A nasty loss in the Super Bowl has sent the Denver Broncos front office into overdrive, and it has proven difficult to keep up with all the comings and goings.
So far, the Broncos have said goodbye to cornerback Champ Bailey via release, linebacker Wesley Woodyard to Tennessee, guard Chris Kuper to retirement, guard Zane Beadles to Jacksonville and receiver Eric Decker to the Jets.
There are some big names on that list, but Denver team president and manager John Elway has quickly reloaded.
Bailey’s release was a big blow, but Denver made up for the loss with defensive backs T.J. Ward and Aqib Talib. The Broncos also stepped up their pass rush with the addition of veteran defensive end DeMarcus Ware, the former Cowboy, who has 117 career sacks.
Decker was an expected free agency casualty, and his departure freed up funds for signing Talib, Ward and Ware.
The Broncos also didn’t miss a step by coming to terms with former Pittsburgh receiver Emmanuel Sanders on Sunday, according to National Football Post. The three-year deal is for $18 million, with $6 million guaranteed.
Sanders, 26, won’t fill the slot role like Decker, but he posted career highs across the board with 67 receptions for 740 yards and six touchdowns last season. Those numbers should improve under quarterback Peyton Manning.
Of concern for Manning is his offensive line, which gave up a league-low 20 sacks last season. Beadles protected Manning’s blindside, starting all 19 games, including the postseason. Kuper only played in four games last year, but his retirement does hurt Denver’s depth and removes a character player from the locker room.
The Broncos figure to be more frugal on the offensive line after spending so much on guard Louis Vasquez and left tackle Ryan Clady last year. The two were signed for a combined $76 million.
To address the issue, the Broncos have reportedly scheduled a meeting with ex-Washington center Will Montgomery, according to the Denver Post.
Montgomery was released late last week, and if he’s signed he would replace Manny Ramirez at center. Ramirez would then start in Beadles place.