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  • Tough decisions coming

    https://www.denverpost.com/2018/02/1...cap-explainer/

    With free agency and draft looming, Broncos face tough choices in manipulating salary cap


    For the last couple of years, the same story has followed the Broncos as they weigh their off-season needs with their options and, again, start to retool their roster.

    They need a starting quarterback. They need help on the offensive line. They could use another playmaker on offense and depth on the defensive line. They need another reliable cornerback, help on special teams and they have to decide what they’re going to do at inside linebacker in the coming weeks.

    When the Broncos’ season ended, general manager John Elway made one big decision in retaining head coach Vance Joseph, but he has remained coy about his other looming choices.

    “I think that when you’re 5-11, there are obviously some issues that we have to get handled,” Elway said at the team’s season-ending news conference in January. “But our goals have not changed for the Denver Broncos and what we want to do — and that’s to compete for world championships.

    Now, we have to build towards that process. That starts now.”

    And it starts with a manipulation of their salary cap.

    The Broncos have 59 players signed to contracts for the 2018 season. The NFL salary cap is expected to jump to around $178 million for the 2018 season and, assuming it does, the Broncos will have around $26 million in cap space, according to Over the Cap (OTC)

    The good news is Broncos carry only $365,907 in dead money, per OTC. (Dead money is cap space allocated to players who were cut or traded.) The minimal amount, which is the second-lowest among the 32 teams, is primarily from the Ty Sambrailo trade to Atlanta ($264,265 of it), and affords the Broncos more flexibility in changing their roster.

    Even better: The Broncos are expected to have 10 draft picks, some of which they might use in trades or to build depth. In addition to their own seven picks, they acquired the fourth-round pick from the 49ers in the Kapri Bibbs trade, and a fifth-round selection from the Falcons in the Sambrailo trade. Denver is also projected to land a third-round compensatory pick for the loss of Russell Okung.
    Along with contracts of some current players that could be moved or restructured, Denver has the ability to create additional cap space should they want it to acquire, say, an expensive veteran quarterback.

    “I think there is no doubt we have to get better at that position,” Elway said.

    The big cap hits

    Since the Broncos re-signed linebacker Von Miller in 2016, the team has maintained an oddly skewed cap with its positional allocation. While many teams devote much of their cap to their quarterbacks and the offense, the Broncos spend the most on their defense. With the contracts currently on their books, Broncos will pay approximately $95.3 million for their defense, trailing only the Jaguars ($113.6 million) and Chiefs ($107 million), per OTC. Denver’s spending on the offense, however, ranks 25th in the league, at about $64.8 million.

    And only a fraction of that is tied to their quarterbacks.

    The Broncos have only about $5 million allocated to Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch and Chad Kelly. That’s the ninth-lowest in total quarterback pay in the league, and that includes the performance escalator earned by Siemian that bumped his pay for 2018 up to $1.9 million.

    But if the Broncos do try to acquire a veteran quarterback, via free agency or a trade, that player will likely rebalance the Broncos’ books and likely require significant cap alterations by Elway.

    Currently the Broncos have five players with cap charges of $10 million or more for next season.
    Miller, who signed the largest contract for a non-quarterback in July 2016, has the highest number at $22.5 million. Receiver Demaryius Thomas carries an approximate $12 million cap charge, but his contract includes a $1 million option that will trigger the final two years of his deal. Should the Broncos decline the option, they’d eat $3.1 million in dead money and Thomas would be a free agent. Should the team exercise his option, it will face cap charges of about $12 million and $17.5 million over the next two seasons, unless the sides agree to restructure his deal. The Broncos have until the end of the league year, in mid-March, to exercise that $1 million option.

    Veteran cornerback Aqib Talib has a $12 million cap hit, but if the Broncos were to release him, they’d reap an $11 million savings (only $1 million dead money from his prorated signing bonus). Though Talib is still considered one of the league’s elite corners, he will be 32 when the 2018 season starts and will be one of three Broncos corners with hefty contracts. Bradley Roby, the team’s first-round pick of 2014, will see his salary increase from about $1 million to a fully guaranteed $8.5 million, and veteran Chris Harris will have an approximate $10.4 million cap number. The Broncos won’t want to allocate about $31 million to three cornerbacks.

