Mile High Mailbag: Pre-Free Agency Edition

With NFL free agency upon us next week, MHH Lead Analyst Chad Jensen answers readers' questions about the Broncos salary cap situation and how they might proceed next Tuesday.

Welcome to the Mile High Mailbag where we answer your Denver Broncos related questions via social media. If you have a burning question you’d like us to answer, make sure you’re following us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

The questions this week all pertained to the upcoming NFL free agency period, which officially opens at 2pm MST on Tuesday, March 10th. Although contracts cannot be signed until then, beginning today, players' agents can begin negotiating with teams.

The Broncos have several key players set to hit the open market as unrestricted free agents. And John Elway’s team also has several roster holes they’d like to fill before they jump into the NFL draft next month with both feet.

Let’s get to it.


The first question comes from David E. via our Facebook page. Q: What is the Broncos current salary cap space? Will they release or re-structure any more contracts to create more salary cap space to spend in free agency?.

There have been conflicting reports as to exactly how much available cap room the Broncos have. Including Peyton Manning’s contract restructure, which freed up $4M and Demaryius Thomas’ franchise tag, some put it around $21.5M, others around $19M. To get as close to the truth as we can, I got with Over The Cap's Jason Fitzgerald

”Its near impossible to put a rock solid number on anyone right now,” Fitzgerald told me. “Teams are doing all kinds of things behind the scenes with salaries. For example they (the Broncos) just signed their long snapper. I don’t have those details. The NFLPA doesn’t have details on that or Manning (new contract) listed yet. I have Manning in there. I would consider a fair estimate right now to be anywhere from $18-20 million in space.”

That’s about as close as we can get right now, but it clarifies the issue enough for us to extrapolate how Elway and company might proceed next Tuesday. The team will have to budget about $6-7M of that to sign their upcoming draft class. As for possible cap casualties or restructure candidates, earlier this week, we spotlighted four guys who could find themselves strong-armed to accept a pay cut, or even released by June 1st. Punter Britton Colquitt, offensive lineman Manuel Ramirez, offensive tackle Chris Clark and wide receiver Andre Caldwell, are all prime candidates.

The Broncos could save $2.25M by cutting Colquitt, $3M by cutting Ramirez, $1.4M by cutting Clark and $1.35M by showing Caldwell the door—call it $8M in potential cap savings. Look for the Broncos to either bring in a veteran punter, or a rookie, to compete with Colquitt. If the team feels confident in whichever newcomer they put up against Colquitt, I doubt they’ll have any qualms with parting ways. Ramirez is the next likeliest candidate for restructure or release, but that depends on how the new coaching administration views him.

Ultimately, I can see the team keeping Caldwell and Clark, although I believe they’d be better off looking for a better No. 4 receiver than Caldwell. Clark could be a serviceable swing tackle in the new zone blocking scheme and offers valuable starting experience, should anything happen to a player on the starting unit, including left tackle Ryan Clady.

Some have mused that Clady and defensive end DeMarcus Ware could be asked to follow Manning’s example and restructure their current deals to free up cap room, but I don’t see that happening.


The next question comes via Twitter.

There’s no doubt that the sizzle of playing for the Broncos is appealing to veteran free agents. Playing on national television more than any other team is a major draw. And these factors have arguably helped Elway sell some of the team-friendly deals he’s used to sign guys like safety T.J. Ward and receiver Emmanuel Sanders. Veterans want to win and be in the playoffs, no doubt, but a young guy like Rodney Hudson, who’s entering free agency for the first time in his career and has the opportunity to earn money on a second contract that could set he and his family up for life, is more likely to sign with the highest bidder.

Jeremy Parnell is right tackle I can get behind. He is Scout.com's No. 9 free agent tackle. Parnell started eight games for Dallas last year, when starting RT Doug Free went down. In 507 snaps, he earned a +8.7 cumulative grade via PFF. He has starting experience and fits well in the ZBS. And even more importantly, can likely be signed on the relative cheap. By the time the season starts, he'll be 29 years old, which means he probably has at least two good years left in the tank.

