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Horse Tracks: Potential Broncos cap casualties

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The Denver Broncos have plenty of salary cap space, but they may want a little more once free agency begins to play out.

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

With almost $32M in salary cap space heading into free agency, the Denver Broncos are well positioned to improve their talent when free agency opens up on March 9th.

John Elway may decide he needs a little more wiggle room to land some of the top free agents on the market. Here are some of the potential options he could use to free up some more space.

Player Dead Money Cap Savings
Player Dead Money Cap Savings
Russell Okung $2,000,000 $10,900,000
Donald Stephenson $2,000,000 $3,000,000
C.J. Anderson $0 $3,000,000
Virgil Green $500,000 $2,800,000
Michael Schofield $130,130 $1,838,000
Jared Crick $500,000 $1,750,000

I purposely selected guys from the list who could theoretically be replaced or had a high cap savings to dead money ratio. Aqib Talib hit the bill on the latter portion of that, but there is no theoretical way to replace him on this roster. He’s just too good.

Outside of Russell Okung, the rest of the players will free up a few million here or a few million there. It’s clear that this year's nuclear option is cutting bait with Okung to free up an additional $10.9M in cap space.

Now, Okung is due a $1M option the day free agency opens, so it will be important to watch the rumor mill regarding left tackles during the legal tampering period. If this happens, Okung will see his contract guaranteed payout through 2018 total $19.5M. If he gets that option, he’s going to be a Bronco for a while.

Donald Stephenson will see his salary fully guaranteed on March 13th, but it would be shocking if the Broncos retain his services after last season - even with the $2M in dead money.

C.J. Anderson is probably not getting cut, unless they feel his injury is going to hamper him through 2017. Virgil Green takes away from the run game and the tight end depth on the team, so that might be a long shot as well. As for Michael Schofield, him getting cut would be a fan favorite, but will do little to help the offensive line improve.

What would you do to free up additional cap space?

Horse Tracks

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