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Horse Tracks: Calling "Bull" on some muddy hindsight

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This time of year is rife with speculation, rumor, and bull. 2016 is no exception. Now we're hearing that everyone we lost could have been kept in orange and blue by former players and the whispers start in Broncos Country. Let's get some "No Bull" perspective on this.

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I've been on vacation for a few days, but one thing I kept seeing mentioned while casually keeping up on news was something about Malik Jackson saying the Broncos could have kept him. This talk has been bantered about in comments, among the staff, etc. There's a lot of hindsight bull going on, honestly. Let me count the ways:

  1. This is a former player in front of the media. He's going to always put his best foot forward ("I would have stayed, but they didn't want me!").
  2. Any contract extension would have meant spending money today on a player who is on a cheap contract. Sure, do this for the guys who are going to sign at a reasonable rate, are players who are at low risk of mailing it in once they get a big contract, and are exceptional (See Chris Harris, Jr. and Derek Wolfe).
  3. We didn't have the cap space or cash on hand the past two years to make it happen while keeping enough money on hand to sign emergency free agents.

The reality of today's NFL is that players who play really well are going to get paid really well. As a franchise, your team must manage how it spends its money. The more talent you have / grow, the more you spend on all the little pieces along the way. This means if you are a good team, you don't get 50M+ at the end of each season to throw around at big free agents.

To keep competitive, you have to play a balancing act between drafting starters, paying out a few big contracts to stars, and signing decent talent at as reasonable rate that you can. Every choice is tough from Tim Tebow to Brock Osweiler, from Rahim Moore to Malik Jackson, etc. You can't ever sign everyone.

Add to that the fact that we just won a Super Bowl. All other 31 teams want a piece of what we just accomplished. Many of them have lots more money to spend than we do. They can afford to pay Brock 18M a season. More power to them. There has yet been a snap of football played in 2016 at the NFL level. Before anyone jumps of a cliff, remember the moves we made after the 2014 season. We have sound leadership in the Broncos organization. They aren't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but they've done pretty darn well in recent history.

Broncos News:

Seven takeaways from John Elway's conference call
The Broncos' EVP/GM answered questions from media for the first time since the new league year began.

Sacco Sez: When the draft breeze blows both ways
Back when the Broncos were in the AFL, the draft was not kind to them.

John Elway: Brock Osweiler's leaving let Broncos retain C.J. Anderson - Denver Broncos Blog- ESPN
The Broncos watched a few players leave in the first days of free agency, including Brock Osweiler, and that allowed them to retain C.J. Anderson.

Free Agency News of interest to us:

Rahim Moore to sign with Cleveland Browns
Safety Rahim Moore has agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Browns as they seek players to compete for the spot vacated by Tashaun Gipson. (The Dream heads to Cleveland...where all dreams go to die)

Miami Dolphins looking at RB Chris Johnson after missing out on C.J. Anderson
The Dolphins are looking at running back Chris Johnson, visiting with him on Wednesday, after missing out on C.J. Anderson, according to Adam Schefter.

Does Colin Kaepernick deserve another chance? - NFL.com
The Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns are both interested in Colin Kaepernick. Is he worth all the interest after a lost 2015 season?

Non-NFL Champion News:

Grading the big free-agent deals - NFL
The Patriots traded for TE Martellus Bennett and signed DE Chris Long. Good or bad moves? Bill Barnwell is here to bring clarity to the chaos by grading each notable free-agent deal and trade.

Free Agency Report | NFL.com
The NFL Free Agency Report - A nice listing of what free agents are left out there.

Eric Weddle: Chargers divorce a 'blessing in disguise' - NFL.com
Eric Weddle sat in front of Baltimore-area reporters ready for a fresh start. His face said it all -- both in his optimistic glow and the three-year-old mountain beard now trimmed to a neat George Michael stubble.

Top QBs through Super Bowl XL: Brett Favre, Tom Brady rise - NFL.com
As Dave Dameshek's examination of the Super Bowl era's best quarterbacks moves into the 2000s, how high does Brett Favre climb the top-10 list -- and how far does Steve Young fall?