2. Tim Patrick, WR
Tim Patrick tore his Achilles earlier this offseason right as he was returning from a torn ACL he suffered in 2022. Back-to-back season-ending injuries for Patrick is just horribly devastating. Patrick was going to be a crucial part of the offense in 2022 and was likely going to have a huge role in 2023.
The issue for Patrick is that he'll be entering his age-31 season in 2024 and will be in the last year of the contract extension he signed a couple of years ago. If the Broncos were to move on from Patrick next year, they could save $9.9 million on their 2024 cap number. Potential savings of nearly $10 million for an aging wide receiver coming off of back-to-back season-ending injuries is a no-brainer.
Tim Patrick is a huge culture-setter for the Broncos and is likely an outstanding teammate. However, at the end of the day, the NFL is a business, and the team might have to make this hard decision to get the cap space situated for 2024 and beyond. Sean Payton also gets final roster say and doesn't really have much connection to Patrick.
I do think there could be a situation where the Broncos cut Tim Patrick but look to bring him back on a one-year deal at a reduced number. That would still give the Broncos the potential production of Patrick but would give them some needed cap relief. I would be shocked if Tim Patrick is on the Denver Broncos' roster in 2024 on his current contract.