John Elway will have a lot of tough decisions to make in a short amount of time. While the team is currently putting together their plan of attack for who to bring in from other teams in free agency, they are also developing a blueprint in regard to which of their in-house free agents they will sign and retain for the 2017 season. Listed below are my thoughts on what I hope the Broncos do in regard to those players.
Unrestricted FA's the Broncos should attempt to retain
The future Hall of Fame pass rusher is a free agent this offseason, but has expressed sincere interest in coming back to the Broncos for one more season. Undoubtedly, Ware's character and leadership qualities have been a tremendous asset in the Broncos locker room, but injuries have cost him to miss a decent portion of time the past two seasons.
If the Broncos do bring Ware back, expect it to be at a far less price than years prior with a one-year contract that is loaded with performance incentives. You can never have too many pass rushers, and even with his age and injury concerns, I wouldn't mind the Broncos bringing back Ware for one last ride at the end of his historic career.
Webster has been relegated to special teams duty for the majority of his career due to being behind Aqib Talib, Chris Harris, Jr. and Bradley Roby on the depth chart. The team has a lot of money invested in the Talib and Harris, and have a big decision to make in regard to picking up Roby's fifth-year option.
That being said, Webster has been a phenomenal special teams performer and captain for the squad and merits an extension offer. However, I wouldn't be surprised if Webster signs elsewhere for more money and a chance at an expanded role, especially since he had stated earlier this season that he "wanted to fly too."
Restricted or Exclusive Rights FA the Broncos should retain
The biggest restricted free agent (RFA) the Broncos have is kicker Brandon McManus. I believe Denver will place a second-round tender on him (giving him $2.5 million dollars for 2017) with the hopes of reaching a long-term contract agreement with him prior to training camp.
Todd Davis is the other well-known player the Broncos have as a RFA. Despite Davis' liability in coverage, he is a solid run defender. If given an original round tender, it would cost the Broncos roughly $1.6 million dollars in cap space. It's a decent number, but one the team may be willing to pay for his services, unless they plan on replacing him with a selection in the 2017 NFL Draft.
As far as exclusive rights free agents (ERFA) go, the Broncos have a handful of them. The Broncos should bring back Matt Paradis, Bennie Fowler, Shaquil Barrett, Jordan Taylor, Casey Kreiter, Kapri Bibbs and Zaire Anderson. Only a few of them would be locks to make the Broncos roster, but tendering the aforementioned would come at an affordable rate and give the Broncos a full roster prior to acquisitions in the draft and free agents.
Let the rest of them walk
Jordan Norwood, James Ferentz, Vance Walker, Sylvester Williams, Justin Forsett, Billy Winn, Dekoda Watson, Marlon Brown, Thomas Gafford and Sam Brenner can look for greener pastures in free agency. None of them are long-term players with upside that bolster the Broncos' chances of regaining their status as Super Bowl contenders in the immediate future and could easily be replaced in free agency or the draft with superior players.
What do you think Broncos Country? What in-house free agents do you want the Broncos to keep? Which do you think should walk? Share your thoughts in the comments section!