    Receiver Emmanuel Sanders will be 31 when the season begins and has two years remaining on the extension he signed in 2016. In 2018 and ’19, he has cap hits of about $10.9 million and $12.9 million, respectively. Last season Sanders missed four games because of an ankle injury and, for reasons of durability and pay, Denver could look to put him on the trading block.

    “We’ll get back and once we get back we’ll go through the week and talk about everybody,” Elway said at the Senior Bowl late last month when asked specifically about the futures of Thomas and Sanders.

    The decisions, of course, don’t end there.

    As Denver looks to improve its offensive line, it will have to find a tackle. The Broncos drafted Garett Bolles last year to man the left side, but injuries and poor performance ravaged the right side of the line. Tackle Menelik Watson missed much of the season because of calf and foot injuries and has two years remaining on his contract with a dead money value of $2.67 million for 2018. If he’s on the roster in March, his $5.5 million salary becomes fully guaranteed. Meanwhile, his backup, Donald Stephenson, restructured his contract last year to void his 2018 salary. He will become a free agent.

    Again: Decisions.

    The free agents

    The Broncos have 11 unrestricted free agents, including receiver Cody Latimer and starting inside linebacker Todd Davis. On the open market, Davis is projected to receive close to $5 million a year, but the Broncos are also paying that amount in salary to fellow inside linebacker Brandon Marshall, who signed a four-year extension in 2016. Marshall’s salary becomes fully guaranteed in March.
    The Broncos have a shorter list of restricted free agents (RFAs), players with fewer than three years of accrued service who are often undrafted players. Teams can place one of three tenders on RFAs, which are essentially tags that allow the incumbent team to match offer sheets the players sign elsewhere or receive draft compensation. The three tender offers — original-round, second-round and first-round — are non-guaranteed, one-year contracts based on the compensation levels.
    Center Matt Paradis, who has played every offensive snap for the Broncos the last three seasons, is an RFA. Shaquil Barrett, a backup outside linebacker who played for an injured Shane Ray often last season, is another. Bennie Fowler, an undrafted receiver out of Michigan State, is the third.
    It’s seems likely the Broncos will place second-round tenders on both Paradis and Barrett, at a projected cost of $2.916 million apiece.

    It’s a different year, but a similar story for the Broncos: plenty of decisions, plenty of needs, plenty of options. And very high expectations.

    “They haven’t changed, and they shouldn’t,” Broncos president/CEO Joe Ellis said recently. “Our fans should always expect greatness out of this organization. If we don’t deliver it, then we better figure out each and every year how to.”
    Last edited by JvDub95; 02-10-2018, 02:24 PM.

  • #2
    Love him or hate him the call on Talib is a no brainer for this year and all the things that need done. That 11 mil savings is going to be needed. The choices on wide receivers is what is going to be interesting for sure.

    Comment


    • #3
      Derek Wolfe often gets overlooked as a candidate to be restructured or cut.

      Comment


      • #4
        Derek Wolfe, Brandon Marshall, Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Aqib Talib, Menelik Watson, and CJ Anderson are all guys who could be on the chopping block this off-season. As I believe we should be in the process of a major rebuild, I would not be opposed to moving on from everyone of these players and bring in some fresh faces in free agency, and allowing young guys to play in 2018. I believe we need to be moving the program in a completely different direction, and the first step in doing that would be cutting off some of the dead weight.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Johnny Football View Post
          Derek Wolfe, Brandon Marshall, Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Aqib Talib, Menelik Watson, and CJ Anderson are all guys who could be on the chopping block this off-season. As I believe we should be in the process of a major rebuild, I would not be opposed to moving on from everyone of these players and bring in some fresh faces in free agency, and allowing young guys to play in 2018. I believe we need to be moving the program in a completely different direction, and the first step in doing that would be cutting off some of the dead weight.
          I don't know if we can declare it a major rebuild but there are several positions that need addressed right now to make this team competitive again.

          #1 Quarterback
          #2 Tackle
          #3 CB with Talib leaving
          #4 ILB
          #5 G
          #6 Several special teams players

          The good thing is once certain moves are made the cap space will be closer to 60 mil and Denver has 10 draft picks at their disposal. I fully expect a new starting QB and a much improved offensive line. After this offseason every Bronco fan should have much higher hopes and expectations for this upcoming season.

