Merry Christmas, Broncos Country! While most Mile High Report readers are enjoying this beloved holiday with family and loved ones (at least that is certainly our hope), we know not everyone celebrates or is able to celebrate Christmas this same way. Many readers are outside the United States or have different beliefs and may not recognize the holiday; some will have to work on Christmas Day; still others will be wanting to see how Mile High Report looks on their shiny new laptops and iPads!
Welcome to each of you, and thank you so much for reading. In this special edition of the Broncos Six-Pack, with you we would like to share our 2013 Broncos Christmas wish list. Please let us know your wish list in the comments.
6. A smart, thrifty free agency period
Among the Denver Broncos scheduled to become unrestricted free agents are Knowshon Moreno, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Eric Decker, Wesley Woodyard, Mike Adams, and Robert Ayers. Can the Broncos resign all of these guys? Of course not.
I hope the Broncos evaluate their own depth and the value of each player with a long-term vision in mind. I hope they work hard to bring back DRC, but outside of that, they approach the negotiating table willing to walk away from a bad deal for the club, no matter who is sitting across from them.
It will be tough - guys like Knowshon Moreno and Eric Decker have done a lot to earn a new contract in Denver. But the Broncos have depth at those positions, and young players waiting in the wings. The Broncos need to be mindful of their roster and other upcoming free agents (particularly at wide receiver) before breaking the bank in 2014.
5. Health throughout the playoffs
Can we have suffered our final season-ending injury already? Von Miller's ACL tear is the latest injury to potentially derail this train, but Peyton Manning has kept the Broncos on track (double metaphor FTW).
This team's depth has been tested enough. Here's hoping to a healthy remaining four games, should the Broncos advance throughout the playoffs.
4. Peace on Earth
I suppose I can spare one wish for something truly meaningful.
...Okay back to Broncos football.
3. Healthy returns for Ryan Clady and Von Miller in 2014
Before the season began, the MHR Staff voted and counted down the Top 20 Most Important Broncos, one day at a time. These two players, Von Miller and Ryan Clady, were #2 and 3 respectively, and here the Broncos sit, ready to face the best the NFL has in the playoffs, without both of them.
Had you told me, this time last year, that the Broncos would again be the #1 seed entering the playoffs while missing Ryan Clady, Von Miller, Champ Bailey, and Elvis Dumervil for most/all of the year, I would have told you you were nuts.
If this is a 12-win team without these guys in 2013, how good will the Broncos be with three of these guys back in 2014?
2. Peyton Manning, Denver Bronco - Year Three
Manning signed a five-year deal in 2012, but as most of you know, it was really five consecutive one-year deals, allowing him to call it a career any time (or exit due to injury, leaving the Broncos blameless). So it's a year-to-year situation with Peyton Manning, and this 2013 season certainly seemed to take its toll on the future Hall of Famer, particularly his ankles. At 37 years old, Manning can't have a lot of football left.
But then you see him break NFL records with 51 touchdowns and over 5,000 passing yards and think, "How can he quit now?"
Don't retire, Peyton Manning. Super Bowl or not, there's still some beautiful football to play in Denver.
1. Super Bowl XLVIII Championship
Records are nice, but you know what? Records get taken away. Peyton Manning is right that, eventually (and sooner rather than later in today's NFL) his 51 passing touchdowns will be erased from the record books, and someone will come up with more.
You know what will never get taken away? Super Bowl championships.
Stay hungry, Broncos. You have a long journey ahead.
What are your wishes on your Broncos Wish List? Merry Christmas and Go Broncos!