Derek Newton is a name that gets bandied about regularly at right tackle, due to his history with Gary Kubiak and the zone blocking scheme, but I’m dubious that he would be an upgrade at the position. Last year, Newton started all 17 games at RT and earned a cumulative grade of +8.9 via Pro Football Focus. However, he struggled regularly in pass blocking, earning a -6.4 grade. Newton’s shortcomings could be bridged by Peyton Manning’s pre-snap reads, pocket awareness and quick release, but the Broncos know that they will only go so far as Manning can take them. Keeping him healthy is priority No. 1.

UPDATE: Since the publishing of this column, Newton re-signed with the Texans today on a five-year, $26.5M deal. Doug Free, another FA tackle, also re-signed with the Cowboys for three years, $15M. Two key FA right tackles are off the market.

Of everyone mentioned in the tweet above, Clint Boling is the player I could most see the Broncos pursuing aggressively. He would fill a major hole at left guard and fits the mold of what Kubiak needs for his ZBS. Boling earned a +5.8 cumulative grade last year via PFF, ranking him as the No. 7 LG. I used to believe that he could be signed for somewhere around $2-4M per year, but he’s built up some buzz lately and will likely command upwards of $5-6M per year. He would be well worth it.


The next question comes from Christopher W. via our Facebook page. Q: Which TE do you think we will get since Orange Julius will most likely be leaving us?

Julius Thomas is almost certainly going to be suiting up for another NFL team in 2015. The Broncos only have one tight end on the roster currently in Dominique Jones. Virgil Green is the best option to start for the Broncos at tight end next season and he’s going to be an unrestricted free agent on Tuesday. I expect the team to make re-signing him one of their top priorities and they’ve already reportedly offered him a multi-year deal to return. Green is one of the best blocking tight ends in the league and was the biggest catalyst to the Broncos modest success on the ground in 2014, next to C.J. Anderson.

Green also has the athleticism and hands to be a weapon in the passing game. He is underrated in that regard and was criminally underused by ex-offensive coordinator Adam Gase. That will change in 2015, if they get him back. As for free agent options to stock the roster, Baltimore’s Owen Daniels makes the most sense. He’s never played in a system that wasn’t designed by Kubiak and knows what it takes to be effective within it. The draw back to Daniels is that he’s 32 years old. But he would serve as a bridge and a short-term band-aid for the Broncos transition to the zone scheme.

Jordan Cameron is another name fans want to hear, but he and Julius Thomas are basically the same player. Phenomenal pass-catchers, but injury-prone and below average blockers. With a Pro Bowl selection under his belt, Cameron will likely be looking for more money on the open market than the Broncos will be willing to pay for his services. One name to keep an eye on is former Kansas City Chief Anthony Fasano. He brings to the table a skill-set that would fit exactly what the Broncos are looking for in a TE.


The next question comes from Demetri J. via our Facebook page. Q: Should the Broncos pursue Chris Myers?

Absolutely they should. Myers might be on the wrong side of 30 but he’s still playing at a high level. Some would argue that if Myers is the question, the team might as well re-sign center Will Montgomery, because they’re both 30+ and undersized zone guys. I disagree.

Myers was released by the Texans last week, primarily because of his salary cap ramifications. But Myers has been to two Pro Bowls and is the most accomplished player at his position for the ZBS in the entire league and would be a definite upgrade over Montgomery.

Now, I wouldn’t break the bank for him, but if he wants to return home to the team who drafted him in 2005 and to the coach under whom he so blossomed, then taking a short-term deal that pays him in the neighborhood of $3M per year should be in the cards.


Our next question comes from Chance V. via our Facebook page. Q: With Pot Roast most likely gone, should the Broncos pursue Vince Wilfork, Dan Williams, or Stephen Paea to fill the position?

I don’t think the Broncos should pursue any of them. Let Terrance Knighton walk and turn to the guy they drafted in the first round of the 2013 draft, Sylvester Williams. Williams has the natural talent to thrive in new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips’ 3-4 defense. At 6-foot-2, 313 pounds, he’s not the biggest nose tackle in the league, but he doesn’t have to be to thrive in Phillips’ system.

