Broncos should be poised to spend big in free agency
The Denver Broncos should be poised to spend big in 2020 free agency with $62 million in cap space and roster cuts yet to come.
Denver Broncos general manager John Elway has historically been great at signing free agents, and historically, he’s done it without being among the league leaders in available cap space.
The Broncos have a ton of cap space in the 2020 offseason ($62 million projected) and obviously plenty of needs to be filled all over the roster. With roughly $10 million of that cap space set aside for your draft class and emergency funds later on, the Broncos could be going into February/March with around $52 in working cap space before making any roster cuts.
If the team makes some expected roster cuts, they could add almost $24 million to that figure, giving the team $76 million in cap space to work with.
According to Nick Corte of Over The Cap, the Broncos rank in the bottom tier of the NFL in 2020 salary cap hits.
With so much cap space and so few large 2020 cap hits, the Broncos should be in a great position to spend big in free agency in 2020 and absorb a big chunk of the guaranteed cash up front this year.
That doesn’t mean that every contract will be front-loaded — the Broncos have historically been great about creating contracts with low year one cap hits and minimal dead money hits beyond the second or third year of the contract.
Perhaps we’ll see Elway take a similar approach to free agency as the Buffalo Bills last year, who added multiple key players all over the roster somewhat in the middle-tier of free agency, but all players who fit into their scheme and culture with a some bigger splashes than others.
Maybe Elway’s approach will be more like that of Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock last year where it was one big free agent signing after another.
Hopefully it’s not the same approach as the Indianapolis Colts have taken, borderline ignoring the top tier of free agency and being frugal with the middle tier.
We know that John Elway is historically aggressive in free agency no matter what the Broncos’ cap situation looks like, so having this much space available even with a lot of needs is going to be fascinating.
You can bank on at least $12 million going to Justin Simmons via either an extension or the franchise tag. Beyond Simmons, though, there’s seemingly no guarantee of in-house free agents the Broncos will keep at this point.
Over the course of the next month-and-a-half, we’re going to look more in-depth at free agency options for the Broncos and how this team can keep building towards a playoff berth in 2020.