After a busy offseason filled with blockbuster signings, the Denver Broncos have somehow managed to stay under the salary cap. Entering the deadzone of the NFL offseason, Denver's updated salary cap space is $4,616,320, according to OverTheCap.com.
With the big-name free agent signings all now in the rear-view mirror, the Broncos next order of business will be signing receiver Demaryius Thomas and tight end Julius Thomas to long-term deals. Only having $4.6 million to spare in 2014 won't make negotiations any easier, but the team has options.
Releasing veteran tight ends Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen would free up $5.5 million in cap room, but that may not be necessary. The salary cap is set to jump as high as $145 million in 2015 and $160 million in 2016, according to ProFootballTalk.com. Increased cap room will make paying players like the Thomases much easier post-2014.
Unfortunately, the Thomas duo won't be the only players Denver will have to worry about going forward. Next summer, receiver Wes Welker, defensive tackle Terrance Knighton, cornerback Chris Harris Jr., safety Rahim Moore, and offensive lineman Orlando Franklin will be among Denver's free agents. The following year, in 2016, linebacker Von Miller, kicker Matt Prater, defensive end Derek Wolfe, quarterback Brock Osweiler, offensive tackle Ryan Clark, and pass-rusher Malik Jackson will be set to hit the open market.
That's a lot of notable players set to become free agents over the next two offseasons. The increased salary cap will help, but a few starters may end up leaving Denver after this season (Welker, for example, is not expected to be brought back for a third year).
For now, though, Denver has $4.6 million in salary cap space and no reason for alarm. After trimming their roster down later this summer, the Broncos will have even more cap space available entering the 2014 season.
Use it wisely, John Elway.