The Denver Broncos are expected to have a good amount of cap room in 2017, and that's before any moves are made, and ahead of the annual NFL cap raise. Both could add a lot more cap room to the Broncos situation.
Currently, the Broncos sit at 19th in the NFL for projected cap room with $38,410,833 million. That is second most in the AFC West division, sitting only $6,188,987 million behind Wildcard Oakland Raiders.
Every year teams also get a boost with the annual NFL cap raise, which early reports have it raising $11-15 million — from $155 million to $166-170 million. Over the last few years, the raise has been towards the top end and even an additional $5-10 million more than the high point in early projections.
Even at the low end, the Broncos have almost $50 million in cap room to work with. They also have cap rollover, as well.
http://www.scout.com/nfl/broncos/story/1745714-what-s-the-real-reason-ga... One big thing to remember with signing players is actual money. This isn't monopoly money.
The team needs to have the money on hand to pay their signing bonuses to start, and a source with knowledge on the situation told me that “the Broncos have more money to spend than ever before.” In fact, they have the ninth-most money in the bank to spend in almost $125 million. It's worth noting that the NFL requires teams to use over 95 percent of cap space and available cash.
Having more cap room than ever would include the 2014 offseason when GM John Elway spent on big time free agents Aqib Talib, T.J. Ward, DeMarcus Ware and Emmanuel Sanders. So they have the money, and they have the cap room. Expect this offseason to be bigger than 2014, or about the same at the very least.
The Broncos can add even more cap room by moving on from some players and freeing themselves of those contracts. Sources have passed on a few names that have been internally discussed.
Aqib Talib, CB
First up is a player everyone has heard buzz on — Aqib Talib. The Broncos tried moving on from him on four separate occasions during last year's offseason.
He is still being discussed as “his headaches and pay aren’t worth it to keep him,” which is a hard pill to swallow, considering how great he played this last season, earning Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro nods.
Talib did his part to keep opposing offenses from moving the chains, unless you’re Michael Crabtree.
Joking aside, Talib really was outstanding and his play is well worth his pay. However, all the on and off-the-field troubles must be considered.
http://www.scout.com/nfl/broncos/story/1745410-report-rams-hire-wade-phi... He often puts the defense at risk of penalties with his aggressiveness. He was called for eight penalties in 2016, with two of them declined and one offsetting. Five were accepted for 45 yards. This was most among Broncos cornerbacks, with Bradley Roby getting hit with five total and Harris with seven.
The only way the Broncos move on from Talib is via trade. They won’t let him go for nothing, and the trade price would be steep, per my source. The Broncos desire a high-round draft pick in return, but not a first round pick.
This makes me think a second round pick with additional compensation. There have also been rumors of adding him to a package for a veteran quarterback, but those are just rumors at this time.
Trading Talib would hit Denver with $2 million in dead cap space, but would add an additional $10 million to their cap room. The $10 million increase is a big reason the Broncos would consider moving him. However, Talib isn’t the only corner being mentioned as trade bait.
Bradley Roby, CB
Bradley Roby is a lot younger, and a former first round pick. His name has been floated on the trade market, though actual interest on Denver's part to move him has been low.
However, it may grow during this upcoming offseason. The Broncos will have to decide on his fifth-year option, which would pay him in the range of $10 million, a significant increase from the $2.2 million he is set to make next year. The dead money vs. cap space is a minimal $500K difference, so it wouldn’t be a cap decision to move on from Roby.
Russell Okung, OT
Russell Okung is an obvious name to keep an eye on. The Broncos have to decide on his option.
If they pick it up, they'll be on the hook for $11.7 million next year. Cutting him would save $10.9 million with only 800K in dead money.
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A restructure is also an option, though it can hurt more later on down the road. A cut seems most logical, especially with the switch to a power scheme coming to Denver, which Okung fits poorly.
Donald Stephenson also is a name that has been mentioned, but strictly as a cut candidate. He was really poor this last season and cutting him saves Denver $1 million in cap space, though they would take on $2 million hit in dead cap. His performance last year just doesn’t make him worth keeping.
With the cap raise, rollover and two potential moves, the Broncos could sit at over $70 million in cap space, with tons of money on hand. In 2014, the Broncos didn’t have near as much cap or money and brought in some great talent.
It's hard to imagine that Elway doesn’t address multiple positions. He doesn’t like going into the draft with needs — that is well-known. Denver will target multiple offensive linemen who will fit into the power scheme coming with new offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and O-line coach Jeff Davidson.
Also, finding a veteran quarterback and some key components on defense, could be a priority. In an upcoming article, I will address those potential targets. Stay tuned.
Erick Trickel is a Draft Analyst for Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ErickTrickel.
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