It all kicks off tonite. At 12:01AM, Friday, the moratorium on trades and free agent signings ends and team are allowed to open up the check books to get the guy they are looking for. The one they think will put them over the top, to be the missing piece of the puzzle. Drew Brees was that type of player last year, moving from the Chargers to the Saints. Who'se it going to be this year? More importantly, who does Mike Shanahan and the Broncos braintrust think might be the key to get the Broncos back to the promised land. Alot of names have been connected to Denver, and all indications seem to point to the Broncos being a major player, both in terms of trades and Free Agency.
Let's take a look at the names we have heard and what I think the prospects are of the team landing them --
Dre Bly, CB - Detroit Lions -- Where there's smoke there's fire and there is alot of smoke surrounding the Broncos making a move for the disgruntled CB. I have made my opionion clear, I don't think the Broncos need Dre Bly, especially at the price it wouold take to get him. Detroit Lion's fan seem to disagree with me and I have been getting railed on Lions' message boards throughout the web. First let me thank them for reading. Second, let me make my position clear. The Broncos have several needs. One of them is depth in the secondary. It is not tops on the list, or even second on the list, in my opinion. Dre Bly wants out of Detroit, and wants a new deal, with his ending after this season. You can be sure he is going to watch and see what Nate Clements gets, among others, to determine his value. The Denver Broncos DO NOT have the cap felxibility to give another corner 4-5 million dollars a year. Are the creative ways to get it done? Sure. The team could back-load the deal, but it still is dependent on what Bly is looking for. Javon Walker, for instance, was willing to play for peanuts last year to prove his health, thus allowing the Broncos a chance to "try before you buy". Walker performed and the Broncos paid him. Is Bly willing to take a backloaded contract in return for playing for a winner? That remains to be seen, but a chance I'd rather NOT TAKE if it involves a 3rd rounder and a player. A second day pick, maybe, but not the third rounder I see as a tool to move up in the draft. Now, I have no problem with Lions fans wanting to dump their disgruntled players on the Broncos, but if he was so damn good, on and off the field, the Lions wouldn't be so eager to kick him to the curb. Possibility -- 10/10
Daniel Graham, TE - Free Agent -- Graham, on the other hand, would be worth the investment. There are some injury concerns, but when healthy Graham has peformed at a high level and would give Jay Cutler another weapon on an offense that seemed a bit void of weapons last season. Graham is an excellent blocker and would give Tony Scheffler someone to learn from. Graham is a Colorado kid and has to at least be intrigued by the prospects of playing for the Broncos. There will be a lot of competition for Graham, and I imagine the Broncos won't be the highest bidder, but I expect the team to make a serious run at him and see if family and friends can tug at the heart strings a bit. Possibility -- 7/10
Patrick Kerney, DE - Free Agent -- Three weeks ago I would have bet the house that Kerney would be a Bronco. Then D-Lineman started getting franchised and re-signed leaving the free agent class at the position thin at best. Kerney has to be salivating looking at what pass0rushers are getting paid and the number of teams that have tons of money to spend. Another situation where the Broncos will have to get creative, but Kerney opted out of the last 2 years of his deal to test the market and I have a feeling he is going to take full advantage. What seemed like a sure thing a few weeks ago might be the slimmest of possibilites now. Possibilities -- 3/10
Jeff Garcia, QB -- Free Agent -- John Clayton of ESPN reported that there is a strong liklihood of Garcia ending up in Denver. The Broncos would love to have Garcia as their backup becuase of the success he has had in the West Coast Offense. This all comes down to what Jeff Garcia wants. If he WANTS to be a starter, the Broncos cannot bring him in. Jay Cutler is the starter and we don't need someone like Garcia looking over his shoulder. I am all for competition, but Cutler needs a veteran QB to help him when he struggles, not a guy that will be going to get a ball to warm up in case his number is called. There are better options out there for the Broncos and while Garcia is a great fit, he has to be on board with the fact that he is the backup, not the starter. Possibility -- 4/10
Brad Johnson, QB -- Free Agent -- A better option for a veteran backup might be Johnson, who was cut by the Vikings this week. Sure, he may not be a flashy performer like Garcia, but he does have a Super Bowl ring and can be that veteran tutor that I think Cutler needs. Johnson showed two years ago that he can still come in and get the job done, but proved last year that his years of being the man are probably behind him. I think he could come reasonably priced as well. It wouldn't get much fan-fare, but would be a solid move. Possibility -- 5/10
As other rumors and names surface I will add to the list. If you have anything, send it to me, or better yet, wirte a Diary about it and let me know what you think!
Update [1:58pm by TheSportsGuru]:Since Dre Bly was just traded to the Broncos for Tatum Bell and George Foster I am changing the 'Possibility Score'