Rating The Broncos’ Veteran Contracts

As I sat down to examine the veteran contracts the Denver Broncos have given out, I thought about a way to rate contracts that made sense in terms of what’s important to a contract from a team’s perspective.

Obviously, from the player’s perspective, the objective is to get the maximum possible amount of money from the team with the more fully guaranteed money, the better. From a team perspective, it’s not just making sure the team doesn’t give more fully guaranteed money than the player may be worth, but about structuring a deal to be salary cap friendly and not overpaying a player in terms of average salary, even if the player isn’t likely to collect the full amount of the contract.

So I put together a ranking system that takes into account the three most important factors of a contract and weighed them in order of importance. These rankings do not take into account the total sum of the contract because most players will not collect the total sum.

Here is how I scored contracts.
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Would You Give An Offensive Tackle This Contract?

While free agency can be a good place to find immediate help at positions of need, you have to be careful with how you structure a deal, regardless of what the market dictates. That’s because you want to be able to get out of a deal as early as possible if the player doesn’t live up to expectations.

We’ve seen how John Elway operates with most free agent contracts. The bulk are the type he can get out of after a year from a cap and cash standpoint, though he is willing to go with a two-year commitment in some cases and, with players who the Broncos have drafted and developed, a three-year commitment. The two-year commitments usually go to players who don’t have carry too much risk.
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Making Sense Of A Possible Sheldon Richardson Trade

The Broncos have addressed their needs on the offensive and defensive lines as they have seen fit save for one: A defensive end who can stop the run and be moved to defensive tackle on passing downs. The original intent was to sign Calais Campbell, but he chose to sign with the Jaguars instead.

There has been continued talk about the Broncos possibly trading for Jets defensive end/defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson. One trade that was brought up in discussion was the idea of the Broncos sending quarterback Trevor Siemian to the Jets to acquire him.

We have no idea what the Broncos or Jets might be thinking in terms of players they want to deal or acquire, but the idea of sending Siemian for Richardon is a bad idea. That does not mean trading for Richardson isn’t possible. It just needs to be thought of in better terms, regarding what Siemian is really worth and what Richardson is really worth.

Let’s go over why trading Siemian for Richardson is a bad idea, but that a trade is still possible as long as you keep in mind certain considerations.
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Gut Reactions: Free Agent Frenzy

As always, the first day of NFL free agent frenzy has no shortage of attention-getting headlines, big-ticket signings and unexpected turn of events. The Broncos are no exception, even if some of the moves that impacted them to some degree resulted in disappointment.

So let’s go over a few topics as they pertain to either the Broncos or other teams and what we can expect as free agent frenzy settles down and the second wave of free agency approaches.
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15 Points To Remember About Broncos And Free Agency

As the clock is about to strike on the time at which NFL teams can officially announce deals for unrestricted free agents, there are a few things to keep in mind, either regarding moves the Broncos could make, the approach John Elway takes and past lessons that we should remember, but keep forgetting every time we get smitten with the big ticket free agents.
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Which Offensive Linemen Are More Likely To Cash In?

With the 2017 NFL season to begin next week, unrestricted free agency coming with it, and the common knowledge that the Denver Broncos need help on the offensive line, particularly at left and right tackle, I wanted to explore what I believe will likely happen with the offensive line market.

Although our attentions have been primarily focused on offensive tackles, I think we need to keep in mind that the Broncos might believe it’s better to take a different approach than just chasing after free agent offensive tackles, and instead focus on the best possible offensive linemen they can get in each wave of free agency. That’s because more teams are starting to focus their energies and cap dollars toward acquiring the best offensive lineman possible, rather than the old “left tackle is the priority” way of thinking that once dominated the landscape.
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Striking A Balance Between Free Agents And Comp Picks

In today’s Orange Overview, Nick has addressed the error he made in determining the compensatory pick formula as it pertained to Russell Okung. I did want to address comp picks for a minute because, while it’s disappointing the Broncos didn’t get the two third-round picks we thought they might get, that we need to remember about striking a balance between addressing immediate needs and acquiring comp picks.

I think most of us would agree that we don’t want the Broncos operating like the Packers tend to do, in which Ted Thompson seems uninterested in signing any UFA because he’s stubborn about acquiring comp picks, even when the Packers don’t have a lot of UFAs of their own that Thompson isn’t prioritizing for extensions.
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How Broncos Should Prioritize Offseason Needs

As we approach the start of the 2017 NFL league year, I figured it would be a good time to go over the Denver Broncos’ needs again, in terms of how to think about how they should be prioritized in each phase of the offseason.

The way the NFL offseason works, you go through three phases of free agency, then the draft, then what is probably best described as the “final business” period, ranging from players who were franchise tagged getting long-term deals to veterans who take low-cost deals for a chance to compete for a roster spot.
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Three Suggested Moves For Every NFC Team

Continuing with where I left off the other day, here are three moves I believe each of the NFC teams should make this offseason. Again, the categories:

Re-sign: I will pick one unrestricted free agent each team should consider bringing back at the right price. This will only apply to UFAs and I will include players who are likely to get the franchise tag.

Let him walk: I will pick one unrestricted free agent each team should allow to test the market and not prioritize bringing back. Again, this only applies to UFAs.

Cut: I will pick one player on each team’s roster who is not set to become a UFA but should be cut for either cap or performance reasons. Some of these players might be put on the trading block, though.
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