Offseason Blueprint: Broncos
Denver's projected lineup, cap situation, free-agent and draft targets
KC Joyner, Todd McShay, Field Yates | ESPN Insider
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With the 2014 NFL scouting combine in the rearview mirror and free agency about begin, Insider's experts have produced the Offseason Blueprint for all 32 NFL teams. Included are each team's offseason priorities, projected lineup, draft and free-agency targets, cap situation and much more.
This is the Offseason Blueprint for the Denver Broncos.
1. Cap maintenance. It starts in the form of salary reductions or releases of players such as CB Champ Bailey ($10 million against the cap), OG Chris Kuper ($5.9 million/cap) and TE Joel Dreessen ($3.1 million/cap).
2. With WR Demaryius Thomas and TE Julius Thomas set to become unrestricted free agents in 2015, WR Eric Decker will likely be allowed to leave via free agency, as will RB Knowshon Moreno since the Broncos have drafted young backs in each of the past two seasons (Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman).
3. The return of LT Ryan Clady could mean Chris Clark will move to RT, where Orlando Franklin is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in 2015 -- he was exposed in the Super Bowl. Clark is signed through 2015 at what would be a ridiculously low cap number. The market will determine whether or not the Broncos can afford to re-sign free agent Zane Beadles, so look for them to draft a center or guard in the draft.
4. With Von Miller returning from a late-season ACL injury, and DE Shaun Phillips a 32-year-old free agent, finding a pass-rusher is a must. That's easier said than done, as supply falls far short of demand, but as has been mentioned for other teams, keep an eye on a guy like free agent O'Brien Schofield.
5. Age, health and unrestricted free-agent status all come into play with the top three corners on the roster. Only Chris Harris, who is coming off an ACL injury and was missed in the playoffs, is a sure bet to return due to his restricted free agent status. While Bailey's status is yet to be determined, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is likely to test the market, but ultimately having found a good fit with Denver, should return.
A look at 2014 locks and question marks in the lineup.
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