With the news of Gary Kubiak stepping down as head coach, the Denver Broncos are in the market for someone to lead them into battle on the gridiron in 2017.
Early reports have Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan as a favorite for the job, but numerous other names are being floated as potential candidates for the teams' vacancy. Regardless of who becomes the next coach of the franchise we love, one thing is absolutely certain — significant changes to the the roster are coming.
Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager John Elway spoke at length about numerous issues concerning the team moving forward, but placed an emphasis on how he believes the team can get better next season. From Elway's comments, it is a virtual guarantee that the Broncos will be big players in free agency and be very active in this years' NFL Draft.
Elway: "We got a lot of draft picks and we'll be involved in free agency.''— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) January 2, 2017
OverTheCap recently revised their cap space projections for every NFL team, with updated figures that include the expected rise in salary cap for 2017, as well as the rollover of unused funds for each franchise in 2016. Prior to any cuts or other roster moves, Denver will have almost $40 million dollars to use in free agency.
That number could exceed well over $50 million dollars if the team declines their option on left tackle Russell Okung and decides to part ways with numerous players who didn't perform at a high level this season. Quite simply, that is plenty of cash to improve the team that is in desperate need of a complete overhaul.
On top of plenty of cap space, they are projected to have ten selections in the 2017 NFL Draft and will have the 20th overall selection in the first round. Don't be surprised to see the team be flexible with those picks andwilling to move up to get one of their highest rated players on the board like they have done in the past. However, no matter who they get, Elway knows that he, his coaches and staff have to make them better once they arrive at Dove Valley.
.@johnelway: "We draft players, and we sign players, but we have to make them better when they get here."— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) January 2, 2017
It would also help if he and his scouting and player personnel departments did a much better job evaluating and scouting talent in both the draft and free agency in order to make the teams' foundations as strong as possible. Their efforts in that regard have been tenuous at best and are one of the reasons for the lack of talent (especially offensively) on the roster.
These are uncertain times for our beloved Broncos, but it will be exciting to see how everything develops over the next few months. With Elway leading the way, you can expect him to do everything in his power to make his team Super Bowl contenders as soon as possible, but don't expect fans to lessen their expectations and aspirations for the future.