After a great season and a terrible performance in the Superbowl, Denver has many issues suddenly facing it. The Superbowl showed that being the best in the AFC only made Denver the third Best team in football. We simply are not at the Niners or Seahawks level. The Seahawks dominated every phase of the game, which makes Denver's offseason vitally important. What do we do?
1. Champ Bailey: If Bailey will take a pay cut down to around 1 million, i would let him try the move to Safety. He is a hall of famer and like Ron Woodson and Charles Woodson, there is a good chance he could make the switch. If he won't take the mass pay cut, then I thank him for his time and wish him well. He is not an answer at corner back, his recovery speed is not returning. Conclusion: Keep Champ if Price is right.
2. Eric Decker: Decker has over 80 catches the last two seasons and he has really thrived with Manning at Quarterback. I understand that he is not worth #1 receiver money, but I would try to get him to sign for 6 or 7 million a season and boost up his guaranteed money. He likes Denver and he would be missed. Welker is not a #2 and neither is Bubba Caldwell. There were a few games where Decker carried the receiving core. We would be fools to let him go, unless someone gives him crazy money. Conclusion: Use Guaranteed money to keep Decker a Bronco. If we let Decker go, we will have to overpay for guys like Hakeem Nicks. Why not pay our own guy who we know produces?
3. Knowshon Moreno: A warrior, he bleeds blue and orange....we should try to keep him within reason. Montee Ball is complimentary back, he is certainly no Eddie Lacy (who we passed on). Ronnie Hillman.....how is he still on the team, he was a healthy scratch for most games. As for CJ Anderson he has shown flashes, but hes raw.
If we don't keep Moreno, we will drafting a RB very high to replace him. Moreno is a proven commodity, as is Decker.
4. Dominck Rodgers Cromartie: He rated out as a top ten corner back (profootballtalk.com) he is by far our best corner and with Chris Harris he solidifies the secondary. If we let him go, we are really back to square one.
5. Peyton Manning: Great season, but Denver needs to upgrade the Defense, Running Game, and Offensive Line. If you are truly here to win the 2nd ring, then you need to defer money to let Elway and Co. help you.
6. Defense: We need to get a Dumervil style player to go with Sean Phiilips and Von Miller. We need to dramatically upgrade our pass rush. We need a true middle linebacker in the mold of Al Wilson. We need to get better at Safety and figure out if Rahim Moore (hope he recovers 100%) and Quentin Carter are the answer at Safety or if Denver needs to find replacements.
For those people who say just let Decker and Moreno go.....I think that would be foolish. Reward your players who produce and find other pieces to make you ream better. Don't go all Ravens and let your key pieces go. The Ravens regret it and so would Denver.
As for the receiving core.....Juilus Thomas is good, but he cant block.....Given a choice I would keep Decker over Julius Thomas. Demaryius Thomas is a stud, but he needs to work on ball security...as does the entire team.
If Manning's top four receivers are D. Thomas, W. Welker, B. Caldwell, J. Thomas.....thats a big step down from this year. Also if teams can blow off Denvers runs because its just Montee Ball and can hit Manning because Moreno out blocks Ball...then again we lose.
We should keep our key people and find a few compliments in the draft and free agency.
All Denver fans need to realize that Denver got blown off the field against the Seahawks and if we dont make major upgrades it will happen again when we play them again in Seattle next season.
Bronco for Life