Good morning, Broncos Country.
The Denver Broncos were on the upswing after three-straight victories that brought them to a 6-6 record, but their embarrassing loss to the San Francisco 49ers indicates that the team has a long ways to go before they have a legitimate shot at being contenders. At this point in time it would take an absolute miracle for the Broncos to make the postseason. Don’t count on that happening, but know very well a major offseason overhaul is in store for the franchise.
At the forefront of the overhaul will be a change in coaches. Even if the Broncos somehow manage to win out or end up with a .500 record, it’s doubtful that Vance Joseph sees a third season leading the team. The bigger question is who will replace him. My gut tells me that the Broncos would prefer to go the route of a former head coach who has had some success in the league. Perhaps Mike McCarthy would fill that void or even John Harbaugh if he were to become available. If the Broncos are looking for a quick turnaround or stability for the long-haul an inexperienced coach might not be the best route to go.
Outside of a coaching change fans should believe that the Broncos’ 2019 roster will likely look far different from this season. Players like Emmanuel Sanders, Ronald Leary, Brandon Marshall and Darian Stewart could all find themselves elsewhere. If the team were to move on from those four the cap savings would be slightly above $25 million dollars. That would give the team some much needed cap space to make a big splash in free agency. That’ll be an important piece of the offseason overhaul, so let’s talk about that a bit.
The Broncos can be big players in free agency
Every franchise was informed yesterday afternoon that the projected salary cap for the 2019 season is expected to range between $187 and $191 million dollars. Even at the lower end of the estimate, it would be nearly a ten million dollar increase as opposed to this past year. The Broncos currently have $40 million dollars available next season to spend in free agency with a projected $190 million salary cap, according to OverTheCap.
When accounting for rollover of unused space from this season into next, that would bring Denver to just shy of $50 million dollars to play with. Adding in the aforementioned moves would bring the Broncos’ potential cap space to $75 million dollars. That’s a lot of dough to play with and would give them the capability of signing some big-named free agents at positions of need, as well as extensions to homegrown players who have performed well.
The Broncos are loaded with picks for the 2019 NFL Draft
Denver’s youthful foundation should have fans optimistic about the future, but another successful draft is paramount for the Broncos to turn things around long-term. The Broncos currently hold ten picks in next year’s draft with extra selections in the fourth, fifth and seventh rounds. That’s a lot of ammunition to make some waves and acquire top-tier talent across the board. The team is currently slated to pick seventeenth overall, but their final slot could get a bit better if the team struggles in their final three games.
Regardless of that spot, I wouldn’t be surprised to see John Elway be aggressive and move up for one of the top players on their board. Could it be a quarterback? That’s a huge need and if more underclassmen declare the Broncos should have more options than what many have originally thought thus far. Could it be a cornerback? That’s a strong possibility and a huge need considering struggles the secondary has endured this year.
It will be a few weeks before we get a pulse on the true direction of the Broncos moving forward. Yet have no doubts that they are equipped with plenty of cap space and draft capital to help secure a quick turnaround. The most important part will be making sure they use those resources well and invest wisely. Feel free to sound off in the comments section and start dreaming up and sharing your favorite offseason scenarios.
As always, thank you for reading and here is today’s offering of Horse Tracks.
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