Looking Past A Few Narratives

Every NFL fan looks forward to a new season and, even if they don’t like to show up in person for the preseason games, they watch with interest to see how players are performing and how battles are taking shape, and Broncos fans are no exception.

With Broncos fans, they are coming off a season in which the team fell short of a playoff trip just one season after a Super Bowl trip, so it’s understanding there would be frustration. On top of that, the Broncos struggled offensively between injuries and ineffective players; the latter drawing a lot of attention given that the Broncos signed Donald Stephenson instead of Mitchell Schwartz in free agency, spent a high draft pick on Ty Sambrailo who still wasn’t getting desirable results, and traded up for Paxton Lynch in hopes he would be the quarterback of the future.

During the offseason, we watch as the Broncos make their moves and other teams make theirs and we wonder why the Broncos couldn’t have been more aggressive in certain areas. We hold skepticism over certain signings or draft picks, given John Elway’s recent history with those types of players. And when things play out not as well in the first preseason game as we had hoped, we start to panic.
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“20 Things To Consider” Poll Results

Nick has been putting together his series of articles previewing Denver Broncos training camp, but in the meantime, I had a few polls up on the site for people to consider regarding certain issues the Broncos may examine this year — a few that should be obvious to everyone and a few that may not have been as obvious.

The polls will remain open if anyone does want to participate, but I figured now would be a good time to examine what the readers of Thin Air think about how the Broncos roster will take shape.
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Midweek Musings: Front Office Shenanigans

Hello, Bronco fans! Hard to believe we are a little more than a week away from training camp and our thoughts will shift to not only our favorite team, but the rest of the NFL and how the season will take shape.

In the meantime, though, there has been plenty to talk about not regarding the Broncos, but other teams around the NFL. I wanted to cover a few items of note and see what we might learn from them.
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20 Things To Consider In Broncos Training Camp

With Denver Broncos training camp set to start in just a few weeks, I thought we could all discuss our expectations about how certain training camp battles will take shape and who might emerge as key players.

So I’ve put together 20 polls for everyone to vote in regarding a few issues that will likely be in our minds as training camp gets underway. It gives us all a chance to see what we think about positional battles and other issues.

I will include my own thoughts about each of the poll questions. People are free to talk more about why they see certain position battles go the way they think they will or who they expect could be the surprises in training camp.

The polls start after the jump.
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Tagging A Player Three Straight Years Is Always Bad For Teams

We know that the franchise tag isn’t exactly loved by NFL players. An NFL team can tag a player for three straight seasons and prevent the player from testing the market in the prime of his career.

But as we are learning from the two teams who have tagged players for the second straight year, tagging a player all the time can come back to haunt you from a team management perspective.

Tagging a player sounds like a good idea in theory. You get to keep the player for three years without a long-term commitment, then you can let him test the market when he’s 28 to 30 years old, at which point his value might be declining and you get him at a lower cost.

But is it really worth doing so when it costs you a large sum over a three-year period?
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Best And Worst Value NFC Contracts For 2017

Last week, I examined what I considered to be the best and worst value contracts for each AFC team, based on the current cap and cash commitment for the player as opposed to the total contract.

This week, I am reviewing the same for NFC teams. Again, I have excluded franchise tag players, rookie deals and RFA tenders – but if you will recall, last time, I said there was one team for which I was tempted to name a franchise tag player. That team just happens to be one of the NFC teams.

And I will start with the NFC West, then go to the remainder of the NFC, allowing me to start with the team who happens to have the franchise tagged player I really wanted to name.
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Best And Worst Value AFC Contracts For 2017

In years past, I have examined what I think are the best and worst value contracts for each team. Doing it this year, I am focusing more on the one-year cap and cash commitment for players rather than the total contract.

I did not include any players under rookie deals or RFA tenders because those values are set in stone. I excluded franchise tag players as well because there’s a chance that some of them could be extended, although I was tempted to do it in at least one case that I will mention.

I will start with the AFC this week, and because this is a Broncos’ site, we’ll start with them first, then the rest of the AFC West, then the remainder of the AFC.
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The 10 Most Underrated Broncos Of All Time

Mike Tanier recently shared his list of the most underrated players in NFL history. As you might suspect, a Denver Bronco player did make the list, that being cornerback Louis Wright.

Meanwhile, Tanier mentioned others who have Hall of Fame worthy resumes but get overlooked, from Randy Gradishar to Karl Mecklenburg, from Tom Nalen to Steve Atwater (though Atwater has gained traction in recent years by being named a finalist).

But it’s not just Hall of Fame voters who overlook Bronco players because of the teams they happened to play on. Broncos fans themselves are often guilty of overlooking certain players on their favorite team, in terms of the impact they had. Those reasons can range from teammates who fans argue should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame to players who fans have a hard time putting their careers into perspective.
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Would Kaepernick to the Broncos Be Possible?

There was discussion earlier today about the possibility of Colin Kaepernick coming to the Denver Broncos.

While on the surface, it doesn’t appear to make sense given that the Broncos want to see what their younger QBs, Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch, could do as a potential starter, that doesn’t mean signing Kaepernick can be ruled out.

We know that last season the Broncos attempted to trade for Kaepernick but couldn’t work out logistics ranging from draft pick compensation (the Broncos offered a third-round pick but the Niners didn’t want such a pick because it came so late in the round) to contract structure (the Broncos and Kaepernick couldn’t agree to terms on a restructure) that the trade fell through.
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The Difficult Decisions ESPN Must Face

Most of you are aware about the recent round of high-profile layoffs at ESPN. This is not the first round of layoffs the cable sports network has made – most of the layoffs had affected behind-the-scenes personnel. But this round impacted people who are involved with on-the-air reporting and writing articles for the network’s website.

It begs the question: Why is this happening and what is the future of ESPN?
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