Oct 13, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley (88) stiff arms Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs (55) at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
After a record-setting offense a year ago, the Denver Broncos underwent plenty of change in the 2014 offseason on that side of the ball.
Not only losing second leading receiver Eric Decker to the New York Jets, but also losing leading rusher Knowshon Moreno to the Miami Dolphins, as well as some other intriguing changes along the offensive line.
With Ryan Clady back from injury, Orlando Franklin will move from his right tackle position to left guard, and Chris Clark will take over at right tackle after starting most of last season in relief of the injured Clady.
The Broncos have added some really interesting names this offseason offensively, namely their two new toys at wide receiver in Emmanuel Sanders and rookie Cody Latimer.
So what’s another new face out there?
With former Packers tight end Jermichael Finley being cleared medically, the free agent market went from stale and virtually dead to having a very intriguing playmaker available to any team who wants him.
Finley has certainly had his issues in the NFL. Consistency, sometimes drops, but one thing we all know is that when he’s healthy, Finley is one of the best pass catching tight ends in the league.
The Broncos certainly aren’t in a position to offer Finley a blockbuster contract, but I don’t think he’s going to command it either. Coming off of such a serious injury, Finley is going to have to settle for a one-year ‘prove it’ deal from some NFL team who is willing to take the risk.
I think the Broncos should be that team.
Why? The Broncos are stacked at tight end, at least on paper, but there are some things they could look to address and reasons why adding Finley wouldn’t be such a terrible idea.
First of all, you can never have too many playmakers, especially at the right price. The Broncos use plenty of 2TE and 3WR sets, and they certainly feel like they have the personnel to do that effectively over the course of the season, but injuries DO happen.
If the Broncos can add Finley at a reduced rate on a one-year, maybe incentive-laden deal, then it’s definitely worth a shot. It’s possible for the rich to get richer, and depending what Finley’s expectations are, this is a low-risk move for a championship caliber team.
Plus, if other contending teams are sniffing around Finley, it would suck to have him flourish on a team other than the Broncos if they have a fair shot at getting him right now.
John Elway has been very aggressive on the free agent market before, and Denver hans’t had any changes at the TE position since 2012 when they added Joel Dreessen and Jacob Tamme.
While Dreessen and Tamme are very capable veteran players, the Broncos could look to designate Dreessen as a post-June 1 cut because of his current salary hit as well as the fact that he’s really struggled with injuries over the last year or so.
If the Broncos decide to part ways with Dreessen, it will free up a fourth TE spot on the roster that could very well be filled by in-house favorite Gerrell Robinson, who made the switch to that position last year.
Still, if Finley is available at a reduced price, it’s going to be hard to pass up, especially if he is healthy. The Broncos are the rich, and they could get even richer.
And the cost might not be so bad either.
When you have a chance to upgrade your team like this, it’s definitely something to look into. Finley reportedly met with an undisclosed team on Friday, so here’s hoping it was Denver.