Cutler, a 2006 first-round pick, started the final five games of last season. The Broncos are building around him, and started this off-season by bolstering his supporting cast.
Tight end Daniel Graham and running back Travis Henry should boost the skill positions, as should receiver Brandon Stokley if he is healthy. The team also added quarterback Patrick Ramsey as Cutler's backup.
"It takes a lot of pressure off of me," Cutler said. "I can get the ball to those guys and let them work."
Last year the Broncos didn't have many weapons around quarterback Jake Plummer, who started most of the season. They added Javon Walker, who played well, but Rod Smith slipped because of a hip injury and the running game was inconsistent.
With more options, Cutler said he figures the play-calling will be more diverse. Last season, the Broncos often played it safe because Jake Plummer was prone to turnovers.
When Cutler took over at starting quarterback the Broncos offense came alive. Denver scored at least 20 points three times in Plummer's 11 starts, and scored 20 points or more in all five of Cutler's starts.
Denver should be able to give opposing defenses many different looks with multiple tight end and receiver sets, and Henry should keep defenses from overplaying the pass.
"We can stretch the field more than we did last year and we're going to have a really strong running game," Cutler said.
--Defensive end Kenard Lang said there was some value in drafting players from winning college programs. Florida defensive linemen Jarvis Moss and Marcus Thomas, Texas defensive end Tim Crowder and Notre Dame offensive lineman Ryan Harris made up Denver's draft class.
"You got guys who have that winning taste in their mouth," Lang said. "They know what it's like to win."
--For the third straight season, the Broncos will wait to hold their mandatory minicamp. They will do so in early July once again. Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said he likes having the minicamp then so everything that is taught is still fresh in the players' minds when training camp begins.
--Second-year tight end Tony Scheffler broke his foot on Friday, May 18th and is expected to be sidelined for two months. But the good news is that timeline should allow him to be ready for action by the start of training camp. Scheffler has put on about 30 pounds this off-season. He is up to 265 and hopes to become a bigger factor in the running game.
"I'm looking forward to playing heavier and still maintaining my speed," Scheffler said.
Scheffler came on late last season as a receiver, after Jay Cutler took over at quarterback. He had four touchdowns in December. QUOTE TO NOTE: "The more weapons you have, the easier it is as a quarterback." -- Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
MEDICAL WATCH: No updates.
FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.
TRANSITION PLAYER: None.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.
EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: Not available.
--LB Louis Green: Potential RFA; 3 yrs, terms unknown.
--FB Kyle Johnson: RFA; terms unknown.
--WR Quincy Morgan: UFA; terms unknown.
--DT Kenny Peterson: UFA; terms unknown.
--FB Cecil Sapp: RFA; $1.3M/1 yr.
--CB Dre' Bly (trade Lions).
--TE Daniel Graham: UFA Patriots; $30M/5 yrs, $15M guaranteed.
--RB Travis Henry: FA Titans; 5 yrs, $12M guaranteed; other terms unknown.
--LB Warrick Holdman: UFA Redskins; terms unknown.
--OG Montrae Holland: UFA Saints; $1M/1 yr, SB unknown.
--LB D.D. Lewis: UFA Seahawks; terms unknown.
--DT Alvin McKinley: UFA Browns; $8M/4 yrs, SB unknown.
--QB Patrick Ramsey: FA Jets; $4.5M/2 yrs, SB unknown.
--P Todd Sauerbrun: UFA Patriots; $820,000/1 yr.
--FB Paul Smith: UFA Rams; $2.55M/3 yrs, $300,000 SB.
--WR Brandon Stokley: FA Colts; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--WR David Terrell: FA; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--RB Tatum Bell (traded Lions).
--DE Courtney Brown (released).
--LB Keith Burns: UFA; retired.
--OG Cooper Carlisle: UFA Raiders; 2 yrs, terms unknown.
--DE Patrick Chukwurah: UFA Buccaneers; $5.5M/5 yrs, SB unknown.
--RB Cedric Cobbs (released).
--OT George Foster (traded Lions).
--DT Michael Myers: UFA Bengals; $1.65M/2 yrs, $100,000 SB.
--RB Damien Nash (deceased).
--QB Jake Plummer (traded Buccaneers).
--CB Darrent Williams (deceased).
--LB Al Wilson (released; post-June 1 designation).
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