Denver Broncos 2015 Free Agents and Cap Situation

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

I realize that some folks in the community have taken a stab at these numbers, and this isn't to overshadow your work, I'm just a hands on type of person and needed to do the legwork myself. What I'll attempt to do here is outline our contracts and corresponding capspace based on projected numbers. From there we can take a look at our Free Agents in 2015 and assess where the value might be placed.

Offense

Player

Base

Cap Number

Cap Savings

Manning

19.0

21.5

19..0

Clady

8.5

10.6

8.8

Vasquez

5.0

6.25

3.75

Sanders

4.0

5.0

3.0

Ramirez

1.4

2.46

2.3

Clark

1.4

1.62

1.4

Caldwell

1.35

1.55

1.35

Osweiler

0.66

1.11

0.86

Ball

0.59

0.94

0.49

Hillman

0.77

0.94

0.77

Norwood

0.74

0.74

0.74

Dysert

0.58

0.59

0.57

Anderson

0.58

0.63

0.58

Painter

0.51

0.51

0.51

Wilson

0.51

0.51

0.51

Totals

45.59

54.95

44.63

*All figures in millions, figures rounded, figures courtesy of Over The Cap

The Broncos have 15 players under contract on the offensive side of the ball in 2015. Once you get past the top four earners, nobody makes more than 1.4 million in base salary. In fact something to take note of is that the Broncos are pretty much past paying Clady his guaranteed money and would see a nominal hit of 1.6 million if for some reason they were to cut him in 2015. Compare that to a cap savings of 8.8 million. Just about every Bronco on the offensive side of the ball--including Peyton Manning could be gone and it would provide a financial boon for the Broncos.

Defense/ST

Player

Base

Cap Number

Cap Savings

Ware

7.0

8.66

1.83

Ward

4.0

7.75

4.0

Talib

5.5

7.0

3.0

Prater

3.25

4.06

3.25

Colquitt

3.0

3.75

2.25

Williams

1.09

2.06

0.97

Wolfe

1.1

1.65

1.1

Bruton

1.25

1.65

1.25

Bolden

0.66

0.77

0.66

Webster

0.59

0.73

0.46

Jackson

0.66

0.71

0.66

Trevathan

0.66

0.68

0.66

Smith

0.58

0.63

0.57

McCray

0.51

0.51

0.51

Totals

29.55

40.59

22.17

*All figures in millions, figures rounded, figures courtesy of Over The Cap

Here we do not see the same situation. The cap numbers for a lot of players is going to leave a lot of dead money if they are cut. You get a bit of a break with Ward and Talib but once you get past Prater and Colquitt money, these guys are making peanuts. The pattern I see continuing is that once you get past the top 4-5 guys, you see a lot of cheap labor. These are your UDFA, your midround draft picks, many of whom have contributed in good ways. This is the by-product of the rookie pay scale and something that you will see highlighted more and more as the cap number each year continues to rise.

That 2nd number is what we will look at...

95.45 million (give or take) and the Million Dollar question

Where does that put Denver as far as resigning some of their guys?

According to Florio and PFT back when the cap number for 2014 had yet to be settled, with the new television revenue, teams could be looking at a cap between 140-145 million in 2015. Given that guesstimates this season were in the conservative range before the NFL announced a stunning increase from 123 to 135, I'm leaning towards saying the cap in 2015 would be closer to the higher figure. No matter, I will make projections based on both.

So who are the Unrestricted Free Agents? Wes Welker, Von Miller, Demaryius Thomas, Jacob Tamme, Terrance Knighton, Joel Dreessen, Chris Harris, Will Montgomery, Mitch Unrein, Rahim Moore, Orlando Franklin, Winston Justice, Nate Irving, Quinton Carter, Julius Thomas, Virgil Green, Sione Fua, Cameron Morrah, Jerome Murphy.

The big names that stand out to me are Wes Welker, Von Miller, Demaryius Thomas, Terrance Knighton, Chris Harris, and Julius Thomas.

Some of the "B" list guys would be Mitch Unrein, Rahim Moore, Winston Justice, Nate Irving, Orlando Franklin, and Virgil Green.

What is the Value of each player?

Wes Welker

With a guy like Wes Welker it is hard to know because I almost treat him as a year-to year player at this point in his career. My general thought is that this is his last season in the NFL. If not, he surely wouldn't demand the 6 million a year mark he did a couple of years ago. Going into 2015 I would doubt if Wes could make more than 3-4 million per year, just based on some of the deals that occurred this offseason.

Von Miller

Thought I forgot about the 5th year option the Broncos had? They have until May 3rd to execute this option. If they do, which folks seem to think they will, it means a one year deal worth 9.754 million.

Demaryius Thomas

Decker made top dollar at about 7 million per, but he was not paid as a true #1. Thomas is a true #1 and with another monster season could see his price tag increase even more. I'm willing to place his value at 10-12 million.

Terrance Knighton

Going into the season, Knighton will be a top 5 defensive tackle. If he has another solid season, especially rushing the passer, he will be payed as a top tier defensive tackle. Besides Henry Melton who signed an incentive laden contract due to injury, you're looking at 4.5 million (Red Bryant) - 6 million (Randy Starks) per season.

Chris Harris

It is very difficult for me to put a value on Chris Harris, not because of injury, but because it is unknown what the league at large thinks of him. Who wouldn't love to have a shutdown slot man who can also man the outside on base downs? Part of the issue I have is that the Broncos placed a 2nd round tender on him and even after the Denver spent most of their cash no one bit and signed him to an offer sheet. Hurt or not, you get whatever deal you can for an elite talent. I would say that Harris is viewed as a very good corner around the league and with another solid season, his price-range should be more comparative to Rodgers-Cromartie (7 million) as opposed to Talib and Revis. Let's say 7-8 million.

Julius Thomas

Besides Von Miller, the easiest decision on the roster. You tag Julius and pay the projected 7-8 million (7.035 million this season) that a franchise Tight End demands.

41.254-47.254 Million

That is what you're looking at to sign each of the "big name" UFA in 2015. This is before your draft class, before you look at signing some of your other role players, though the Broncos did let plenty of their own role players walk this season.

140 million Cap

With no projected rollover (my decision) the Broncos are left with about 44.55 million. You're probably going to lose someone, maybe two.

145 million Cap

With no projected rollover (my decision) the Broncos are left with about 49.55 million. The Broncos could conceivably sign everyone on their list and more.

My thoughts/Wrap-Up

I personally think this will be Wes Welker's last year, and the fact that the Broncos went out and signed Sanders]after resigning Caldwell tells me they have an eye on the future. From there, Elway has never identified defensive tackle as a premium position, so in a bidding war Terrance Knighton could walk. Hopefully Sylvester Williams continues to develop.

Overall, my big targets are Julius Thomas, Demaryius Thomas, Chris Harris Jr. and Von Miller. I believe without a shadow of a doubt that all four of these players can be paid and the Broncos would still have room to make other maneuvers.

The Broncos will be in a favorable position to pay their blue chip players. I realize we are a long-way out, but this looks good so far. This is without the restructuring of guys like Colquitt and Prater accounting practices that have allowed a steady and even hit to the cap year to year.

GO BRONCOS!!!

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Mile High Report

You must be a member of Mile High Report to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mile High Report. You should read them.

Join Mile High Report

You must be a member of Mile High Report to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mile High Report. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker