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2021 Denver Broncos Offseason Discusion

fightinredantz

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The 2020 season started with so much excitement/expectations and now has come to a disappointing close. What a crazy year it was with COVID issues/injuries. Who would have thought we would have played a game without a QB? There have been ups and downs.

Now we look to the 2021 offseason. The Broncos have just under $19 Million in cap space at the moment. There are numerous free agents that decisions will need to be made on.
  • Justin Simmons - UFA
  • Elijah Wilkinson - UFA
  • Shelby Harris - UFA
  • Demar Dotson - UFA
  • Jeremiah Attaochu - UFA
  • Will Parks - UFA
  • DeMarcus Walker - UFA
  • Anthony Chickillo - UFA
  • Sylvester Willimas - UFA
  • Joel Health - UFA
  • Joe Jones - UFA
  • DeVante Bausby - UFA
  • Jake Butt - UFA
  • Trey Marshall - RFA
  • Tim Patrick - RFA
  • Austin Calitro - RFA
  • Kevin Toliver - RFA
  • Josh Watson - RFA
  • Alexander Johnson - RFA
  • Philip Lindsay - RFA
  • Dionte Spencer - ERFA
  • Austin Schlottman - ERFA
  • Calvin Anderson - ERFA
  • Jonathan Harris - ERFA
There are 2 players with club options:
  • Von Miller - $17.5 Million option - $4.225 Million in cap dead money
  • Kareem Jackson - $10 Million option - $2.882 Million in cap dead money
The following players have large cap numbers and can be released with no cap hit:
  • Jurrell Casey
  • A.J. Bouye
There are gong to be some tough decisions to be made with some very good players. I don't see the Von Miller, Jurrell Casey and A.J. Bouye are coming back with their current cap numbers. Kareem Jackson may so have to look at restructuring to remain in Denver in 2021. I think Miller, Bouye and Jackson will be approached about a restructure. We may want to look at restructuring and extending Callahan also. It will be interesting if any of them are willing to take a pay cut to to stay.

To me we have to find a way to to keep Simmons. He has to be the #1 priority. Other guys that should be looked at for new contracts in my mind are:
  • Alexander Johnson - Could play under the RFA tender, but locking him up a little longer may be a good idea.
  • Shelby Harris - A valuable guy who makes plays. I would like to see us bring back Harris or Casey.
  • DeMarcus Walker - Probably is not a huge deal, but would be a really nice rotation guy.
  • Will Parks - Again not a huge deal, but he seems happy to be in Denver.
  • Elijah Wilkinson - It seems he played pretty well after he returned from IR, but I didn't get to see many of those games. He could be a nice backup option if James falters.
I expect we will bring in a vet QB to push Lock and there has been some that link us to Foles.

I was really excited coming into to 2020, but having a hard getting excited for the offseason. I think there are numerous reasons to be optimistic going into 2021:
  • Lock has shown improvements as the year progressed, unfortunately they have not resulted in wins.
  • We should have a dynamic receiving core with Sutton and Albert O. returning to join Jeudy, Fant, and Hamler. Jeudy was making some top corners look silly, can you imagine what he will do to the #2 corners?
  • The defense played pretty well considering the talent missing due to injuries.
  • Built some good depth on the DLine with DeShawn Williams, and also were able to get some experience for Agim.
  • Have seen growth from Malik Reed.
  • Oline continues to play better and better.
  • Shurmur will have more data to be more effective calling plays.
  • There should be some kind of offseason program. If the NFL was able to play 17 weeks of games on time, they should be able to find a way to have a more normal offseason.
  • We have a high draft pick that will assist with filling holes, and building depth.
The long wait begins for Free Agency, Draft, Training Camp and Week 1.
 

Draft Crazy

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Great post Jess. Will chime in a bit later when I have some more time to think.

I hope we bring Walker back, we won't give him much money but he is a perfect rotational DE with high energy that teammates love. Concern would be someone over paying him a bit with a big need at DE. I have always thought he might fit a 4-3 defense better. I love what he brings to our rotation and I think he is the perfect rotational DL for what we currently have on the team. Question will be if some team offers him a bigger contract to give him a bigger role. I always felt Walker while not amazing has been a little underrated on this team. His first two years we kept him inactive a lot and it seemed like every time we gave him an opportunity he did well, but he was never consistently giving a chance. The past two years he has looked good and injuries did hamper him both years a little bit (early on this year and at the end of last year) but it seems like he keeps plugging away and playing a role... His motor is greatly appreciated and he gets pressure on the QB... He isn't amazing or anything like that, but I think he can play in the NFL for a very long time as a rotational DL. I feel like every year people want to count him out and he just keep producing when counted upon. One of the more underappreciated player of the Denver Broncos, IMO. He is replaceable so I wouldnt go big on him, like you said not a HUGE deal, but I would like to see him back at a good price. I feel he gives us 100% on every play. One thing I have noticed about Walker is when our D struggles a bit (which typically it is pretty good) he seems to be the guy who never gives up and still goes about himself the same, hustling, getting pressure and not giving up. Those things shouldn't go unnoticed.
 

Duffman

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The Simmons deal it is something I’d be worried about happening. He didn’t accept the Broncos offer last year and this year he played arguably even better and yet with the Cap going down I don’t see him taking a longer deal for less money, and we are likely not going to tag him again because it would be a crazy high amount.

