We at Mile High Report will have a roundtable discussion post each day this week before we get into the State of the Roster series of posts next week. The NFL playoffs are still in full swing, but we’ve got the Senior Bowl and Shrine Bowl incoming and free agency is coming up quicker than you think.
Today, we’ll begin with identifying the player or players who most deserve a contract extension heading into the 2024 season. So let’s get to it.
Scotty Payne: Cornerback Patrick Surtain II is eligible for an extension and is very deserving of it and should be the highest-paid corner. You either pay him and lock him up or trade him and get a huge return back for him. With their cap issues in the present we’ll see what they decide to do.
Taylor Kothe: I wouldn’t be surprised to see a handful of extensions handed out. Pat Surtain II is the leading name for great players being locked in for the future, but Quinn Meinerz is a name to watch as well. One of the best young guards in the league, he’s going into a contract year and should be locked down for the next 4+ years with a generous extension. Caden Sterns, Baron Browning, and Jonathan Cooper are all guys who could potentially sign extensions for more moderate sums.
But don’t rule out extensions motivated by cap relief. Garret Bolles is the highlight name here, entering a contract year with the 2nd highest 2024 cap hit on the team at $20M. At 31, he likely has at least 5 or 6 years of quality play to look forward to. So if Payton wants a reliable veteran LT to protect a rookie QB, extending Bolles could do that while massively cutting his 2024 cap hit.
Ross Allen: Pay the belly. Quinn Meinerz should now be talked about as one of the best interior offensive lineman in the league. He is PFF’s best run-blocking guard on the year, and that’s a grade that I actually agree with. He is the most consistent performer on the offensive line and deserves a payday.
Chris Hart: The Broncos should start negotiations with Patrick Surtain II and Quinn Meinerz. They are two fixtures from the 2021 NFL Draft that Denver needs to keep long-term. I’d approach Bolles and Simmons about team-friendly extensions, but I wouldn’t expect them to take discounts. Lloyd Cushenberry III deserves an extension based on his play this year, but I don’t think the Broncos can afford to keep him.
Tim Lynch: There are some severe salary cap issues this year with the team seemingly on track to release quarterback Russell Wilson at some point in the next six to seven weeks. Extensions to key starters could be a creative way to free up some of that cap room. Looking over the contracts there, the obvious choice would be Pat Surtain II. They could look at extending wide receiver Courtland Sutton too and if they decide to keep Garett Bolles then he’d be a prime extension target too. Those would be the guys I’d look at. There are some up-and-coming young players, but it might be wise to wait a year on them.