On Tuesday Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro on The Afternoon Drive talked about the challenges the Denver Broncos face this year in free agency. With Von Miller tagged and no deal done for Malik Jackson or Brock Osweiler things are definitely starting to get interesting.
John Elway has done a fantastic job the last few years in the offseason filling in holes and changing the focus of the team. But players weren't signing with the Broncos purely based on money and the 300 days of sun Denver has to offer - the Broncos were also an appealing team to play for because of Peyton Manning. Manning has been a huge factor in both offensive and defensive players wanting to sign with the Broncos as they knew that with him behind center the Broncos were virtually guaranteed a playoff spot.
Now that it appears likely that Manning will not be a Bronco next season (although you can't count out that possibility if Osweiler doesn't come back) Elway will not have the "Manning" factor as part of his pitch to free agents. Now of course even if Manning DID come back this doesn't mean that he would be a huge factor in other players' decisions this year. Many people believe Manning is incapable of making it through an entire season injury-free after all.
Elway himself can be considered a draw to players, and the Broncos new indoor practice facility also comes in handy during these times to impress players. But the real draw now for the Broncos is of course their dominant defense. However if players like Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan start signing elsewhere, it's hard to know what effect that will have (if any) on future deals with new players. If Osweiler doesn't come back next season, hopefully the Broncos defense will be enough of a draw to sign another solid quarterback option.
Chad Brown discusses what John Elway will likely do with the Broncos contract situations.