The decision on the fate of Denver’s RFAs and ERFAs will be known no later than the start of free agency on Wednesday. I’ll use this thread to track the progress of those decisions.
|Yes (2nd round)
It begins with Brandon Marshall, via this scoop from Trey Wingo of ESPN (with an assist by colleague Ed Werder):
Filed to ESPN: Broncos ILB Brandon Marshall… Restricted FA will get a 2nd round tender. Teams will be interested… Like Miami
— trey wingo (@wingoz) March 7, 2016
@wingoz John Fox with Bears likely to be interested as well, and Packers
— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) March 7, 2016
I had figured that a first round tender would be prudent, given the ability of other teams to frontload a contract that will be tough for Denver to match, and the possibility that the Broncos would be pressed to extend Marshall sooner than later. But I must admit that I can’t remember the last time that a player that was given a second round RFA tender was able to successfully leave his original team. The Broncos must think, and not unreasonably so, that that trend will continue.
UPDATE (9:05 AM MT)
The Broncos will use a low-round tender on restricted free agent RB C.J. Anderson. Worth $1.671M for 2016.
— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) March 7, 2016
The tender that Marshall got is defensible, but this move really surprises me. In exchange for $882,000 in current savings, the Broncos will be afforded no compensation should Anderson leave. There are two lines of thought that immediately come to my mind. One is that the Broncos may have a good feel that Anderson does not want to leave Denver and they are making an educated guess that he won’t talk to other teams. The other is that they may not feel Anderson is the exact running back they want in their system, and may not have huge regrets if he does leave.