Monday, February 11, 2013
Denver's DT problem
By Tim Kavanagh
The first campaign for Peyton Manning in a Denver Broncos uniform went pretty well: the team qualified for a bye in the playoffs in winning the AFC West, and while they didn't win that contest, they took the eventual Super Bowl champs to double overtime, which is more than the New England Patriots or San Francisco 49ers can say. In any case, one of the Broncos' big needs this offseason is at defensive tackle, a situation that's been discussed here and elsewhere in recent weeks.
Both Kevin Vickerson and Justin Bannan are set to hit free agency if the Broncos don't re-sign them, and it's unclear just how high of a priority they place on so doing. Within his "Plugging the Holes" column looking at needs in the AFC West, Football Outsiders scribe Any Benoit has some suggestions for Denver as to how they can address the situation:
Andy BenoitPlugging the Holes: AFC West
"Expiring contracts have left holes in the interior of a front seven that led the Broncos to a No. 4 run defense DVOA ranking last season. After they re-sign or franchise-tag star left tackle Ryan Clady, the Broncos are expected to have $12-15 million available in cap space. John Elway could re-sign all three interior defensive starters and still have a little money left over. Or, he could trust his existing linebacker depth to fill Keith Brooking's void, lowball Vickerson, say goodbye to Bannan and try to upgrade by luring a second-tier free agent defensive tackle -- say a Randy Starks, Terrance Knighton or Alan Branch -- to Mile High."