With Peyton Manning in town, the Broncos are a Super Bowl contender. That means that Denver is going to be one of the top free agent destinations in the NFL, and a prime spot for keeping guys in-house as well.
Still, money talks, as we all know from the Elvis Dumervil fiasco almost a year ago.
Two guys that will be high priority free agents in terms of cash money are Eric Decker and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. The Broncos are fully expected to let all of their guys–including these two high-profile players–test the market, see what they are worth, and then hopefully come back to give the Broncos a chance to match or negotiate an offer.
For Decker, returning to Denver is an option.
“I do hope it works out,” Decker said Monday. “I love the city of Denver. I love the organization. I love everything about it. I understand it’s a business, and we’ll see what happens. I have enjoyed my time here.”
That last line kind of bothers me, or at least seems like Decker feels like his time here is over. ‘Have enjoyed’ is not exactly a present tense, looking forward to the future type of statement to make.
For star cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, retirement is not going to be an option since Denver didn’t win the Super Bowl.
“I’d like to stay here,” Rodgers-Cromartie said. “It’s been a good year. As a team, I know we came up short, but I definitely like what’s going on here and where this team is.”
Most people expect Eric Decker will wind up playing elsewhere next season, making #1 receiver money. The Broncos obviously few Decker as a #2 receiver complement to Demaryius Thomas, but something for this team to keep in mind is the fact that after this next season, they have expiring contracts for Demaryius, Julius Thomas, and Wes Welker. The whole WR group could be revamped, so it’ll be interesting to see their strategy and their top dollar price to pay Decker.
DRC is another story entirely. The Broncos don’t have nearly as much leverage with Champ Bailey’s age and the fact that Chris Harris just tore his ACL. They absolutely have to find a way to re-sign Rodgers-Cromartie, who graded out as the fifth best corner in the league last year.