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elliot878


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2016 10:39 pm    Post subject: 2017 Free Agency Thread Reply with quote

As you can see with the college thread, I like to get the planning for next year started early, this way by the time free agency opens, this thread will be a great resource.

I'll provide the list of expiring 2017 contracts here

As well as links to a few positions of need.

Offensive Tackle

Going into this season I said this was the biggest need, it remains the case. We signed a scrub in Stephenson to be our right tackle and expected he'd magically become better just by being a Bronco, it's flawed logic that rarely works. At left tackle we signed Russell Okung who has been ok, but it's essentially a one year deal on the cheap, as there is no way he's worth $10m for several years going forward.

And with our 2016 free agent tackles, we're likely looking for two new tackles again in the 2017 draft and free agency.

My top target would be right tackle Ryan Schraeder from Atlanta. I feel like we haven't had good play at the right tackle position since Orlando Franklin, and he wasn't that great. Well, Atlanta does exactly what Kubiak would love to do, they have a balanced attack and execute a zone blocking system that propels an excellent run game. Schraeder was PFF's top rated right tackle in 2015, he's talented in run and pass protection, something we've lacked badly on the right edge this year. He's not a sexy name, so maybe he'll be somewhat reasonable.

Other notable tackles:

Teron Armstead - A pure left tackle with amazing movement skills and great strength. He's been good for New Orleans since he was drafted, but has been somewhat nicked up this season. Will likely be expensive if he hits the open market.

Andrew Whitworth - The oldest of the tackle class, very good player for a while now, at 34 years old the deal should be short term.

Mike Remmers - Right tackle who can't pass protect well, not a departure from what we've become used to watching.

Matt Kalil - Former top 5 picks (i'm pretty sure at least). Not sure he's been anything special since coming into the league.

Sebastian Vollmer - NE right tackle for years, hurt this year and play has begun to fall off.

Marcus Cannon - Another NE lineman, don't think he has the movement skills to play outside in a zone, he's a big guy.

A few Guards...

TJ Lang - RG for Packers has always been consistent, type of signing we wouldn't be let down by, and he's an improvement over the revolving door we have currently at right guard.

Ron Leary - Not sure how he'd fit in a zone system, or how successful he'd be on a line that doesn't include 4 pro-bowlers by his side. By this i mean I have no idea how good he actually is.

Jonathan Cooper - I will never stop being intrigued by this guy. Big, strong, and unbelievable movement skills. Who knows if he'll ever live up to his potential, New England couldn't tap into it, hard to believe anyone can.

Kevin Zeitler - I'd say he's up there with Lang as the best option available at guard. He'd be a guaranteed improvement at either of our guard spots.



On the other side of the ball, the biggest need is also in the trenches. The loss of Malik Jackson was a big hit, and Vance Walker going down pushed the DL depth further than it could afford to go. Sly Williams contract expires after this season, and he's nothing to write home about, I expect we'll be looking at nose tackles and at ends in free agency.

The guy I'd go after is Brandon Williams if he becomes available from Baltimore. He's a very good run stuffer and has the movement skills to get into the backfield. He's massive at 340 pounds and would prove an upgrade at nose tackle and provide a big boost to our struggling run defense.

At defensive end I'd imagine we look at disruptive players. Walker being back will prove a healthy boost to our run defense, and we were comfortable going into the year with him as the starter, but unfortunately he was hurt in preseason.

If Elway looks to DE's I'd expect it to be someone who can be disruptive.

Nick Fairley - is a guy we know can play in opposing backfields.

Kawan Shortt - Extremely disruptive and lives in opposing backfields, may be the highest paid defensive lineman of the 2017 class, I don't expect Carolina will mess up two offseasons in a row and repeat a mistake again like they did letting Josh Norman leave.

Here's the list of free agent defensive lineman in 2017.



Let's hear some of your guys wish lists for the 2017 season. Also, in your write-ups be sure to explain/consider whether the players fit the systems the Broncos run.
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Last edited by elliot878 on Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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BroncoBruin


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ryan Schraeder now off the market. Not sure who else is a viable solution at RT. Ricky Wagner, maybe? The quality of RT play league-wide will make him really expensive.
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BroncosFan2010


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am a huge advocate of getting Whitworth as a stopgap LT.

Your simply not finding a young, franchise LT in Free Agency and this draft doesn't have a strong plug-and-play OT class. Whitworth is 34, but he has graded out extremely well this season. He isn't breaking down either, the guy simply doesn't miss games.

I understand that age drop-offs happen suddenly, but even taking that risk I would rather pay Whitworth 20M over 2 seasons than a guy like Wagner or Joeckel.

Give me two years of elite play from the old man over guaranteed mediocrity (Wagner) or a R1 pick living off draft hype still (Joeckel).

