The long term contract is a triumphant moment in today’s NFL. When one is given out to a player, it is the reward for both hard work off the field and excellence on it.
It’s also a huge endorsement of the player—given by the team. This is an indication that the player will now be counted on to be one of the pillars of the franchise going forward.
http://www.scout.com/nfl/broncos/story/1681565-5-reasons-you-should-go-p... With the Von Miller contract talks on again, off again and now on again, we see how important the deals are to a franchise. Big money franchise contracts are monuments of an organization.
If—or when—Miller gets his money, he will be the counted on as the face of the franchise. This is due to his great play on the field, as well as being the first draft pick of GM John Elway—a homegrown lynch-pin.
Going forward, who could be the next set of young Broncos to be given huge money deals and christened as the torch bearers of the organization? Let's take a look at three players to determine if they will be worthy of a long term deal.
1. Bradley Roby, Cornerback
Roby’s play on the field is sometimes a bit overshadowed, as he currently is stuck behind Pro Bowlers Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr. on the depth chart. That, however, does not mean that Roby wouldn’t be a No. 1 cornerback on several other teams.
Mixing good size and the ability to play in both zone and man-to-man based schemes, Roby also demonstrates the ability to be a good fit under a variety of defensive schemes.
We can also consider the position he plays in the defensive backfield. Denver is the rare team that doesn’t have just one, or even two above-average corners, they have three very good corners.
Following 2016, the Broncos can afford move on from Talib. His dead money hit on the salary cap becomes manageable. Enter Bradley Roby. Look for John Elway and company to lock up the Ohio State product before he becomes a coveted player on the open market.
As a 2014 first round pick, the Broncos could choose to exercise a fifth-year option, which would keep Roby in Denver and off the open market through 2018. But if they choose to move on from the troubled Talib, they'll want to keep Roby happy. An extension would make sense.
2. Kayvon Webster, Cornerback/Special Teams
Kayvon Webster is a bit of an enigma in the No Fly Zone secondary. A highly-regarded third round draft pick out of South Florida in 2013, Webster showed promise early by stepping in for an injured Champ Bailey. Webster would begin his stint as a starter strong but eventually falter, losing his job to Tony Carter going down the stretch into the playoffs.
Going into 2014, Webster would again find himself falling down in the depth chart as the newly-signed Aqib Talib would fill in opposite Chris Harris, Jr.—and Bradley Roby was drafted in the first round. While not being a crucial part of the defense, Webster still managed to find ways to make big plays as part of an improving special teams unit.
http://www.scout.com/nfl/broncos/story/1685237-film-room-devontae-booker... While Webster wouldn’t be the premier free agent that most teams are throwing big money at, he does come with considerable upside. Webster is a bigger, physical corner and has shown that he is capable of matching up with physical receivers.
In going back to 2013, in a Week 5 shoot-out with the Dallas Cowboys, Webster went step-for-step with star wideout Dez Bryant, gaining three tackles and even forcing a big fumble to set a up score on the ensuing Denver drive.
What also adds attractiveness to his upcoming free agency is that Webster is a special teams terror. Paired with Cody Latimer, both players excelled as gunners on the coverage units. And Webster flashed improved coverage ability when forced on to the defense.
Webster could find himself in the same situation David Bruton was in this last season. Both in where his play merits a pay increase that Denver might not be able to afford, and that younger players are waiting in the wings behind him.
3. Darian Stewart, Safety
Stewart arrived in Denver as a relatively unheard of safety that would be a stop-gap replacement for the departed Rahim Moore. Stewart came to Denver with the reputation as a solid player but one that who had trouble staying healthy. As the last signing of the now famous Denver secondary, Stewart was mostly an afterthought by many.
A year later Stewart could be argued as the silent leader of the defense. He is a hybrid player that can play the deep center-field at free safety but also slide down in the box and be a solid run stopper. Entering his athletic prime at 27, if Stewart can stay away from the injury bug another year, he could see several teams look to pry his services away from Denver
http://www.scout.com/nfl/broncos/story/1682210-state-of-the-broncos-safe... Stewart is the quintessential player that signs at a bargain cost, outplays his deal, and strikes gold on the free agent market. With Denver drafting a more prototypical free safety in Justin Simmons and versatile player in Will Parks, it could be with an eye toward Stewart leaving in 2017. However, if both young players are delayed in their progress, look for Denver to make a pitch to keep Stewart around for at least a few more seasons.
The crop of current Broncos that could be extended is extensive and goes past these three players. It is a great indicator of a healthy organization when the front office is adept at finding players in the draft. Additionally, it is also a sign of an effective front office that brings in a good coaching staff, which brings out the best in the players it brings in.
In this case, the Broncos would seem to have these groups working in lock-step with each other. Just look at Roby, Webster and Stewart. One is first round pick, another a third round pick and the last is a free agent addition, and a former undrafted college free agent.
While not everyone can be retained, the team will be in good hands with whomever they decide to spend money on. While it may not be these three players, we know that it will be spent on those who are well-deserved and benefit the team going forward.
Adam Uribes is an Analyst for Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @auribes37.
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