Williams’ biggest issue has been a seeming lack of desire. A lack of motor. But he has the natural ability and as John Elway recently opined, new defensive line coach Bill Kollar, who helped mold J.J. Watt into the two-time defensive MVP that he is, will find a way to maximize Williams’ talent and propel him into the player he has the potential to be.

Beyond Williams, the team still has Marvin Austin, who out-performed Williams on the field in 2014. Austin was a 2011 second round pick of the New York Giants and bounced around the league, before being picked up by the Broncos. Between he and Williams, the Broncos have a young foundation to build around and can turn to the draft for depth.


Our last question comes from Chris E. via our Facebook page. Q: I heard we may take a look at Antrel Rolle for free safety?

Rolle is set to hit free agency unrestricted this week, after he and the Giants couldn’t come to terms on an extension. At 32 years old, his best playing days are behind him. The Broncos need speed, range and ball-hawking capabilities in their next free safety. Rolle used to encompass those traits in his younger days, but Father Time is no respector of persons.

Depending on Rolle’s monetary expectations, I could see the Broncos bringing him in on a one-year “prove-it” deal to see if he has anything left. But they might instead choose to pursue former New England Patriots stalwart Devin McCourty.

McCourty is widely considered to be the No. 1 safety in the 2015 free agent pool and at 27 years old and coming off of a Super Bowl championship, he’s in the prime of his career. Last season the former cornerback only snagged 2 interceptions, but his savvy and range would be a major upgrade over what the Broncos have had recently in Rahim Moore. However, McCourty will be hotly pursued by NFL teams.

Acquiring a viable free safety is one of the team’s top priorities but with how much money they already have tied up in their secondary, the Broncos might have to pass on the top guys. Former Buffalo Bills safety Da’Norris Searcy is the best of that next tier of players.

Searcy came into his own last season, notching 65 combined tackles and 3 interceptions and at 26 years old, is just hitting his prime. He has a very high ceiling and could reap the Broncos long-term rewards, without having to break the bank. However, Searcy mostly played strong safety last season, but could likely be coached up to play free.

Check out Wade Phillips as he explains the responsibilities of his 3-4 front.

Chad Jensen is the Publisher and Lead Analyst for MileHighHuddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen and on Google+.

Follow MileHighHuddle on Twitter @MileHighHuddle and become a subscriber to receive access to premium content and discounted Broncos tickets.

Next Story:

Chris Myers Released, Broncos Visit Imminent?


Mile High Huddle Top Stories

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There’s no doubt that the sizzle of playing for the Broncos is appealing to veteran free agents. Playing on national television more than any other team is a major draw. And these factors have arguably helped Elway sell some of the team-friendly deals he’s used to sign guys like safety T.J. Ward and receiver Emmanuel Sanders. Veterans want to win and be in the playoffs, no doubt, but a young guy like Rodney Hudson, who’s entering free agency for the first time in his career and has the opportunity to earn money on a second contract that could set he and his family up for life, is more likely to sign with the highest bidder. \r\n

Jeremy Parnell is right tackle I can get behind. He is Scout.com's No. 9 free agent tackle. Parnell started eight games for Dallas last year, when starting RT Doug Free went down. In 507 snaps, he earned a +8.7 cumulative grade via PFF. He has starting experience and fits well in the ZBS. And even more importantly, can likely be signed on the relative cheap. By the time the season starts, he'll be 29 years old, which means he probably has at least two good years left in the tank. \r\n

Derek Newton is a name that gets bandied about regularly at right tackle, due to his history with Gary Kubiak and the zone blocking scheme, but I’m dubious that he would be an upgrade at the position. Last year, Newton started all 17 games at RT and earned a cumulative grade of +8.9 via Pro Football Focus. However, he struggled regularly in pass blocking, earning a -6.4 grade. Newton’s shortcomings could be bridged by Peyton Manning’s pre-snap reads, pocket awareness and quick release, but the Broncos know that they will only go so far as Manning can take them. Keeping him healthy is priority No. 1. \r\n

