Saturday Morning Quarterback: Will The Broncos Continue Down The Rabbit Hole Of Free Agency?
By Todd Baker
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
With the signings of Wes Welker, Louis Vasquez and the recent addition of draftees Vinston Panter and Montee Ball, you have to think that the Broncos’ offense is complete. It’s May 11 and for the football faithful, that means we’re just three months away from the NFL’s first slate of pre-season games and four months from the start of the regular season. As Peyton Manning texted Kayvon Webster, “It’s time to work.” That doesn’t mean all of the free agent moves are done however.
Many fans continue to ask who else the Broncos have their eye on. Are there still free agents out there that might be signed? Sure there are, right? On the offensive side of the ball perhaps not but there are some big name free agents out there to be had. Does John Elway and Company want or need any of these guys?
Richard Seymour, DT, still remains without a contract. The Broncos have expressed interest and I personally would love to see him in Orange. He has a lot left in the tank and with Terrance Knighton and Sylvester Williams now his dangerous partners in crime, Seymour could stay fresh. That sounds like trouble for opposing offenses. However, it looks like Seymour is in an all-or-nothing stance. He wants big money or he will retire. I’d have to say the odds of seeing Seymour become a Bronco are slim.
Israel Idonije, DE, isn’t a household name or even a name lots of football fanatics have on the tip of their tongues. While he will not be a glamorous pick up for whichever team decides to sign him, he is productive. He is strong against the run and has racked up more than 21 sacks over the last three years. Oh, and he is BIG! Also, his salary shouldn’t break the bank. He is probably not even going to garner a $1 million price tag. He sounds like a perfect candidate for those who covert value and upside in free agency. However, there haven’t been any reports that the Broncos are interested.
Dwight Freeney and John Abraham, DE, have both been discussed in Bronco circles almost ad nauseum. When Elvis Dumervil slipped away via fax machine, fans expected a snap signing of one of these guys to follow immediately. The Broncos weren’t impressed and the price tags weren’t that exciting either. I still think Israel Idonije is a better option given the acquisition of Quanterus Smith in the draft but Freeney’s connection to Manning might see him join the team if his price continues to drop. Abraham will not be a Bronco. The Bronco brass seemed very unimpressed when he came to visit.
At Linebacker, Nick Barnett and Brian Urlacher are names that come up. Urlacher, for all of his greatness and his inevitable date with the Hall of Fame, looks done. He is the very definition of long in the tooth. Still his veteran leadership probably carries with it an intangible power that this young group of Bronco linebackers could benefit from. If Urlacher were satisfied enough simply to play at a discount for a contender I think all parties involved may find this to be a terrific fit. However, he hasn’t shown any signs of settling for a lesser contract. Nick Barnett, once one of the better linebackers in the NFL was cut by the Bills after failing a physical. The Bronco brass will not be biting.
While I’d be happy to see the Broncos go after Bart Scott and sign him to a short term deal that doesn’t seem too likely. He is also a linebacker in decline but much like Brian Dawkins, he brings fire to the locker room. Still, he seems to have suitors from within the AFC East and so far there hasn’t been one peep out of the Bronco organization about him.
Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
The man everyone is talking about these days is Charles Woodson. After Rahim Moore’s huge mistake only a few months ago, it’s easy for Bronco fans to want the likes of Woodson around. I mean, if the price was right why wouldn’t any team want Woodson around. However, it’s that very price tag question that’s lead me to doubt we will ever city him in the Mile High city. A possible ray of light occurred yesterday when Woodson announced that he “just wants to play”, downgrading his earlier demands to play for a contender while still garnering top dollar. Apparently, he will do anything to play at this point, or so he now claims. So far, though, only the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders have shown any interest. Wow, talk about Brian Dawkins! Woodson would be a terrific fit. Still, he Denver doesn’t look like a likely suitor.
The Broncos have put together a terrific squad this off season and had a solid needs based approach in the draft that bolstered both the offense and the defense. Woodson, Scott, Idonije and possibly Urlacher get my vote on this list… only if the price is right. Still, the Broncos, who usually go out and get what they want, unless faced with the kryptonite of 1980’s technology, haven’t made much of a push for old blood. They seem content with the roster they have and the young additions they’ve just made.
Perhaps John Elway will shock us. He’s been doing that since 1983.
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