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Horse Tracks: Don't panic yet, Broncos Country

With the Denver Broncos placing the exclusive franchise tag on Von Miller yesterday, many of the teams' free agents will be hitting the open market. But don't panic, General Manager John Elway will work his magic once more.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Wednesday, Broncos Country.

When the Denver Broncos placed the exclusive franchise tag on four-time All-Pro linebacker Von Miller yesterday, it almost guaranteed that players such as Brock Osweiler and Malik Jackson will hit the open market in free agency.

A sense of panic has now spread in waves across Broncos Country. The prospect of the team losing who appeared to be their quarterback of the future and rising star at defensive end is troubling,  but relax my friends — John Elway is our General Manager and has shown in a short amount of time, that he possesses all the ability in the world to make big splashes and key acquisitions in free agency regardless of the circumstances.

As he put it best, he would rather be in the position to make tough decisions rather than easy ones.  In less than half a decade, Elway has built the Broncos back to the status of Super Bowl Champions  — which is a far rise in fame from when he took over the mantle after former Head Coach Josh McDaniels left Dove Valley in a steaming pile of rubble.

If he can overcome that adversity, there is little doubt he will be able to take on the challenges the free agency period poses.  Elway has succeeded in every facet of his football life and personal business enterprise.  For him, there will never be a Plan B, only a Plan A that looks out for the best interest of the Denver Broncos football organization now and from now on.

As it stands, the team right now is in a cap crunch. The tagging of Von Miller puts the Broncos roughly $5.67 million dollars over the cap according to OTC, but that number will certainly rise once the Peyton Manning situation is finally dealt with, and when and if the Broncos decide to cut or restructure contracts of players such as Ryan Clady, DeMarcus Ware, Louis Vasquez and Britton Colquitt.

Moves in regard to those players could allow the Broncos salary cap space available to soar well-above $30 million dollars. That would be enough to retain all of our key restricted and exclusive rights free agents, and give the team flexibility to sign several other big names this off-season.

Under the leadership of Elway, expect the unexpected  — but expect that whatever may come will be laced in greatness. That is what winners do and by all means, Elway is the consummate winner and one of, if not the best GM's in all of football. He has a proven track record of success in free agency and there is little doubt in my mind that he will make big waves again this off-season, just like he has ever year since he assumed his position within the teams' front office.

The State of the Broncos is strong my friends. Regardless of who leaves, rest assured that those who replace them will have the fire and desire to propel the team towards another Super Bowl victory in 2016.  In Elway we trust.

As always, thanks for reading and here are today's Horse Tracks.

Horse Tracks

Five free agents who could help make the Broncos defensive line historic | Mile High Sports
Whether it's with Malik Jackson or someone else, the Denver Broncos have the opportunity to build a truly great Broncos defensive line this offseason.

Wade Phillips talks first title, preparing for next year | Mile High Sports
Wade Phillips has certainly enjoyed his first Super Bowl title, but is wasting no time getting the Broncos defense ready for next year.

Power Rankings: Denver Broncos franchise tags | Mile High Sports
In this week's edition of Power Rankings, we look at which Broncos franchise players have proved most valuable once their long-term deals were in place.

Broncos' Brock Osweiler becomes biggest QB name in NFL free agency
After all the dust settled from Tuesday's franchise tags, Denver's Brock Osweiler was the last big fish left standing among the quarterbacks.

The case for Brock Osweiler
Where it gets interesting for the Denver Broncos, where it gets strange and maybe even ugly is if Brock Osweiler becomes a free agent and signs with another team.

Broncos met with Cal RB Daniel Lasco at NFL combine
Daniel Lasco wasn’t a name high on the radar of many scouts when he arrived in Indianapolis for the NFL scouting combine. But it wasn’t one they could forget.

Imagining potential fits for Peyton Manning as a player
A look at a few of the teams that might kick the tires on a Peyton Manning acquisition, should he wish to play another season.

Rating how active every NFL team will be in free agency
With free agency approaching, NFL Nation reporters evaluate how aggressive each team will be in the market. The Raiders and 49ers are among the teams expected to spend big.

2016 free agency: Top 99 available players
Free agency is just around the corner, and there should be plenty of talent available on the market. Here's our rankings of the top 99 players ready to hit free agency.

Washington Redskins franchise tag Kirk Cousins
Kirk Cousins will be staying in Washington D.C. The Redskins placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on the fifth-year quarterback on Tuesday.

Mason Crosby signs four-year contract with Packers
Mason Crosby has proven himself to be a dependable kicker for the Green Bay Packers. On Tuesday, the team rewarded him for it with a four-year deal, Ian Rapoport reports.

Sam Bradford agrees to two-year, $36M Eagles deal
Sam Bradford agrees to a two-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles worth $36 million that includes roughly $26 million in guarantees. How will the deal affect the free-agent market?

Reception Perception: 2016 NFL draft prospects results
Matt Harmon of Backyard Banter takes an incredibly deep look at this years crop of wide receiver prospects in the NFL Draft.