Player: Andre Caldwell
Explanation: Often thought of as “the other guy” in the Broncos receiving corps, Caldwell has had his share of peaks and valleys in his time with Denver.
Regardless of what people may say, he was the ideal “depth” player that teams look for. If you needed him to step up and start games, he’d do it to the best of his abilities. If he had to play Special Teams, he’d do it to the best of his abilities. If he needed to return kicks, well, you get the idea.
He’s not the flashiest player, nor was he ever intended to be. The last four years of Andre Caldwell’s career was to help his team in whatever way possible with little attention or fanfare. So why do I consider him scrap moving forward? It’s simple.
This may be the 30 year old receiver’s last chance to get a decent pay day in Free Agency. When I say “decent”, I mean a few million dollars a year. Considering his eight years of NFL experience and newly registered Super Bowl resume, somebody will give Caldwell a fair deal to come in and be their #3 receiver.
Let’s face it, impending Free Agents on Super Bowl teams are usually plucked away by other organizations. Despite being a solid contributor in Denver, retaining Caldwell’s services are a low priority for the Broncos and it’s more likely another team will offer Caldwell more money to play a more important position on their team.
Player: Vernon Davis
Explanation: I think his story is pretty self-explanatory. The tenth year pro was once considered one of the best TE’s in the game. His combination of great size, strength and athleticism were a rare combination for his position. In 2015, he was a shell of his former self.
After being acquired by the Broncos in a mid-season trade, Davis was expected to be the “missing
link” in the Broncos disheveled offense. While the risk was low for Denver (sixth round picks in 2016 and 2017 in return for Davis and a 2016 7th round pick), he fell far short of expectations when the trade was made.
Very little remember the plays that he did make, but the memories of his costly mistakes is what sticks with Broncos country. In back to back loses, Davis made crucial mistakes by dropping passes at the wrong times. Not only do I think he won’t be retained by the Broncos, but I think he should do what all great winners do and go out on top.
You had a great 10 year NFL career and not many people get the chance to end their career as a champion. Like many other Broncos veterans heading into free agency, consider retirement and enjoy the next phase of your life, Vernon.