by Mario Granata
Just two years removed from a Super Bowl title, the Denver Broncos have seen their record go from 9-7 in 2016 to 5-11 in 2017. They have played the quarterback carousel since the departure of Peyton Manning and have seemed to find the answer in the former Minnesota Viking Case Keenum. Will the experience and success of Keenum be enough for John Elway to contain himself from taking another quarterback in the 2018 Draft?
The Broncos had a very busy offseason watching players go while adding others. Most notable was the aforementioned Keenum, who will serve as the starting quarterback going into the 2018 season (as of right now). The Broncos have always had a solid defense, however, their 22nd ranked 2017 campaign was the inevitable reason for their 5-11 record. They are not getting any younger on the offensive side of the ball as they have Demaryius Thomas (30) and Emmanual Sanders (31) back joining the 30-year old Keenum. They have elected to part ways with Trevor Siemian (25) and Cody Latimer (25) who looked to be promising players at times.
Gone as well was Aqib Talib (Rams), Donald Stephenson (Browns), and Virgin Green (Chargers). The Broncos have a lot of holes to fill and with only 13 million dollars of cap money to work with, they seem to be done signing free agents for the moment.
As mentioned above the Broncos are only 13 million under the cap, and even worse, their draft class this year is projected to be around 10 million. That does not leave a lot of room to maneuver. Keenum signed a 2-year, 36 million dollar deal that included 25 million guaranteed. This could be the reason for the cap trouble that the Broncos find themselves in.
They also added Jared Veldheer (7 million against the cap) and Tramaine Brock (3 million). The odd part about those signings is that Veldheer is 31 while Brock is 30. They aren't getting any younger, and if they wish to stay out of cap jail, they will have to use their picks wisely to get some new blood in Denver.
The Broncos hold the 5th overall pick in the draft and while they could save a few dollars and trade back later in the first round, they will have to play the waiting game to see what the Browns, Giants, and Jets go with their picks. It would be wise of them to sneak back a few spots in the first round seeing as the cheapest route to go (if you are in cap trouble) is to build your team with later round picks, they will have to wait like everyone else. If there are still 3 quarterbacks on the board AND Saquon Barkley, the Broncos could find many teams calling them to trade up for an impact player.