On Friday, the window for NFL teams to exercise contract options opened. For the Denver Broncos, they will have until March 13, 2019 to decide whether or not they wish to retain the services for four veteran players this season. Those players are cornerback Chris Harris Jr. ($7.9M salary), inside linebacker Brandon Marshall ($7M), wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders ($10.25M) and defensive lineman Derek Wolfe’s ($8.55M).
Joel Corry of CBS Sports broke down how each contract option would play out for the Broncos earlier this week.
This is the first day for the Broncos to exercise options for cornerback Chris Harris, linebacker Brandon Marshall, wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and defensive end Derek Wolfe’s contracts. Separate $1 million payments are required to pick up Harris and Wolfe’s 2019 contracts for $7.9 million and $8.55 million. There isn’t an option payment associated with Marshall and Sanders’ 2019 contract years of $7 million and $10.25 million respectively. $1 million and $1.5 million of Marshall and Sanders’ base salaries would be fully guaranteed though. The deadline to exercise these options is the last day of the 2018 league year, which is March 13.
The only player absolutely safe on this list would be Harris and the rest will be part of some business decisions the Broncos will have to make leading up to the start of the free agency period.
If they choose to not to pick up any of these options, then those players will be released and the Broncos would be free and clear from those hefty veteran salaries. They could free up over $23M in salary cap by not picking up the options of all three of the other veterans in Marshall, Sanders, and Wolfe.
That would certainly raise eyebrows around the NFL. More than likely at least one of these players will be moving on in mid-March. Your guess is as good as mine as to which.