Trying to find some sort of pattern or predicted plan of action for this off-season, I suddenly found inspiration with a couple run of the mill rumors and some John Elway combine quotes. Ideally, a team can improve while subsequently becoming younger, this sometimes means letting aging and high priced Broncos walk every now and then. Just look at teams like Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and New England that allowed veterans like Adalius Thomas, Jarrrett Johnson, Larry Foote, Asante Samuel, among others; with the likes of Wel Welker and Mike Wallace to join the list. The problem comes when teams realize a window of opportunity and spend funds on free agents or contracts to maximize the current potential. This is why teams like this are constantly facing cap issues, and often require cutting contracts come season end. So, the obvious ways to improve the roster are through free agent signings, the draft, or through trade. In my mind, the ultimate way maximize cap space is through a series of fee agent signings that fill roles current youth players are unable to fulfill. And vice versa, draft players that can improve depth and ultimately develop into starters.Trades should strictly be reserved to clear cap space or in the rarest of opportunities to require a rare talent. Here's a basic breakdown of value in terms of both starters and depth
Starter: Peyton Manning, top quality. No need for upgrade
Depth: Brock Osweiler, young, improving. No need for upgrade, currently.
What Should Be Done?: The QB stable is solid. The only improvements that should be made could include a possible acquisition of another cheap, veteran like Chase Daniel or Rex Grossman; or if a prospect like Matt Barkley or Mike Glennon plummets to third day.
Starters: Willis McGahee, Knowshon Moreno. Willis' 2013 cap hit is 3 mil and he's 32 along with injury problems and a sudden case of fumbilitis. Knowshon, meanwhile, proved to be adequate but not spectacular late last season, but certainly no Terrell Davis material. His cap hit is 3.2 mil.
Depth: Ronnie Hillman, just a 21 year old kid with issues running between the tackles and in pass protection.
What Should Be Done?: Clearly the Broncos, understandably, don't want to take the Nate Irving approach quiet yet and anoint Ronnie the starter. If the Broncos are committed to their picks then they should take the free agent stop gap approach. However, with Stephen Jackson reportedly wanting to re-sing in St. Louis, the options dwindle to Shonn Greene, Michael Turner, and Ahmad Bradshaw. They clearly want a three-down brusier, which Hillman is not. So maybe they also look for McGahhe's replacement in the draft (i.e. Franklin, Taylor, or other rookies). Either way I think Knowshon is on the outs and his replacement is Hillman.
Depth: Matt Willis, Gerrell Robinson. Nothing special, an under-performing camp body and a guy with some legitimate potential but still a college free agent.
What Should Be Done?: Stokley's replacement needs to come throught the draft, and it should be Swope. Either 'way if the team is willing to let DT or Decker go, their replacement should be found in next year's draft. Meanwhile, a FA like Kevin Ogletree or Jabar Gaffney should be added for depth to compete with Robinson.
Starters: Joel Dressen and Jacob Tamme. Solid, fairly cheap and young. But no Gronk/Davis/Graham.
What Should Be Done?: They certainly shouldn't sign any TE's via FA. And I don't think they need to draft a top TE, because they can't afford to pay three top pass catchers, most likely. JT should be replaced though.
Starters: Ryan Clady, Orland Franklin. Solid, pro-bowl caliber players. But one is tagged and has injury issues.
Depth: Chris Clark. Should be replaced.
What Should Be Done?': Either way the swing tackle should be replaced with a draft pick. Depth along the o-line should always come from youth that can not only slide-in in a jam but also have the potential to be an eventual replacement. If their unwilling to pay Clady next season, then they should look for an LT. However, I wouldn't expect that, and would assume depth will be added in the middle rounds. The only way spend a high pick is at RT however, where Franklin would be moved to RG, a guy like DJ Fluker could be nice.
Starters: Cris Kuper and Zane Beadles. Both solid startes when healthy, but Kuper has re-occuring bad injuries and could be on the way out.
Depth: Manny Ramirez. Though he improved late and filled in admirably, needs to be replaced.
What Should Be Done?: One o-lineman will be taken within the first three picks. Either way it will be to bring in competition at the guard position and provide much needed depth.
Starter: JD Walton. Injury prone, still a bit unknown.
Depth: Phillip Blake, maybe Dan Koppen.
What Should Be Done?: Koppen should be brought back and compete with Walton for the starting spot. However Blake will also provide adequate competition and two of three will remain on the roster-no need for improvement.
The defensive side will be finished in a little, along with a concluding premise, and possible predictions.