Now that the excitement of the Super Bowl is over, the Denver Broncos must overcome their excitement and deal with issues relating to the roster than helped the franchise win its third championship title.
What happens to Von Miller will set the tone for the rest of the roster and the free agents who hope to cash in on helping Denver beat Carolina 24-10.
Miller wants to be paid and should get his wish – whether it is through a long-term deal or with the team placing the franchise tag on him for 2016. Regardless of how he gets his millions, Miller is not leaving the Mile High city. As it was put to me the other day, there is a less than zero chance of that happening.”
So sorry for the other teams that thought they might be able to pry him away with a Wells Fargo truck.
Team president John Elway has other decisions to make as well, trying to secure the services of Danny Trevathan and Malik Jackson – both of whom figure to test the market – and of course their quarterback of the future, Brock Osweiler, who may have some leverage in negotiations.
The fact Peyton Manning should announce his intentions for 2016 (his retirement) in the near future will allow the team to concentrate on the future, not lingering in the past.
If Jackson and Trevathan walk into free agency, look for teams like Chicago, Jacksonville and Dallas to take a long hard look. There will be others, but those teams alone need help with starters and depth in their front seven.
A story in the Chicago Tribune questions whether the Bears will attempt to sign Jackson or Trevathan or both.
Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post wrote the Broncos have won a title, now they must work on the sequel. Given the potential of losing star players and negotiating new deals to keep them is just the start of building for 2016.
“The challenge becomes the sequel. Talent burns like rocket fuel in sports, and the Broncos face difficult choices making the puzzle pieces fit. For starters, remember this about Elway. He has chopped wood as an executive, putting together a front office whose hardwork restored the Broncos glory. He values the draft, eyeing teams like the Baltimore Ravens as models.”
Elway knows everything may appear to start with Miller, but the quarterback position takes precedence over all other spots. Can the team work out a deal with Osweiler, who was hand-picked by Elway in 2012 after the team signed Manning in free agency the same year?
Denver could be a team that can keep its free agents and still not return to the Super Bowl. The team beat Pittsburgh, a team with a banged up Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown and were without Le’Veon Bell. The Broncos beat New England in a game that was closer than the score indicated. Oakland will be improved and the Kansas City Chiefs will be back in the thick of the AFC West race.
Things are just heating up for the 2016 season.
Renck points out the Broncos will, “pick and choose their spots in free agency, last spring more typical than the previous spending spree that landed outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware, cornerback Aqib Talib, strong safety T.J. Ward and receiver Emmanuel Sanders.”
If the team can re-sign its existing free agents, then Elway can turn his attention to the NFL Draft and rebuild the offensive line. While Ryan Clady will return, there are still issues that need to be addressed.
The fact both Trevathan and Jackson were late round finds by Elway proves he knows how to draft for value, something he may have to do again if he loses one or both of them in March.