Von Miller’s contract should be restructured, converting $12 million of base salary into bonuses.
This can free up an additional $9.1 million.
While the Broncos don’t have any significant players on the verge of becoming free agents, the have a few players that should be resigned. The obvious moves are to tender Shaquil Barrett, and Matt Paradis. Barrett should get a first round tender at $4.15 Million and Paradis a second round tender at $2.91 Million.
ERFA Shelby Harris has already been tender, which is the right move. Jordan Taylor and Zaire Anderson should also be given ERFA tenders.
The only UFA that should be re-signed is LB Todd Davis. A 2 Year deal worth $6 million with $1 million guaranteed should be enough to retain him.
After these moves, the Broncos have $39.4 million in cap space.
Having about $28 million dollars in cap space available for free agent spending (about $11 is needed for signing draft picks), the Broncos can afford to sign some free agents.
Time to address the elephant in the room, and by elephant I mean the elephant sized pile of cash that would be needed to sign Kirk Cousins. Cousins will become the highest paid player in the history of the league within a week. It will likely cost $30 million a year to have the rights to Cousins.
Kirk Cousins was rated as the number 20 QB by Pro Football Focus. Considering the fact that he is overrated, the Broncos should pass on him. They should let the Vikings, Jets and possibly the Cardinals engage in a bidding war for Cousins, and then laugh as they struggle with cap space issue over the next few years.
Cousins is just not worth the money he will require. A QB that is nearly as good can be obtained for half as much, allowing supporting talent to be acquired.
The Broncos should however sign Case Keenum to a 1 year deal worth $15 million. This will give them a short term solution at QB. Keenum is decent, but I think he is too limited to be the long term solution. But he can be a good bridge QB for a rookie.
The Broncos should also sign Raider’s CB T.J. Carrie to a 3 year contract worth a total of $15 million. The money should be back loaded, so that he will only cost 3.6 million this year. He can be either the number 2 or 3 CB.
The right tackle position can be fixed by trading for Dolphin’s RT Ja’Quan James. Considering it is know that the Dolphins plan to cut him if they can’t trade him, along with him only have 1 year remain on his contract, he should be obtainable for the 106th (4th round) overall pick.
After free agency the Broncos would have between $11 and $12 million in cap space, which is enough to sign their rookies.
Round 1 Pick 20 Overall - QB Josh Allen. I’m assuming Sam Darnold will be gone, otherwise he would be the pick. Josh Allen has the most potential of any QB in this draft. He should have time to develop behind Keenum for a year.
Round 2 Pick 40 Overall - OG Will Hernandez or Isaiah Wynn (2nd choice). I believe one of these two will be available a 40. The Broncos get a guard who can start day one and be an improvement over Max Garcia.
Round 3 Pick 71 Overall - DT Justin Jones. He has a chance to develop into a starting NT.
Round 3 Pick 99 Overall - LB Shaquem Griffin. He should quickly become a starter a ILB, and can be the dominate pass defending LB the Broncos haven’t had since Danny Trevathan.
Round 4 Pick 109 Overall - CB Isaac Yiadom. Provides CB depth and a potential future starter.
Round 5 Pick 142 Overall - OT Timon Parris. Provides OT depth and a potential future starter.
Round 5 Pick 163 Overall - DE Foley Fatukasi. Rotational D Lineman and potential future starter.
Round 6 Pick 182 Overall - TE Troy Fumagalli. Provides competition at Tight end and special teams player.
Round 7 Pick 225 Overall - OLB Ja'Von Rolland-Jones. Special teams player.
While these moves won’t make the Broncos a super bowl contender this year, they will help them become one in two years. The QB position will be decent this year, and should become good one Josh Allen develops. The O Line, that is currently a weakness will become a strength. The defense will become younger, but still remain one of the best in the league.