NFL Free Agency: Predicting the Denver Broncos Free-Agent Signings
John Elway Has Some Choices To Make
Now that the franchise tags have have been assigned by all NFL teams, it is time to concentrate on March 12th when the league reopens and the free agency period begins. For the Denver Broncos, who went 13-3 last season, Executive Vice President of Player Personnel John Elway and his staff do not have to go overboard in the market.
Yet, there are holes that they will need to fill as players are cut, or in D.J. Williams' case, attempted to be traded before being released. The latest rumors have the Broncos wanting to see what the market holds for Williams and if they can return a draft pick for his services before they part ways by cutting the troubled player.
Elway must also decide if he will retain running backs Willis McGahee and Knowshon Moreno, as well as others on the roster, such as safety Mike Adams. As free agency begins, there are plenty of quality players that would help the Broncos, or any team for that matter. The Broncos are fortunate enough to have about $15-17 million in cap space and the ability to win now, which most free agents want as they are wooed by teams.
So where do the Broncos go from here? They need help on the defensive line, size in the run game, an upgrade in the middle linebacker position, and also safety help. It seems like a lot for a team that is considered the favorite to win the Super Bowl in 2013, doesn't it?
Here are my predictions for five free agents that will don the orange and blue in the mile high city for the upcoming 2013 NFL season. The rest will be added via the draft, and once again Elway will prove that he is building a team to win now.
"Rant" your thoughts and opinions in the section below if you agree or disagree with your views on the way the Broncos will be involved with the upcoming free agency period.
Richard Seymour Would Be a Nice Addition
The Broncos will wind up needing defensive line help with the parting of ways with Kevin Vickerson and Justin Bannan. That relief will come at the hands of a proven leader, veteran DT/DE Richard Seymour. This free agent signing will allow the Broncos to move Derek Wolfe to the inside or out depending on the scheme due to the flexibility of Seymour.
Seymour may be 33 and coming off injury, but in the win-now philosophy of the Broncos, a one or two year deal for him to come to a contender will be right up Elway's alley. He will not be expensive and this would be an ideal time for him to play in a winning environment again: something Seymour lacked as an Oakland Raider.
Brandon Moore Would Add Quality Depth
I get it. First the Broncos are rumored to be interested in New York Jets RB Shonn Greene. Now I'm predicting that they will sign G Brandon Moore. Don't be concerned, this will not become "Jets West." The Broncos will not sign Greene, but they will bring in his blocker for the past few years. Moore will be 33 at the beginning of the 2013 season, but some consider him the best offensive guard on the market.
With the Broncos having four of their projected starting linemen on the shelf rehabbing injuries this off-season, the Broncos will need a veteran to mold a line that Peyton Manning can be comfortable with. It is all about repetition with Manning, and Moore would be able to fit right in due to his veteran ability.
Charles Woodson Is a Win-Win For Both Sides
The Broncos will not re-sign Mike Adams. Charles Woodson is looking for a Super Bowl contender. With the future Hall of Fame CB switching to safety, this is a win-win for both sides. Add to that, Woodson would also be a great influence in helping Champ Bailey come to the realization that safety is not necessarily a bad position as he gets older.
Woodson may not be the "elite" player that he once was, but he is still an upgrade over Adams. His addition will also help the youngsters on the team: Rahim Moore, Chris Harris and Tony Carter. These players will be able to learn from two of the greatest corners to play the game. Plus, Woodson would come a little cheaper than the $10 million price tag he would have garnered from the Green Bay Packers.
Austin Collie Adds Familiarity
Remember that combination? Manning sure does. Austin Collie will be a tremendous upgrade over Brandon Stokely in the slot. During the 2009-10 seasons, Collie played in 25 games with Manning, catching 118 passes for over 1,300 yards and 25 touchdowns. Although injury-prone the past two years, Collie would be able to be the difference maker in this Broncos offense.
With the familiarity that Manning and Collie have, the Broncos could have one of the most dangerous wide receiver trio in the league. The Broncos do not need to go the Philadelphia Eagles "Dream Team" route and go after Wes Welker or Mike Wallace to make a big hit. Collie will prove to be a perfect fit for them in 2013.
Steven Jackson Would Put the Broncos Over the Top
If there is any person that knows the value of a running back in order to win the big game, I am betting that man would be John Elway. This is where the Broncos will not hold back as they release Willis McGahee to make room for Steven Jackson, who has declared he will test the free agent market. Jackson will be the most sought after player, but the Broncos will be the team with the biggest upside for the talented runner.
The Broncos will be able to show him the money, while making him feel at ease in Dove Valley. The comfort, tone and direction of the Broncos will appeal to Jackson, and Elway will make the move that puts them over the top. This move also allows the Broncos to retain the services of Knowshon Moreno as insurance, while giving Ronnie Hillman more carries as their change of pace back.