The Denver Broncos are losing some talent this offseason, but fear not Broncos Country as the team is still loaded with it. Sometimes, culling the field can be a good thing. John Elway wants a team that will go down kicking and screaming, so maybe some of the losses have to do with that mentality.
Other losses could have to do with a reported cash flow problem the Broncos may be experiencing. Perhaps that new facility in Dove Valley was a bit more expensive than they expected.
Either way, the Broncos will not overpay unless they absolutely must. In the case of Demaryius Thomas, they must and did with an expensive franchise tag and no long term deal (yet). With Julius Thomas, however, they chose not to pursue the bidding war that ended with a whooping $9 million a year that the Jacksonville Jaguars reportedly offered.
Even worse, fan favorite run blocking monster, Orlando Franklin appears to be headed to the San Diego Chargers. Elway was unwilling or unable to match the $7.2 million a year price tag, which on the surface seems outrageous to me given his struggles in pass protection duties at both right tackle and along the interior of the line.
Now with quality offensive linemen disappearing from the free agent list at an alarming rate, Broncos Country is beginning to panic because of how rough the line played in 2014. People do forget that roughly the same line played at an historically good level in 2013, but emotions overrule logic for most. The good news is, the Broncos are getting to meet with a couple of centers this week and nabbing one of them will at least allay some of the panic brewing across Broncos Country.
As for the rest of the roster, where are the Broncos coming up short right now? Sure, they may need a safety when Rahim Moore officially leaves or they may choose to fill that void from within. Terrance Knighton may be gone as well, which opens the door for a 3-4 nose tackle. That is not as big of a hole as people think, though. There is plenty of talent around that position to help plug any issues there.
On offense, the Broncos need a tight end. Maybe. Virgil Green was coming along nicely when Julius Thomas exploded onto the scene. I actually like him as a pass catcher too, but especially so as a run blocker. It would be good to see him weigh and accept Elway's offer to rejoin the Broncos for 2015. Peyton Manning might be able to do for him what he did for Julius.
Then we come back to the woeful offensive line. I actually think switching to a more zone blocking scheme makes it easier to plug those holes as they will no longer have to worry so much about complex pass blocking assignments. It simplifies everything for them and most linemen prefer to run block anyway.
So rest easy Broncos Country, this team in 2015 is going to be damn good regardless of how things play out over the next few weeks.
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