Broncos Country is two weeks away from its Christmas morning. The only problem is we won’t know what presents John “Santa” Elway puts under the tree until at least 2 p.m. MT.
That’s the time and date the league year begins and with it free agency. The wheeling and dealing ensues. Come that time, hopefully, we will know who the Denver Broncos will target or sign. In other words, the rumors and speculation will cease for another year. The huge plus is we won’t have the drama and constant “reporting” on the franchise tag we’ve had to face the last few years, namely Demaryius Thomas and Von Miller. So already this offseason is a win.
As Adam Malnati and I discussed on this week’s Mile High Report Radio Podcast, most agree the focus in free agency must be on both lines of scrimmage. Where the debate begins is who Elway and the Broncos should target.
My thoughts on this are clear at this point. I think the first two players Denver targets are Rick Wagner and Kevin Zeitler. Add those two pieces to the Broncos offensive line and it immediately improves. You get two of the best at their positions in the NFL but also needed depth. As I said on the show, Zeitler takes care of one of the guard spots, leaving three guys in a battle royal for the other. That’s what you want in the NFL, and may the best man win.
What Denver does with left tackle has a lot to do with Russell Okung (thanks, John Madden). Yes, his contract but also how Elway and the new coaching staff view him as a player. That’s important because if they view him as a guy who could dominate the left-side of the line in this new system with the new coaches, that seals it. I’m in the minority who think Okung wasn’t as bad as people think. He’s yet another example of the system and coaching change, potentially, being a huge benefit.
If the Broncos make the decision not to stick with Okung, that’s when the Joe Thomas and Andrew Whitworth talk really heats up.
After Wagner and Zeitler, Elway should go after Brandon Williams and/or Calais Campbell. The thought of Campbell opposite Derek Wolfe and next to Miller … oh, baby. Campbell could be special in this defense.
Take care of both lines of scrimmage and that frees up the team to draft the (here’s our favorite NFL Draft cliche) best player available. No matter the position that person plays.
Two weeks from today, the answers become clear and the speculation can stop … hopefully. We will know what presents Santa Elway has delivered.