NFL free agency is now less than two weeks away and there are a lot of intriguing names on the market. The Denver Broncos will be looking to improve their team but if fans are looking for a big splash, they are probably going to be disappointed. That’s doesn’t mean the Broncos won’t be active and they will sign some quality players, but the big names are probably not headed for the Mile High City.
There are two primary reasons for not going after the big ticket players with the first being they don’t have to. The Broncos were 13-3 last season and were the Super Bowl favorites heading into the playoffs, the core is all ready intact. The Broncos have enough “star” players to win a championship, they do not need to go after the big names.
The Broncos need to add pieces here and there; another running back, another cornerback and depth at other positions. The market is deep and the Broncos can get what they need without breaking the bank which leads us to the other reason that the Broncos won’t be pursuing the big name.
They are going to place the franchise tag on left tackle, Ryan Clady and that will eat up a little over nine million of their available salary cap space. The Broncos will still have room to make moves but probably not enough to go after the Charles Woodson’s of the world. That maybe frustrating to some fans but it is smart business, the Broncos got into trouble a few years ago because they ignored the future. They signed guys to huge contracts and then when they didn’t work out, the Broncos were forced to cut them leaving a lot of dead money on the books. The best way to describe is the Broncos were buying players on credit then when the bill came due; they had to pay it all at once. That left the team cash poor for a three or four year period which led to the 4-12 bottoming out in 2010.
John Elway had numerous goals when he took over as the Vice-President of Football Operations and one of them was to fix the financial house. He has done that, the Broncos are not paying people no longer on the roster for the first time in a long time. The contracts they offer are reasonable and fiscally sound. If there is a free agent that can help the Broncos win in 2013 and they can sign him to a fair contract, they will do it but they will not mortgage the future.
So if you are hoping that the Broncos pursue Darrelle Revis, Woodson or any other big name then you will be disappointed. If you are hoping the Broncos will be smart and add guys that will make them better, then you will like what you see. The first two or three days of free agency are likely to go by without the Broncos doing anything; they are going to wait for the market to settle. There will be plenty of good players on day three and four of free agency, and they won’t cost an arm and a leg.
Elway has the Broncos close to where he wants them, building through the draft and supplementing through free agency. The plan is working: it would be foolish to deviate from that plan now.
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