Thursday, February 29, 2024
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Denver Broncos gear up for moves as NFL offseason officially begins



DENVER (KDVR) — Tie up Broncos country. Put those trays in place and fasten your seat belts.

The 2024 offseason is officially here.

Whether it’s salary cap gymnastics, cap conversions, cuts, trades, finding playmakers, and of course, the elephant in the room Russell Wilson, the playbook Denver’s offseason will be one of the most active and interesting in the NFL.

The Broncos enter the offseason in the red (around $25 million) in terms of salary cap space. Notable free agents include center Lloyd Cushenberry, linebacker Josey Jewel and safety PJ Locke.

Here’s a look at five storylines to watch this offseason:

Russell Wilson and the quarterback position

It all starts with the quarterback position. It’s the biggest and most impactful decision for the Broncos this offseason: Will he stay or go?

The Broncos can make a decision before Day 5 of the 2024 league year, March 12, when $37.5 million of Wilson’s contract will be guaranteed for the 2025 season. A Wilson release before March 17 would create 85 million dollars in dead cap space that can be spread over two seasons. Designating it as a post-June 1 version means a $35 million impact in 2024 and a $50 million dead cap for 2025.

If the Broncos choose to stick with Wilson, the team could renegotiate the contract. However, this is easier said than done, as tensions reached a boiling point in 2023 when head coach Sean Payton threatened and then benched Wilson.

So who’s next for the Broncos under center? That will have to wait until Denver makes a final decision on Wilson.

NFL Draft

The Broncos need depth and playmakers at the right price. Look no further than the 2024 NFL Draft.

The Broncos own the 12th overall pick, the first time they’re expected to make a first-round pick since 2021. Will they hold on? Trade up or down? The Broncos hold six draft picks.

Positions needed include quarterback, running back, wide receiver, defensive line and cornerback. The 2024 NFL Draft will take place in Detroit from April 25-27.

Garrett Bolles

Playing on the blind side, left tackle Bolles has bounced back spectacularly in 2023. After playing in five games in 2022, Bolles has fully recovered from a broken leg to be one of the most consistent starters in the offensive line.

Entering the final year of his contract (four years, $68 million), the Broncos are at a crossroads. Bolles said he wants to be a Bronco for life. If that’s the case, the best option would be to extend the 31-year-old former first-round pick. If the Broncos choose to go younger and cheaper, the options would be to seek a trade and then could draft a left tackle in late April.

Large reception room

The Broncos must find playmakers and especially at the right price. The 2023 wide receiver room had a high price tag, $34 million (fourth highest in the NFL), but low production, averaging 209 yards per game, 24th in the NFL.

Tim Patrick and Jerry Jeudy are entering the final year of their contracts. Courtland Sutton has two seasons remaining on his contract (four years, $61 million), with a cap hit of $17 million for the next two seasons. All options are on the table for the trio: reduction, release, cap conversions and/or trades.

Either way, the Broncos need to free up salary cap room and the wide receiver position is where savings could come.

Justin Simmons

He is the heart and soul of the Broncos defense. Look no further than the two games he missed in the 2023 season, Miami and Chicago, in which the Broncos were a mess defensively.

Simmons is entering the final year of his contract (four years, $61 million), with a cap hit of $18.25 million for the upcoming season. The Broncos could extend their two-time safety to the Pro Bowl to reduce their cap space or seek a trade to free up more cap space.



Note: The content and images used in this article is rewritten and sourced from kdvr.com

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