The Broncos were one of, if not the stand-alone, winners of the 2014 free agency period, which was followed by a very solid rookie draft and the signings of some promising undrafted rookie free agents. After experiencing the top talent in the NFC and seeing what is required to compete, John Elway knew that there were holes to fill on the roster, and he did not fail to deliver. After a 2014 off-season of retaining important contributors, necessarily but unfortunately parting with some fan-favorites, and adding some big-name game-changers, the Broncos' roster looks better than ever.
That being said, there is always room for improvement, and as Monty pointed out in his analysis of the Broncos' depth, there are still a few holes (minor holes, mind you) to fill on the roster. With just over $4.5 million of estimated free cap space (Over the Cap), and depth players available as free agents still, should the Broncos make any additional moves?
Here is a breakdown of the top 10 remaining free agents from CBS Sports, and their potential fit (or lack of fit) in Denver:
1. Jermichael Finley (TE)
Former Team: Green Bay Packers
2013 Cap Hit: $8.75 Million
Finley has spent a good deal of the last two seasons battling injuries and it looks like the Packers will bring back the tight end, depending on medical tests following off-season surgery. At any rate, Finley isn't a fit in Denver; Julius Thomas holds sole possession of the number one tight end spot, while Jacob Tamme, Joel Dreessen, and Virgil Green provide solid depth behind him.
2. Ryan Pickett (DT)
Former Team: Green Bay Packers
2013 Cap Hit: $6.7 Million
Pickett is undoubtedly not going to be given anything in the ballpark of $6.5 million by any team, no matter how desperate they are for a defensive tackle. After putting up career numbers in 2010, Pickett has declined in every season since, and 2013 was his first negative season (-1.2) per PFF's player ratings since 2009. It's quite possible that Pickett has some good football left in him, but at the age of 34, along with the Broncos' depth at defensive tackle (Terrance Knighton, Sylvester Williams, Kevin Vickerson) and the fact that they play a base 4-3 as opposed to the 3-4 that Pickett is used to from Green Bay he is simply not a fit in Denver.
3. Travelle Wharton (G)
Former Team: Carolina Panthers
2013 Cap Hit: $1.1 Million
As Kyle pointed out in his depth article, the Broncos have depth and flexibility on the offensive line; Manny Ramirez and Will Montgomery can both play guard and center, Chris Clark can play both tackle positions, and rookies Michael Schofield and Matt Paradis provide solid additional depth. With Denver's depth on the O-Line, it's hard to see Wharton as a fit. The only way that Wharton could be a fit in Denver is if Chris Clark is unable to transition smoothly to right tackle and Orlando Franklin has to move back to that position. If this were to happen, Will Montgomery could assume the role at center, leaving Manny Ramirez and Matt Paradis at guard; however, if the Broncos would prefer to keep Manny at center and Montgomery on the bench, Wharton could provide some veteran presence on the line at right guard if need be. In other words, there's not really any conceivable situation that the Broncos would need to add someone on the offensive line, as it stands now.
4. Kyle Cook (C)
Former Team: Cincinnati Bengals
2013 Cap Hit: $3.34 Million
5. Santonio Holmes (WR)
Former Team: New York Jets
2013 Cap Hit: $9.0 Million
Even if the Broncos were not incredibly deep at receiver, Santonio Holmes is a big question mark and a player who is not a smart investment. Holmes has been oft-injured and streaky when in the lineup for the Jets; the Broncos' depth at receiver, along with his inconsistency, and injury concerns make him an easy one to pass on.
6. David Stewart (OT)
Former Team: Tennessee Titans
2013 Cap Hit: $7.0 Million
Like the other two offensive linemen already mentioned, Stewart is not a fit, simply due to the depth possessed at his position already. Ryan Clady is expected to be back from injury, Chris Clark should be able to make the transition to right tackle, and if he is unable to do so, the Broncos have insurance with Orlando Franklin, who's played right tackle since being drafted in 2011.
7. Jabari Greer (CB)
Former Team: New Orleans Saints
2013 Cap Hit: $5.475 Million
The Broncos are deep, but young at corner. Aqib Talib and Chris Harris occupy the number one and two spots on the depth chart, with rookie Bradley Roby or second-year Kayvon Webster playing as the nickel corner; Tony Carter provides depth talent, rounding out a solid cornerback group with an average age of 25.2. Jabari Greer, at the age of 32, has spent 10 seasons in the NFL, and could possibly be a player who adds experience to a young roster of corners. Ideally, the Broncos would have liked to keep Champ around to allow their young corners to learn from one of the best at the position, both on the field and off the field; however, Bailey still wants to contribute to an NFL roster and was not willing to take a smaller contract to take a backseat role in Denver. Greer has a lot of experience in the NFL and has played at a high level at points in his career, he could potentially play the veteran role in Denver, giving guidance to younger players and filling in on special teams and nickel and dime defenses, if need be. Greer would only be a fit in Denver if he were willing to take a significant pay cut from 2013 and was willing to play a smaller role on a contending team.
8. James Harrison (LB)
Former Team: Cincinnati Bengals
2013 Cap Hit: $2.4 Million
The Broncos spent a lot of money to add Demarcus Ware to the roster in the off-season, and despite Harrison's impressive track record on the field, his track record off the field and Ware's superior abilities are enough to deter the Broncos from pursuing the veteran linebacker. A veteran linebacker up the middle would be a better fit, but even if Harrison were a middle linebacker, the off-field distractions and on-field disciplinary issues are enough to warrant a fly-by on signing him.
9. Terrell Thomas (CB)
Former Team: New York Giants
2013 Cap Hit: $1.45 Million
If anyone on this list is a fit in Denver, it is Terrell Thomas. One of the few question marks on the Broncos' deep roster is the nickel cornerback position, due to the fact that Roby has no track record in the NFL and Webster's play was too up-and-down throughout the 2013 season to have a clear idea on his talent level. Thomas played the 14th most snaps in the slot position in the entire NFL in 2013 and would immediately be the oldest corner on the roster, at the age of 29, if he were to be signed to a deal. While it is not necessary to add anyone just for the sake of having them on the roster, Thomas would be the best fit in Denver of the remaining players, bringing experience in the slot and experience in general.
10. Michael Bush (RB)
Former Team: Chicago Bears
2013 Cap Hit: $3.55 Million
Throughout the off-season it has been the desire of some that the Broncos add a veteran running back to complement the young group of backs that they already have. Of the remaining free agents, Michael Bush fits the description; the 30 year-old power back has played seven seasons in the NFL, and could potentially provide some veteran leadership for the young group of backs that reside in Denver. While Bush may be an attractive option to some, I'm not convinced that he would be of much use on the roster; it would be nice to add a veteran, but CJ Anderson, Ronnie Hillman, and Kapri Bibbs all appear to have a shot at the number two job, which should keep them motivated to improve and train hard for the upcoming season. If a veteran (who would essentially be guaranteed a roster spot) were introduced to the group, it may discourage the younger guys and disrupt the competitiveness that exists for the slots on the depth chart behind Montee Ball.
All in all, the Broncos are a very deep team who do not necessarily need to add anyone else. It may be nice to add a veteran corner, who has experience in the slot, or a veteran linebacker to show the young guns the ropes, but these are just added luxuries that are not completely necessary. The Broncos have a very strong roster moving forward, and it would be very surprising if they reached out to any of the top remaining free agents, unless they were an ideal fit or came at a big discount.