I've got my own ideas of where the Broncos are at monetarily and how much we'll be able to spend in free agency. I do think we can make some serious moves, but I think we'll need to make some serious cuts/trades to do so. I know others are saying we've got $30M-$40M to play with and I just don't see it like that (not without those cuts). Trouble is, it's not an easy concept to debate or fully understand until we've got the info stacked right in front of us.. preferably in an easily understandable format, and without a lot of "if this" and "if that's.
First, you've got to get a good bead on where we are at with our spending right now. Check. I made a spreadsheet and came up with a number that's very similar to a number Sayre posted the other day. So I think it's a good start. Next, it's necessary to understand who gets paid even if they're cut. Jamal Williams is a good example just off memory. He's got guarantees, so even though he's unlikely to fit in a 4-3.. he'll still be on the payroll in some fashion. Then at some point we've got to figure out who's going to be let go or traded. Champ Bailey and Ryan Harris are our high profile FAs and then we'll need to figure out Orton as well. Eventually, the idea is to make those few key decisions and then just have a number that hits you in the face. Bam. This ______ is how much our payroll will be this year assuming these few major decisions. Then we compare that number to what Denver has spent over the last 5/10 years. At that point we should get a ball park guess at how much money we'll be able to spend. The word guess in that last sentence is deliberate. As we all know, even being thorough it's still a guess and if we want to get close we'll need to get those key decisions right.
I've already decided I'm keeping Champ Bailey and you can't talk me out of it, so don't try lol. It's very rare that multi-million dollar business decisions are based on heart and by gauging the potential reaction of indirectly involved parties. But I believe this scale tips to one direction to break the tie. There's just too much talk at the top of the organization about restoring Bronco pride and trust and integrity... There's just too much of a PR push to re-energize fans for the top brass to boot Champ Bailey. One way for them to put their money where their mouth is, is to put that money in Champ Bailey's pocket. For years, he's been a bright beacon of hope on a defense without much hope. He's a fan favorite and highly respected in the community and in the locker room. If the decision is close, I believe Champ gets paid because it will give the powers at be a great PR story and they can milk it by underlining that they made this tough decision for the fans.
Yada, yada, yada. The point of the post was supposed to be Ryan Harris. I'm not going to preach or teach on Harris and I really don't have a strong opinion either way yet. So I wrote this post hoping to be sold one way or the other. What do you think he's worth in money and/or what do you think he's worth to the team? Can Beadles do the job? If so, who takes over at guard? Generally, I don't like the idea of creating a new hole on a team that's already filled with them, but Harris is likely to cost quite a bit of cheddar. We should also remember our troubles last year when we constantly had to shift the line. To say our run game suffered is an understatement. And then there's Ryan's injuries. Is he an injury risk or is it just bad luck? Let's also remember Kuper just got paid last year and Clady's not too far away from that decision either.
I'd love to hear what you guys think on Harris. Any thoughts are appreciated.