UPDATE: Since the publishing of this column, Newton re-signed with the Texans today on a five-year, $26.5M deal. Doug Free, another FA tackle, also re-signed with the Cowboys for three years, $15M. Two key FA right tackles are off the market. \r\n

Of everyone mentioned in the tweet above, Clint Boling is the player I could most see the Broncos pursuing aggressively. He would fill a major hole at left guard and fits the mold of what Kubiak needs for his ZBS. Boling earned a +5.8 cumulative grade last year via PFF, ranking him as the No. 7 LG. I used to believe that he could be signed for somewhere around $2-4M per year, but he’s built up some buzz lately and will likely command upwards of $5-6M per year. He would be well worth it. \r\n
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The next question comes from Christopher W. via our Facebook page. Q: Which TE do you think we will get since Orange Julius will most likely be leaving us?\r\n

Julius Thomas is almost certainly going to be suiting up for another NFL team in 2015. The Broncos only have one tight end on the roster currently in Dominique Jones. Virgil Green is the best option to start for the Broncos at tight end next season and he’s going to be an unrestricted free agent on Tuesday. I expect the team to make re-signing him one of their top priorities and they’ve already reportedly offered him a multi-year deal to return. Green is one of the best blocking tight ends in the league and was the biggest catalyst to the Broncos modest success on the ground in 2014, next to C.J. Anderson. \r\n

Green also has the athleticism and hands to be a weapon in the passing game. He is underrated in that regard and was criminally underused by ex-offensive coordinator Adam Gase. That will change in 2015, if they get him back. As for free agent options to stock the roster, Baltimore’s Owen Daniels makes the most sense. He’s never played in a system that wasn’t designed by Kubiak and knows what it takes to be effective within it. The draw back to Daniels is that he’s 32 years old. But he would serve as a bridge and a short-term band-aid for the Broncos transition to the zone scheme. \r\n

Jordan Cameron is another name fans want to hear, but he and Julius Thomas are basically the same player. Phenomenal pass-catchers, but injury-prone and below average blockers. With a Pro Bowl selection under his belt, Cameron will likely be looking for more money on the open market than the Broncos will be willing to pay for his services. One name to keep an eye on is former Kansas City Chief Anthony Fasano. He brings to the table a skill-set that would fit exactly what the Broncos are looking for in a TE. \r\n
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The next question comes from Demetri J. via our Facebook page. Q: Should the Broncos pursue Chris Myers? \r\n

Absolutely they should. Myers might be on the wrong side of 30 but he’s still playing at a high level. Some would argue that if Myers is the question, the team might as well re-sign center Will Montgomery, because they’re both 30+ and undersized zone guys. I disagree. \r\n

Myers was released by the Texans last week, primarily because of his salary cap ramifications. But Myers has been to two Pro Bowls and is the most accomplished player at his position for the ZBS in the entire league and would be a definite upgrade over Montgomery. \r\n

Now, I wouldn’t break the bank for him, but if he wants to return home to the team who drafted him in 2005 and to the coach under whom he so blossomed, then taking a short-term deal that pays him in the neighborhood of $3M per year should be in the cards. \r\n
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Our next question comes from Chance V. via our Facebook page. Q: With Pot Roast most likely gone, should the Broncos pursue Vince Wilfork, Dan Williams, or Stephen Paea to fill the position?\r\n

I don’t think the Broncos should pursue any of them. Let Terrance Knighton walk and turn to the guy they drafted in the first round of the 2013 draft, Sylvester Williams. Williams has the natural talent to thrive in new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips’ 3-4 defense. At 6-foot-2, 313 pounds, he’s not the biggest nose tackle in the league, but he doesn’t have to be to thrive in Phillips’ system. \r\n

Williams’ biggest issue has been a seeming lack of desire. A lack of motor. But he has the natural ability and as John Elway recently opined, new defensive line coach Bill Kollar, who helped mold J.J. Watt into the two-time defensive MVP that he is, will find a way to maximize Williams’ talent and propel him into the player he has the potential to be. \r\n

