I love being done with school. The only grades I have to worry about are meaningless ones.
In that vein, we're taking a look at how the Broncos graded out in free agency, now that a month has passed. While we gave Denver an A+ for their free agency period, and fans voted an A, other media outlets were only slightly less enthusiastic.
ProFootballFocus named the Broncos one of its three free agency winners, saying, "No team can be more conscious of their closing window than the Denver Broncos. ... The team secured T.J. Ward, Aqib Talib and DeMarcus Ware before replacing the loss of Eric Decker with Emmanuel Sanders and bringing back Andre Caldwell. They did all this while still retaining something in the region of $7 million in cap space with the opportunity to create a bit more if necessary giving them options in the next few weeks. The Broncos were one perfect storm away from a ring last year, and they're intent on not going away quietly."
Sports Illustrated gave the Broncos a B+, naming T.J. Ward Denver's best signing (Broncos Country agrees) and saying Denver is in "full Super Bowl-or-bust mode." SI goes on to say that the contracts Denver handed out could cause them grief down the road; as MHR readers know, that simply isn't the case.
ESPN gives the Broncos a B+ as well and expands on the nature of these deals. "(T)he deals for Ware and especially for Talib follow the 'pay-as-you-go' model that protects teams from future salary-cap damage if a marriage doesn't turn out as hoped. The Broncos will get good value as long as they get good 2014 seasons from Ware and Talib. They could bail from both deals after one year without compromising future plans."
"These moves wouldn't have made as much sense for a team further from contending for a title. But in this case, taking a 'win-now' mentality will not require Denver to pay a heavy price later."
Finally, CBS Sports gives the Broncos - you guessed it - a B+. Pete Prisco states, "Some will rip the Broncos for being too aggressive, but they have to be with the Peyton Manning window shutting soon."
Hey guys... have you heard? The Broncos' window is closing soon.