          This organization hasn't had back to back losing seasons since 1970 something!!! I see no reason why they can't get it turned around and back on track

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by JvDub95 View Post
            I don't know if we can declare it a major rebuild but there are several positions that need addressed right now to make this team competitive again.

            #1 Quarterback
            #2 Tackle
            #3 CB with Talib leaving
            #4 ILB
            #5 G
            #6 Several special teams players

            The good thing is once certain moves are made the cap space will be closer to 60 mil and Denver has 10 draft picks at their disposal. I fully expect a new starting QB and a much improved offensive line. After this offseason every Bronco fan should have much higher hopes and expectations for this upcoming season.

            This organization hasn't had back to back losing seasons since 1970 something!!! I see no reason why they can't get it turned around and back on track
            I don't think we will commit to a major re-build, I just wish we would as I am not as optimistic as some around here are on the future prospects of this team. I think John Elway will just attempt to slap some band-aids on the roster like he has attempted to do for years now, and ignore the fact we have no young upcoming talent on rookie contracts contributing. Add in the fact we might have the worse coaching staff in the NFL, I don't expect too much going into next season with Joseph and Woods in the building, regardless of what Elway does on the personnel side, the side which he is really struggling with as of late.

            Comment


            • #7
              Keep in mind many pieces to the offense are new and or influx, so why mess with the defense next year? If you have to, then I get it but I would leave the defense intact as much as possible otherwise we'll have both sides influx next year. Then if VJ gets fired in mid-season, things will really be bad!
              ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              My new favorite Bronco - KJ Hamler Guy plays inspiring football!.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by JvDub95 View Post
                I don't know if we can declare it a major rebuild but there are several positions that need addressed right now to make this team competitive again.

                #1 Quarterback
                #2 Tackle
                #3 CB with Talib leaving
                #4 ILB
                #5 G
                #6 Several special teams players

                The good thing is once certain moves are made the cap space will be closer to 60 mil and Denver has 10 draft picks at their disposal. I fully expect a new starting QB and a much improved offensive line. After this offseason every Bronco fan should have much higher hopes and expectations for this upcoming season.

                This organization hasn't had back to back losing seasons since 1970 something!!! I see no reason why they can't get it turned around and back on track
                1972. Mile High Stadium was sold out in 1970 which was three years before the first winning season in 1973.
                "Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes." ~ Publilius Syrus

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                • #9
                  Honestly. The only players that are completely safe are Von miller, CHJ, Paradis, Bolles. Weirdly probably Leary. Roby probably is. Even though I think he's very overrated on here. Anything else is a possibility this year.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Montoya View Post
                    Honestly. The only players that are completely safe are Von miller, CHJ, Paradis, Bolles. Weirdly probably Leary. Roby probably is. Even though I think he's very overrated on here. Anything else is a possibility this year.
                    I wouldn't put paradis on that list
                    sigpic

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JvDub95 View Post
                      I don't know if we can declare it a major rebuild but there are several positions that need addressed right now to make this team competitive again.

                      #1 Quarterback
                      #2 Tackle
                      #3 CB with Talib leaving
                      #4 ILB
                      #5 G
                      #6 Several special teams players

                      The good thing is once certain moves are made the cap space will be closer to 60 mil and Denver has 10 draft picks at their disposal. I fully expect a new starting QB and a much improved offensive line. After this offseason every Bronco fan should have much higher hopes and expectations for this upcoming season.

                      This organization hasn't had back to back losing seasons since 1970 something!!! I see no reason why they can't get it turned around and back on track
                      Well VJ broke like what, 3 or 4 Broncos losing records so I don't see why not another losing season. A lot depends on who is going to be behind center and how much better this new position coaching staff can be. How Elway will fill the holes in talent created for Cousins or other free agent QB, etc.
                      Last edited by TheAsianPA; 02-12-2018, 06:49 AM.
                      Superbowl 50 Champions!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by broncos SB2010 View Post
                        I wouldn't put paradis on that list
                        Replace him with McGovern, convert him to DE. Draft a Guard.
                        Adopt-A-Bronco: Tim Patrick

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Montoya View Post
                          Honestly. The only players that are completely safe are Von miller, CHJ, Paradis, Bolles. Weirdly probably Leary. Roby probably is. Even though I think he's very overrated on here. Anything else is a possibility this year.
                          Simmons is easily safe.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Johnny Football View Post
                            I don't think we will commit to a major re-build, I just wish we would as I am not as optimistic as some around here are on the future prospects of this team. I think John Elway will just attempt to slap some band-aids on the roster like he has attempted to do for years now, and ignore the fact we have no young upcoming talent on rookie contracts contributing. Add in the fact we might have the worse coaching staff in the NFL, I don't expect too much going into next season with Joseph and Woods in the building, regardless of what Elway does on the personnel side, the side which he is really struggling with as of late.
                            Major re-builds in the NFL are almost always a mistake. It's really hard to build a culture of winning and high expectations by intentionally losing (not talking throwing games, but making roster decisions to minimize cost and horde high draft picks). It can take a decade or more to recover from a culture of losing IF you can ever convince players who want to WIN (as opposed to those just looking for the biggest paycheck) that you're really ready to win again. We've seen plenty of examples of "stacked" rosters in the NFL that fail to regain a culture of winning and go through repetitive "re-build" cycles. At best, you're looking at half to a full decade to turn it around, and by that time, the people who decided on the major re-build are long gone.

                            Back on topic, we will need to clear cap space if we're going to sign Cousins or a FA tackle. We'll need one of those two spots from FA to be competitive next year. Wolfe is high on my list because unfortunately it looks like his neck injury is career-ending. I love him as a player, but realistically he's unlikely to be a healthy impact player for a full season again. Even if Wolfe managed to stay healthy, we still need middle pass rush help, even more so if he departs. Talib to Roby is a downgrade and opens a hole in Roby's spot. I'd love to keep Talib if he restructures, but otherwise the math is very much against him. DT and Sanders...with all the other pieces we need to fix, I'd try to hang onto these guys. WR's are mercurial and feed off success, and both could really benefit from a decent QB and improved Oline.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dgobronco View Post
                              Major re-builds in the NFL are almost always a mistake. It's really hard to build a culture of winning and high expectations by intentionally losing (not talking throwing games, but making roster decisions to minimize cost and horde high draft picks). It can take a decade or more to recover from a culture of losing IF you can ever convince players who want to WIN (as opposed to those just looking for the biggest paycheck) that you're really ready to win again. We've seen plenty of examples of "stacked" rosters in the NFL that fail to regain a culture of winning and go through repetitive "re-build" cycles. At best, you're looking at half to a full decade to turn it around, and by that time, the people who decided on the major re-build are long gone.

                              Back on topic, we will need to clear cap space if we're going to sign Cousins or a FA tackle. We'll need one of those two spots from FA to be competitive next year. Wolfe is high on my list because unfortunately it looks like his neck injury is career-ending. I love him as a player, but realistically he's unlikely to be a healthy impact player for a full season again. Even if Wolfe managed to stay healthy, we still need middle pass rush help, even more so if he departs. Talib to Roby is a downgrade and opens a hole in Roby's spot. I'd love to keep Talib if he restructures, but otherwise the math is very much against him. DT and Sanders...with all the other pieces we need to fix, I'd try to hang onto these guys. WR's are mercurial and feed off success, and both could really benefit from a decent QB and improved Oline.
                              It isn't ideal, but I don't agree with the decade or more statement. It might be a few years, but that is the situation which John Elways cap management and poor drafting has honestly put us in. A huge concern of mine which doesn't get discussed enough, is that we have no young players developing, who are contributing to this team on their rookie contracts, besides Garett Bolles and Adam Gotsis. You look at a lot of the good teams in this league, they spend money on veteran players, but they are all getting contributions from guys on smaller deals, guys on their rookie deals, and it is once those young guys move onto their second contracts their teams start to decline a little, because they can't fit everyone under their cap. We currently spend a heap of money on overrated veteran players, but have no youth coming through, and that is a bad situation to be in.

                              And we can say that major rebuilds are a mistake, and take a long time to dig out of, but the reality is, we are 2 years removed from the playoffs, and the product on the field has gotten severely worse. Our coaching staff at this point hasn't built a culture of success or winning, and we are in limbo right now paying all these overrated players big money, with this false idea that we are still a competitive team, when we are not. When I say a major rebuild is what I am for, I believe clearing contracts, and moving that money to some fresh faces is what we should do. I am not saying clear contracts and go into next season with a heap of cap room, but just mix it up, move on from the stale play of some of the guys mentioned in this thread, and hopefully we can surround the veterans with some quality draft picks as well.

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