Beyond Williams, the team still has Marvin Austin, who out-performed Williams on the field in 2014. Austin was a 2011 second round pick of the New York Giants and bounced around the league, before being picked up by the Broncos. Between he and Williams, the Broncos have a young foundation to build around and can turn to the draft for depth. \r\n
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Our last question comes from Chris E. via our Facebook page. Q: I heard we may take a look at Antrel Rolle for free safety? \r\n

Rolle is set to hit free agency unrestricted this week, after he and the Giants couldn’t come to terms on an extension. At 32 years old, his best playing days are behind him. The Broncos need speed, range and ball-hawking capabilities in their next free safety. Rolle used to encompass those traits in his younger days, but Father Time is no respector of persons. \r\n

Depending on Rolle’s monetary expectations, I could see the Broncos bringing him in on a one-year “prove-it” deal to see if he has anything left. But they might instead choose to pursue former New England Patriots stalwart Devin McCourty. \r\n

McCourty is widely considered to be the No. 1 safety in the 2015 free agent pool and at 27 years old and coming off of a Super Bowl championship, he’s in the prime of his career. Last season the former cornerback only snagged 2 interceptions, but his savvy and range would be a major upgrade over what the Broncos have had recently in Rahim Moore. However, McCourty will be hotly pursued by NFL teams.\r\n

Acquiring a viable free safety is one of the team’s top priorities but with how much money they already have tied up in their secondary, the Broncos might have to pass on the top guys. Former Buffalo Bills safety Da’Norris Searcy is the best of that next tier of players. \r\n

Searcy came into his own last season, notching 65 combined tackles and 3 interceptions and at 26 years old, is just hitting his prime. He has a very high ceiling and could reap the Broncos long-term rewards, without having to break the bank. However, Searcy mostly played strong safety last season, but could likely be coached up to play free.\r\n

Check out Wade Phillips as he explains the responsibilities of his 3-4 front.\r\n

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Chad Jensen is the Publisher and Lead Analyst for MileHighHuddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen and on Google+.\r\n\r\n

Follow MileHighHuddle on Twitter @MileHighHuddle and become a subscriber to receive access to premium content and discounted Broncos tickets.\r\n

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Chris Myers Released, Broncos Visit Imminent?
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Welcome to the Mile High Mailbag where we answer your Denver Broncos related questions via social media. If you have a burning question you’d like us to answer, make sure you’re following us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

The questions this week all pertained to the upcoming NFL free agency period, which officially opens at 2pm MST on Tuesday, March 10th. Although contracts cannot be signed until then, beginning today, players' agents can begin negotiating with teams.

The Broncos have several key players set to hit the open market as unrestricted free agents. And John Elway’s team also has several roster holes they’d like to fill before they jump into the NFL draft next month with both feet.

Let’s get to it.

The first question comes from David E. via our Facebook page. .

There have been conflicting reports as to exactly how much available cap room the Broncos have. Including Peyton Manning’s contract restructure, which freed up $4M and Demaryius Thomas’ franchise tag, some put it around $21.5M, others around $19M. To get as close to the truth as we can, I got with Over The Cap's Jason Fitzgerald

”Its near impossible to put a rock solid number on anyone right now,” Fitzgerald told me. “Teams are doing all kinds of things behind the scenes with salaries. For example they (the Broncos) just signed their long snapper. I don’t have those details. The NFLPA doesn’t have details on that or Manning (new contract) listed yet. I have Manning in there. I would consider a fair estimate right now to be anywhere from $18-20 million in space.”

That’s about as close as we can get right now, but it clarifies the issue enough for us to extrapolate how Elway and company might proceed next Tuesday. The team will have to budget about $6-7M of that to sign their upcoming draft class. As for possible cap casualties or restructure candidates, earlier this week, we spotlighted four guys who could find themselves strong-armed to accept a pay cut, or even released by June 1st. Punter Britton Colquitt, offensive lineman Manuel Ramirez, offensive tackle Chris Clark and wide receiver Andre Caldwell, are all prime candidates.