The only saving grace is perhaps other teams won’t be able to give him what he wants because of the cap taking a hit and so he settles for less this year from us on a 1-2 year deal.
 

Draft Crazy

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I don't see Simmons taking a 1-2 year deal this season. He has earned his pay. He is now a Pro Bowler so he can add that to his resume. I don't think Simmons is an elite safety, but he is a good safety and a team leader. I think we will get a deal done, the problem I have is how much will it hurt us with other contracts??? I did wear his jersey today, it was the first and hopefully not the last time I wear his jersey as a Denver Bronco.
 

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I know one player we won't bring back. Bausby. His tackling was terrible last week vs the Chargers and Parnell Motley who was just signed off the 49ers PS was ahead of him today. Motley wasn't amazing, but he shows decent ball skills and tackles better. I think Motley has a chance to stick as a 5th CB here. He and Duke Dawson might be fighting it out in camp.
 

fightinredantz

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The Simmons deal it is something I’d be worried about happening. He didn’t accept the Broncos offer last year and this year he played arguably even better and yet with the Cap going down I don’t see him taking a longer deal for less money, and we are likely not going to tag him again because it would be a crazy high amount.

The only saving grace is perhaps other teams won’t be able to give him what he wants because of the cap taking a hit and so he settles for less this year from us on a 1-2 year deal.
I believe Elway said this summer that he wasn't comfortable completing the deal with Simmons with financial uncertainty. I think if you look at the money that could be freed up quickly with Bouye and Casey there is more then enough money left now that Elway knows that cap will be no less then 175 Million in the 2021 and 2022. With a vaccine now available we may even have full stadiums in 2021 that could push up the cap in 2022. I don't think the Broncos can let Simmons leave via free agency as that sets a bad tone of the rest of the locker room. You can be a good to great young player, but we will not pay you is not what this team needs to set the tone with.

To me I think Simmons gets done. Von will be an interesting discussion point as we get into February. I don't think there is anyway that he has a $22 Million cap number in 2021.
 

fightinredantz

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I know one player we won't bring back. Bausby. His tackling was terrible last week vs the Chargers and Parnell Motley who was just signed off the 49ers PS was ahead of him today. Motley wasn't amazing, but he shows decent ball skills and tackles better. I think Motley has a chance to stick as a 5th CB here. He and Duke Dawson might be fighting it out in camp.
I was hopeful that Bausby could be that cheap CB depth guy here, but after hearing Vics comments after that Chargers game, and through this week, I don't see anyway he stays. Hopefully Dawson and/or Motley can be that guy.
 

fightinredantz

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The one other area that I think we will likely see a change is Special Teams Coordinator. I believe the rest of the coaching staff is safe, unless they are selected to fill out one of the other new staffs.
 

Draft Crazy

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I feel we have a lot of guys on the team who are here to play special teams who haven't done a great job at it.

Joe Jones really did nothing for me this year. He is a ST's captain and I am guessing he signs another 1 or maybe 2 year deal, but he really didnt make an impact like he did last year on St's.

PJ Locke is a guy I saw do nothing for us this year. I would have had Holder up on the active roster ahead of him. Locke played in like 14 games this year and players like Holder etc had more tackles then him in a lot less time.

The guy I think can help us on special teams is Josh Watson. He was up and down off the PS, but he seemed to show some flashes on special teams. I think he steals someone's active roster spot next year. Stranad should help on special teams.

I was expecting Trey Marshall to fill the Will Parks role this year and he really didn't step up, big part of it was injuries, but I feel like Holder is a better option then him at safety, Marshall isn't bad, I just don't think he showed the upside I was hoping for when called upon this year. I'd like to see Holder get more of an opportunity next year. I would think Will Parks will be re-signed. He seems to want to be here and we seem to want him here. He hasn't made the plays the last two years he did his previous 4, but he seems to fit in well here and can play both safety spots and is decently dependable. A little limited in coverage.

I was hoping we would get a small look at Mizzou RB Damarea Crockett off our PS this year.. A guy I loved in college. He is a lot like Royce Freeman but not as good of a pass catcher. I actually thought at times this year Freeman looked like a better option then Lindsay. Lindsay was hurt most of this year though. Not at 100%.
 

fightinredantz

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I was wondering today if Watson could become our Kieth Burns.
 

Draft Crazy

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I like the way he gets downfield and he is a punishing tackler.
 

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One thing to keep in mind. Fangio doesn't often draft CB’s early... but we are also piling 9th so we can’t screw this pick up. Ojemudia looks like he can at least be a top 3. Callahan with one year left on contract and Bouye possibly released if no paycut makes CB interesting this offseason.
 

Mingo

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I haven't been happy with special teams in years. You have to have athletic talent - not afraid to fun into people at full speed, but it is the coach who brings the discipline to stay in the appropriate lane and the coach who can inspire creativity in approaches to the return game.
 

Draft Crazy

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Sounds like we are hiring a GM and Elway will remain President.
Fantastic start to the offseason. Now the next step is hiring a good GM.
 

Mingo

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I predict John Spyteck from Tampa gets hired as the GM. I also predict John Elway won't be able to stay out of the details of future deals.
 

nflbronco

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Bucs director of player personnel John Spytek a name to watch with Broncos. Worked for Elway in Denver and helped built Tampa’s loaded roster.
 
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