Personnel issues now the focus

Will Clinton Portis get a new contract? Will Shannon Sharpe retire? Will Al Wilson be resigned? What veterans will have their contracts restructured to meet cap requirements? These are some of the many personnel issues that the Broncos will face now that their season has ended. Read about it in today's news reports.

A whole different Broncos ballgame - Denver Post - Adam Schefter
Tuesday, January 06, 2004 - Now that the Broncos' season is over and their lockers are empty, football becomes moneyball and hardball. Game-planning is over but strategic planning is just beginning. According to an NFL Information Report, the Broncos are about $2.5 million over next season's salary cap - before trying to re-sign middle linebacker Al Wilson, outside linebacker Ian Gold, fullback Reuben Droughns, guard Ben Hamilton and defensive ends Bertrand Berry and Reggie Hayward.

Don't let Wilson go, Broncos - Denver Post - Mark Kiszla
Tuesday, January 06, 2004 - Before turning his back on another smelly season for the Broncos and walking out of a locker room that reeked with disgust, coach Mike Shanahan finally made a smart move. He wrapped linebacker Al Wilson in a sweet hug, held on tight and refused to let go.

Are the Broncos losing McCaffrey, Sharpe? - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Tuesday, January 06, 2004 - For nine seasons, wide receiver Ed McCaffrey has been one of the Broncos' most popular and productive players. But his 2003 season was marked by injuries, not receptions. Now his career is in limbo, because of health issues, and monetary ones. McCaffrey is scheduled to make $4.5 million in base salary in 2004.

Shanahan: O'Neal done playing at DB - Denver Post - Adam Schefter and Patrick Saunders
Tuesday, January 06, 2004 - As long as he is a Bronco, Deltha O'Neal plays wide receiver and trade bait. Coach Mike Shanahan ruled out the possibility O'Neal would return to cornerback in Denver. "If he doesn't want to be a wide receiver, we'll have him talk to his agent and see if we can make a trade," Shanahan said Monday, one day after O'Neal was deactivated for Denver's wild-card loss against Indianapolis.

Glass half-full for Broncos? - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
January 6, 2004 - Sift through the rubble that was Sunday's wild-card loss and you'll find some big-picture positives now that the Denver Broncos' season is over. Heck, even the Titanic had some survivors.

Health will dictate future for Broncos' McCaffrey - Rocky Mountain News - Lynn DeBruin
January 6, 2004 - Ed McCaffrey has been a fan favorite and a major contributor on offense for years with the Broncos. But whether he returns next year hinges on his health, Denver coach Mike Shanahan said Monday.

Adams: Bowlen declines to point finger - Rocky Mountain News - Sam Adams
January 6, 2004 - A day after Sunday's thorough, season-ending 41-10 playoff loss, Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen still was feeling a bit unsettled. "I think we all, in the organization, took it harder than any loss," Bowlen said.

Krieger: Now for the unofficial postmortem - Rocky Mountain News - Dave Krieger
January 6, 2004 - The official postmortem was at Dove Valley, and you will not be surprised to learn everything is lovely. Lots of young talent, no more stragglers than usual (no matter what Rod Smith says), everything is good, everybody is good, Deltha O'Neal could be a heck of a wide receiver, just wait 'til next year.

Colts' Manning All-Pro QB - Rocky Mountain News - Barry Wilner, Associated Press
January 6, 2004 - Co-MVP Peyton Manning kept the quarterback spot on the Associated Press All-Pro Team all to himself, easily beating out the league's other Most Valuable Player, Steve McNair, to make the squad for the first time. Joining the Indianapolis Colts' star on the team announced Monday were Baltimore's postseason award winners, linebacker Ray Lewis and running back Jamal Lewis. Denver's Tom Nalen was the All-Pro center, the only Broncos player honored.

Associated Press All-Pro Team - Rocky Mountain News - Clay Latimer
January 6, 2004 - Associated Press All-Pro Team

Shanahan already planning changes - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
January 6, 2004 - As Rod Smith was being interviewed in the aftermath of Denver's disappointing first-round playoff exit on Sunday, his protg, Ashley Lelie, jokingly pushed one of the television microphones into his face. A few moments later, after Lelie had left the locker room, Smith started talking about a group of players on the Broncos he calls "stragglers."

Sharpe Still Mum About Future - - Andrew Mason
Monday, January 5, 2004 - Three days after his three-touchdown game against the San Diego Chargers on Nov. 16, Shannon Sharpe asked a favor of the media. All he wanted was for the questions about his future plans to stop, so he could focus on the remainder of the season.

Shanahan: Ferguson Set to Return for '04 - - Andrew Mason
Monday, January 5, 2004 - A subject percolating below the surface of discussions regarding the Broncos after Sunday's loss was the status of the team's potential free agents. But Head Coach Mike Shanahan revealed Monday that one key part of the Broncos' success will return in 2004.

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