Previewing the Broncos’ Long Offseason

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Jan 11, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) after their loss to the Indianapolis Colts in the 2014 AFC Divisional playoff football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Colts won 24-13. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Player Contracts

John Elway has multiple starters and key players to make decisions on, no secret there.

As far as contracts go, though, he might have lucked out (too soon?) this season. Some of those important components to the Broncos did not have their expected stellar seasons and even more decided not to show up on Sunday, making many of them expendable.

Here’s a list of whose contracts need to be handled this offseason.

WR Wes Welker – UFA
WR Demaryius Thomas – UFA
DT Terrance Knighton – UFA
TE Jacob Tamme – UFA
C Will Montgomery – UFA
DT Mitch Unrein – UFA
S Rahim Moore – UFA
OL Orlando Franklin – UFA
LB Nate Irving – UFA
S Quinton Carter – UFA
TE Julius Thomas – UFA
TE Virgil Green – UFA
LB Steven Johnson – RFA
LS Aaron Brewer – RFA
CB Tony Carter – RFA
LB Brandon Marshall – RFA
OL Ben Garland – UFA
OT Paul Cornick – ERFA
DE John Youboty – ERFA

If/when he does sign most of those players back, Elway will get them for a much cheaper price. Demaryius Thomas and Terrance Knighton are top priorities and could receive the most lucrative contracts. Orlando Franklin looks like a lock to stay in Denver, as well.

The Broncos should have no problem retaining many of the players that are listed, put best by our very own Sayre Bedinger.

"“I fully expect — as I previously stated — that the Broncos will be able to re-sign guys like Virgil Green, Brandon Marshall, Nate Irving, Quinton Carter, really any of those guys. The price should be right in the range of reason and I can see the Broncos wanting to bring them back as key role players on this team.”"

Obviously, Rahim Moore and Julius Thomas stick out as wild-cards. It all depends on how much money they truly think they’re worth. After so-so seasons, neither really deserve any blockbuster type of deal.

Will they accept that truth? We’ll have to wait and find out.