Happy NFL New Year! That’s right. At 2:00 p.m. MST, the 2013 League Year begins. Talks and rumors have been heating up since Friday, but at 2:00 p.m., free agents will be free to officially sign with new (and old) teams.
As for the Denver Broncos, many expect Pro Bowl defensive end Elvis Dumervil to end up somewhere else as early as Tuesday. Discussions between he and the Broncos have hit a standstill and there are plenty of other options out there that would cost the Broncos less money. Dumervil and his $12 million salary would be guaranteed by Saturday, so look for the Broncos to rid their hands of him before then.
One hot name in the replacement pool is longtime Indianapolis Colts linebacker and Peyton Manning’s former teammate, Dwight Freeney.
Manning already tried recruiting Freeney into making the change to defensive end in the Broncos’ 4-3 defense.
Freeney will enter his 12th season in the league. Freeney’s career has been one big roller coaster in terms of sacks. He had double digit sacks in his first four seasons. He followed that up with 5.5 and 3.5 sacks, respectively (the latter was in 2007 where he played in just 9 games). Then it was three more years of double digit sacks. In his last two seasons, he had 8.5 and 5 sacks, respectively.
Having Freeney line up with Von Miller would take a lot of pressure off of Freeney. Freeney is most productive when he has another strong pass rusher alongside him. With Freeney up there in age, the Broncos can get away with paying him less money. He would come a lot cheaper than say someone like Cliff Avril.
The question with Manning last off season was basically how much does he have left in the tank? That’s the same question surrounding Freeney. The Broncos could go two-for-two with former Colts.