Free Agency Needs for the Denver Broncos


Jul 24, 2014; Dove Valley, CO, USA; General view of the Denver Broncos headquarters before the start of training camp at the Broncos training facility. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The start of NFL free agency is less than two weeks away and the Denver Broncos figure to be active participants again. They probably will not sign as many big names as they have over the past three years but they also have too many needs to be filled through the draft alone.

As of today, the Broncos have approximately 23 million in salary cap space. That number is likely to increase with the news on Wednesday that the Broncos and quarterback Peyton Manning are in the process of restructuring his contract. Mike Klis of the Denver Post was the first to report that story.

It’s also possible that the Broncos could free up more space by releasing veterans such as Britton Colquitt, Manny Ramirez and Andre Caldwell before free agency and the new league year begins on March 10th.

A good portion of that salary cap room will be eaten up by Demaryius Thomas who will either sign a long-term deal or be given the franchise tag. The Broncos would like to get a deal done because it would likely be more salary cap friendly than the franchise tag would be.

With all of that said, here’s a quick look at the positions the Broncos might look to address in free agency.

The number one priority for John Elway and Gary Kubiak is to fix the offensive line and it will start in free agency. The Broncos, as mentioned, won’t go on a spending spree like they did last year but they will be aggressive when it comes to the offensive line.

Assuming Orlando Franklin leaves via free agency, the Broncos will be looking to fill three spots up front. They will need a right tackle, a center and a guard. It’s unlikely that they would address all three of those spots with free agent signings but they very well could address two of them.

There are a few names that should draw the Broncos interest including: centers Stefan Wisniewski (Oakland Raiders) and Rodney Hudson (Kansas City Chiefs). The Broncos are also reportedly interested in guard Mike Lupati of the San Francisco 49ers.

As far as tackles go, there are two names that are at the top of the list. Bryan Bulaga of the Green Bay Packers is at the top of that list but maybe too expensive for the Broncos. Derek Newton of the Houston Texans might be a better option and he already knows Kubiak’s offensive system.

The Broncos are obviously going to target offensive lineman at the start of free agency but they will look to upgrade at other positions as well.

Elway may look to replace Terrance Knighton and the name that keeps popping up is defensive tackle Dan Williams of the Arizona Cardinals. Williams is the same type of player as Knighton but would be cheaper.

The Broncos are also in need of a tight-end with the departure of Julius Thomas. They are going to make every effort to re-sign Virgil Green but even then, the Broncos will need someone else. The most obvious name in free agency appears to be Owen Daniels. Daniels played for Kubiak in Houston and then followed him to Baltimore.

In addition, the Broncos may also seek to add veteran depth at linebacker and safety. It’s important to remember that the Broncos are not going to address all of these positions via free agency. The remaining positions will be addressed in the draft and that’s why it’s impossible to predict what the Broncos will do in that draft. Their needs will be determined by what they are able to get done in free agency.

Free agency official begins on March 10th at 2:00 mountain time and as always, the Broncos will be players.