Its also easier to fill RT in the draft. If we want a LT, the best and most realistic target is Whitworth. CIN has drafted his replacement (Jake Fisher) and will be due to pay a good number of guys this offseason.

We are a contending team so the idea of paying 10M for a 34 year old stopgap makes sense IMO. Especially with Lynch likely taking over soon. Give him that blind side bookend for 1-2 seasons and go from there.

The OG talent is pretty good, and the market for a non-elite OG isn't that bad. You have the Osemelie's getting 10M+ but he had OT experience and is probably the best in the game. But a guy like Clint Boling only got 5.2M.

The OL talent league wide is poor. All the planet theory athletes are playing DL; more fun, more money. Add to that these College offenses that use tons of super quick passes and don't require their OL to hold blocks and you get a dearth of talented offensive linemen IMO.

As for DL, the options are bare at least for 34DE. Campbell is the only name that really stands out as a dynamic player, but he is getting Malik $$$. Lawrence Guy is probably the 2nd best 34DE that will hit FA but he is really just a super solid run stuffer. I don't want to pay for that.

At NT there are two dynamic guys in Brandon Williams and Poe, but IDK if Elway is the type to spend a lot on the NT, and those two guys are going to get at least what Damon Harrison got from NYG (9.2M AV). It wont be cheap.
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Cutler06


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, does anyone know how much cap space money we'll have to spend ? Also, I know Aqib and Ward are FA's, what other Broncos are going on the market ?
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Broncofan


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cutler06 wrote:
Well, does anyone know how much cap space money we'll have to spend ? Also, I know Aqib and Ward are FA's, what other Broncos are going on the market ?


Ward's actually not a FA, but his cap hit pretty much expires - we save 4.5M if we cut him. Talib isn't a FA either, but again his cap hit expires - however, in his case, his elite play (so long as it doesn't drop off, or he face a long suspension or get injured seriously), is very affordable at 10M. Right now, we have one UFA we need to re-sign - Darian Stewart. No one else in our core is a FA. We absolutely need Stewart, he's the playmaker in the secondary, and making up for Ward's pass coverage deficiences.

Okung's the other guy we can save a ton of $ - 10.9M to be exact.

http://overthecap.com/calculator/denver-broncos/

Cut Okung, we have 49.2M left over, with Stewart left to extend. Cut Ward & Okung, we're at 53.7. I'd say at least 8M is going to Stewart, which is why Ward's # is in play, if we want BOTH a T/G and D-line help through FA. T is going to cost 10M AAV if it's Whitworth on a short deal, and G's won't come much cheaper (say 8M). And that's NOT counting the inflation that occurs when the cap increases. Add in getting DL help (another paying position), and our need for a 3rd WR, LB help (which fortunately isn't that expensive), getting rookies signed, realistically we need 30M+ to get 2 major signing, and 40M+ to get 3 major signings done.

Elway can of course find magic in the lower-salaried pool, but he's also gone for it when he needs premium help (Peyton, Ware, Talib), and never back-loaded deals - so creating as much space as he has will come in handy - we need premium upgrades at T, G & DL (fortunately S we have in-house replacements ready soon, and ILB is cheapest to find more help).
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jsthomp2007


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not a fan of cutting Ward nor Talib...they set the tone for the defense...they supply the no fly zone identity...if they are going to end their tenure, they better have contingencies on who they want to be if they let them walk.
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Broncofan


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jsthomp2007 wrote:
Not a fan of cutting Ward nor Talib...they set the tone for the defense...they supply the no fly zone identity...if they are going to end their tenure, they better have contingencies on who they want to be if they let them walk.


No way Talib gets cut unless he's suspended a long time, or gets hurt (play decline is always possible, but unlikely - he's literally been the best cover CB in the entire league this year, I was worried we'd see the decline this year, but no sign so far, no brainer renew).

Ward, we have in-house guys in Parks & Simmons - at 4.5M, it's more likely we keep, but if we do need to make a splash to get THREE big guys, that might be needed. Frankly, Ward's liabilities in pass coverage, and in space (he missed huge tackles 3x vs. OAK on run too, with pass deficiencies it's what happens when you lose even a half-step, which would fit with his stage of career). If we don't need the $ for big upgrades, then likely stays - but nowhere near the nobrainer that Talib and a Stewart extension are (those 2 are crucial, Ward & Sly returning aren't).
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Last edited by Broncofan on Tue Nov 22, 2016 2:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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BroncosFan2010


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ya, I would have no issue cutting Ward if it means we can sign a quality OL or DL. His play reminds me a lot of John Lynch's last year in Denver. Still a tone setter, still an occasional playmaker and still makes hard hits but all of that doesn't make up for his lost step in coverage and a nostalgic attachment meant many flaws are overlooked. Will Parks is going to be a stud, has shown far better movement skills in coverage than Ward in limited time this year and his time may be sooner than later. Don't think its a cut I would make unless the $$$ is going elsewhere, but he shouldn't be safe by any means.
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jsthomp2007


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Broncofan I get it...you got to give in order to get. I forgot the Broncos would still have Stewart back there to set the tone.

