A Roundup Of What To Expect For The First Week Of March 2016

I hope everyone has enjoyed three weeks of glee with the Broncos as Super Bowl champions.  That’s because for next week, from Leap Day through next Sunday, there will be much business and decisions to be made Denver before the lead-up to free agency.  These moves will likely contain good and bad news for the Broncos, but nonetheless we should be doubly aware of what’s going on.  Thus, I’ve built a cheat sheet beyond the fold to track what needs to be addressed before Monday, March 7, when negotiations with other teams can open up in advance of the official start of free agency on March 9.

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2016 Salary Cap And Tenders Finalized

As GrizzlyB noted earlier, the 2016 salary cap will be at $155.27 million.  ESPN’s Field Yates has also delivered the franchise and transition tags for this year.  Follow the link for all of them, but for the franchise tags even remotely relevant to the Broncos, it would be $14.129 million at linebacker (Von Miller), $15.701 million at defensive end (Malik Jackson), and $19.953 million at quarterback (Brock Osweiler).  Transition tags at DE and QB are respectively $12.734 million and $17.696 million, of which I suppose you could make a faint argument for Jackson or Osweiler.

And finally, Jason Fitzgerald gives us a calculation for the restricted free agent tenders:

The consensus, at least here at Thin Air, is that Brandon Marshall is likely to get a first round tender, and CJ Anderson to receive a second round tender, with it being unlikely that any other pending RFAs would receive any tender.

Why Extending Von Miller Now Makes Sense

With Ian Rapoport reporting that the Broncos are working aggressively to get a long-term contract completed for Von Miller, I wanted to examine what this would mean in terms of how the Broncos manage their 2016 cap situation.

The short answer is that, by signing Miller to an extension now, the Broncos can reduce his cap charge for this year by putting more of his first-year salary into a signing bonus, whereas by using the tag on him, they can put more of his first-year salary into the space committed to the tag and keep his signing bonus low.

While keeping a player’s signing bonus as low as possible is ideal for ensuring any dead money hits for cutting a player early are minimal, sometimes you’re OK with giving the player a larger signing bonus if he has proven he is worth committing to for the long term.
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Lindsay Jones Investigates The Struggle Of Young Offensive Linemen

It’s good to see a lengthier piece on this phenomenon.

But as the NFL gathers in Indianapolis for the annual scouting combine, head coaches and general managers don’t expect the draft to be a quick fix for any teams looking to improve their offensive line.

Most of the best college offensive linemen, including multiple players who will be drafted in the first round, are considered NFL projects.

The college game now is just too different, NFL executives said, and players are entering the league with so much to learn.

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