The Broncos could save $2.25M by cutting Colquitt, $3M by cutting Ramirez, $1.4M by cutting Clark and $1.35M by showing Caldwell the door—call it $8M in potential cap savings. Look for the Broncos to either bring in a veteran punter, or a rookie, to compete with Colquitt. If the team feels confident in whichever newcomer they put up against Colquitt, I doubt they’ll have any qualms with parting ways. Ramirez is the next likeliest candidate for restructure or release, but that depends on how the new coaching administration views him.

Ultimately, I can see the team keeping Caldwell and Clark, although I believe they’d be better off looking for a better No. 4 receiver than Caldwell. Clark could be a serviceable swing tackle in the new zone blocking scheme and offers valuable starting experience, should anything happen to a player on the starting unit, including left tackle Ryan Clady.

Some have mused that Clady and defensive end DeMarcus Ware could be asked to follow Manning’s example and restructure their current deals to free up cap room, but I don’t see that happening.

The next question comes via Twitter.

@MileHighHuddle chances we get Parnell or Newton..maybe Boling and Hudson? Crappy teams w more money, in the hunt..18/DB a draw over $ ?

— Moscow Mule Jules (@DBPFM18) March 6, 2015

There’s no doubt that the sizzle of playing for the Broncos is appealing to veteran free agents. Playing on national television more than any other team is a major draw. And these factors have arguably helped Elway sell some of the team-friendly deals he’s used to sign guys like safety T.J. Ward and receiver Emmanuel Sanders. Veterans want to win and be in the playoffs, no doubt, but a young guy like Rodney Hudson, who’s entering free agency for the first time in his career and has the opportunity to earn money on a second contract that could set he and his family up for life, is more likely to sign with the highest bidder.

Jeremy Parnell is right tackle I can get behind. He is Scout.com's No. 9 free agent tackle. Parnell started eight games for Dallas last year, when starting RT Doug Free went down. In 507 snaps, he earned a cumulative grade via PFF. He has starting experience and fits well in the ZBS. And even more importantly, can likely be signed on the relative cheap. By the time the season starts, he'll be 29 years old, which means he probably has at least two good years left in the tank.

Derek Newton is a name that gets bandied about regularly at right tackle, due to his history with Gary Kubiak and the zone blocking scheme, but I’m dubious that he would be an upgrade at the position. Last year, Newton started all 17 games at RT and earned a cumulative grade of via Pro Football Focus. However, he struggled regularly in pass blocking, earning a grade. Newton’s shortcomings could be bridged by Peyton Manning’s pre-snap reads, pocket awareness and quick release, but the Broncos know that they will only go so far as Manning can take them. Keeping him healthy is priority No. 1.

: Since the publishing of this column, Newton re-signed with the Texans today on a five-year, $26.5M deal. Doug Free, another FA tackle, also re-signed with the Cowboys for three years, $15M. Two key FA right tackles are off the market.

Of everyone mentioned in the tweet above, Clint Boling is the player I could most see the Broncos pursuing aggressively. He would fill a major hole at left guard and fits the mold of what Kubiak needs for his ZBS. Boling earned a cumulative grade last year via PFF, ranking him as the No. 7 LG. I used to believe that he could be signed for somewhere around $2-4M per year, but he’s built up some buzz lately and will likely command upwards of $5-6M per year. He would be well worth it.

The next question comes from Christopher W. via our Facebook page.

Julius Thomas is almost certainly going to be suiting up for another NFL team in 2015. The Broncos only have one tight end on the roster currently in Dominique Jones. Virgil Green is the best option to start for the Broncos at tight end next season and he’s going to be an unrestricted free agent on Tuesday. I expect the team to make re-signing him one of their top priorities and they’ve already reportedly offered him a multi-year deal to return. Green is one of the best blocking tight ends in the league and was the biggest catalyst to the Broncos modest success on the ground in 2014, next to C.J. Anderson.