It would be nice to have Ward take a pay cut and to be used on running downs and put him in the box...just like his energy out there.
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elliot878


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We definitely can't get rid of Talib.

Ward we'd be alright with losing but I agree Stewart is an absolute must re-sign.

Okung is as good as gone, just not worth the escalator in his contract and too big a health risk.

I'd be happy w Whitworth for a couple years, anything to protect a young QB as I'm beginning to believe protection often dictates the level of early success/failure in young quarterbacks.

I also believe in Terron Armstead as a long term deal candidate but I can't imagine that NO will let him slip to the open market.

I'd just really like to see a meaningful investment along this OL, and by that I mean investing in top talents at multiple positions along the line. Elway has put off this absolutely glaring need far too long. Winning the way we won last year is extremely rare, and we should not consider that the formula to more Super Bowl success.
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BroncoBruin


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2016 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pretty sure Armstead was re-signed this summer. Looks like Whitworth (or Joe Thomas trade?) or bust at LT.

Elway really should treat this offseason like 2014 when we loaded up on defense. Go all-in for a great offensive line to maximize our defense's window. But it's a pretty thin group.
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BroncosFan2010


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Pretty sure Armstead was re-signed this summer. Looks like Whitworth (or Joe Thomas trade?) or bust at LT.


Ya, Armstead got 5 years, 65M this summer. He would easily have been my #1 target, but is off the market.

Agreed on Whitworth / Thomas or bust if we are talking LT. I would lean Whitworth just to save the draft pick.

The OG class is pretty deep at least; Kevin Zeitler, Larry Walford, Ron Leary, TJ Lang are the top guys. We should target one of those three. I am tempted to say take a flier on Chance Warmack and have a 3 way battle at one of the OG spots w/ Warmack / Schofield / Garcia but IMO even with his poor play someone will pony up for Warmack.
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elliot878


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BroncosFan2010 wrote:
Quote:
Pretty sure Armstead was re-signed this summer. Looks like Whitworth (or Joe Thomas trade?) or bust at LT.


Ya, Armstead got 5 years, 65M this summer. He would easily have been my #1 target, but is off the market.

Agreed on Whitworth / Thomas or bust if we are talking LT. I would lean Whitworth just to save the draft pick.

The OG class is pretty deep at least; Kevin Zeitler, Larry Walford, Ron Leary, TJ Lang are the top guys. We should target one of those three. I am tempted to say take a flier on Chance Warmack and have a 3 way battle at one of the OG spots w/ Warmack / Schofield / Garcia but IMO even with his poor play someone will pony up for Warmack.


I love Larry Warford, but not sure he's got the movement skills to fit the zone scheme. Same with Warmsck.

Lang and Zeitler I think are fits from both a scheme and talent perspective.

I'm skeptical of Ron Leary. It's almost like the Bama syndrome where the collective talent is so great that the individual gets overrated. When Leary starts he's sandwiched between the best left tackle and the best center in the NFL. I wouldn't want him getting a ton of money and then fall apart because he's no buoyed by top end talent around him.
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AKRNA


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

elliot878 wrote:
BroncosFan2010 wrote:
Quote:
Pretty sure Armstead was re-signed this summer. Looks like Whitworth (or Joe Thomas trade?) or bust at LT.


Ya, Armstead got 5 years, 65M this summer. He would easily have been my #1 target, but is off the market.

Agreed on Whitworth / Thomas or bust if we are talking LT. I would lean Whitworth just to save the draft pick.

The OG class is pretty deep at least; Kevin Zeitler, Larry Walford, Ron Leary, TJ Lang are the top guys. We should target one of those three. I am tempted to say take a flier on Chance Warmack and have a 3 way battle at one of the OG spots w/ Warmack / Schofield / Garcia but IMO even with his poor play someone will pony up for Warmack.


I love Larry Warford, but not sure he's got the movement skills to fit the zone scheme. Same with Warmsck.

Lang and Zeitler I think are fits from both a scheme and talent perspective.

I'm skeptical of Ron Leary. It's almost like the Bama syndrome where the collective talent is so great that the individual gets overrated. When Leary starts he's sandwiched between the best left tackle and the best center in the NFL. I wouldn't want him getting a ton of money and then fall apart because he's no buoyed by top end talent around him.

I'd also read he has a degenerative knee disorder.
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broncosfan07


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Broncos reached agreement with S Darian Stewart on a 4-year extension, per source.


https://twitter.com/AdamSchefter/status/802618687614255105

Glad this got done.
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