Green also has the athleticism and hands to be a weapon in the passing game. He is underrated in that regard and was criminally underused by ex-offensive coordinator Adam Gase. That will change in 2015, if they get him back. As for free agent options to stock the roster, Baltimore’s Owen Daniels makes the most sense. He’s never played in a system that wasn’t designed by Kubiak and knows what it takes to be effective within it. The draw back to Daniels is that he’s 32 years old. But he would serve as a bridge and a short-term band-aid for the Broncos transition to the zone scheme.

Jordan Cameron is another name fans want to hear, but he and Julius Thomas are basically the same player. Phenomenal pass-catchers, but injury-prone and below average blockers. With a Pro Bowl selection under his belt, Cameron will likely be looking for more money on the open market than the Broncos will be willing to pay for his services. One name to keep an eye on is former Kansas City Chief Anthony Fasano. He brings to the table a skill-set that would fit exactly what the Broncos are looking for in a TE.

The next question comes from Demetri J. via our Facebook page.

Absolutely they should. Myers might be on the wrong side of 30 but he’s still playing at a high level. Some would argue that if Myers is the question, the team might as well re-sign center Will Montgomery, because they’re both 30+ and undersized zone guys. I disagree.

Myers was released by the Texans last week, primarily because of his salary cap ramifications. But Myers has been to two Pro Bowls and is the most accomplished player at his position for the ZBS in the entire league and would be a definite upgrade over Montgomery.

Now, I wouldn’t break the bank for him, but if he wants to return home to the team who drafted him in 2005 and to the coach under whom he so blossomed, then taking a short-term deal that pays him in the neighborhood of $3M per year should be in the cards.

Our next question comes from Chance V. via our Facebook page.

I don’t think the Broncos should pursue any of them. Let Terrance Knighton walk and turn to the guy they drafted in the first round of the 2013 draft, Sylvester Williams. Williams has the natural talent to thrive in new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips’ 3-4 defense. At 6-foot-2, 313 pounds, he’s not the biggest nose tackle in the league, but he doesn’t have to be to thrive in Phillips’ system.

Williams’ biggest issue has been a seeming lack of desire. A lack of motor. But he has the natural ability and as John Elway recently opined, new defensive line coach Bill Kollar, who helped mold J.J. Watt into the two-time defensive MVP that he is, will find a way to maximize Williams’ talent and propel him into the player he has the potential to be.

Beyond Williams, the team still has Marvin Austin, who out-performed Williams on the field in 2014. Austin was a 2011 second round pick of the New York Giants and bounced around the league, before being picked up by the Broncos. Between he and Williams, the Broncos have a young foundation to build around and can turn to the draft for depth.

Our last question comes from Chris E. via our Facebook page.

Rolle is set to hit free agency unrestricted this week, after he and the Giants couldn’t come to terms on an extension. At 32 years old, his best playing days are behind him. The Broncos need speed, range and ball-hawking capabilities in their next free safety. Rolle used to encompass those traits in his younger days, but Father Time is no respector of persons.

Depending on Rolle’s monetary expectations, I could see the Broncos bringing him in on a one-year “prove-it” deal to see if he has anything left. But they might instead choose to pursue former New England Patriots stalwart Devin McCourty.

McCourty is widely considered to be the No. 1 safety in the 2015 free agent pool and at 27 years old and coming off of a Super Bowl championship, he’s in the prime of his career. Last season the former cornerback only snagged 2 interceptions, but his savvy and range would be a major upgrade over what the Broncos have had recently in Rahim Moore. However, McCourty will be hotly pursued by NFL teams.

Acquiring a viable free safety is one of the team’s top priorities but with how much money they already have tied up in their secondary, the Broncos might have to pass on the top guys. Former Buffalo Bills safety Da’Norris Searcy is the best of that next tier of players.

Searcy came into his own last season, notching 65 combined tackles and 3 interceptions and at 26 years old, is just hitting his prime. He has a very high ceiling and could reap the Broncos long-term rewards, without having to break the bank. However, Searcy mostly played strong safety last season, but could likely be coached up to play free.

[YOUTUBE:iupBixjjyZY]

See what Broncos fans are saying here

Chris Myers Released, Broncos Visit Imminent?
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