Can the Denver Broncos create enough cap space?
The answer is yes; every team, to an extent, can create cap space. Unloading huge contracts and restructuring are two very common ways to do this. Let's go over some ways the Broncos can do this.
This will not be an exhaustive list, but rather the realistic ways I believe the team can go about this:
CUT Jarrett Stidham in 2024: saves $5 million
CUT DJ Jones in 2024: saves $10 million
CUT Tim Patrick in 2024: saves $10 million
CUT Luke Wattenberg in 2024: saves $985,000
CUT Delarrin Turner-Yell in 2024: saves $985,000
TRADE Justin Simmons in 2024: saves $14.5 million
TRADE Jerry Jeudy in 2024: saves $12.987 million
Total cap savings: $54,457,000
OK, so let's break this down some more. Jarrett Stidham should not have been signed to a two-year $10 million contract. The Denver Broncos can go cheaper and better with their backup QB. DJ Jones is a good run stuffer but doesn't provide enough juice on the defensive interior. I think he's a cut candidate. Cutting Tim Patrick but bringing him back on a cheaper, one-year deal makes sense. He's missed the last two seasons, including this one.
It doesn't make sense for him to try and get more money elsewhere, since he probably won't. Cutting Luke Wattenberg and Delarrin Turner-Yell are just shedding low-quality backup players that could be filled with other fresh draftees or low-end free agents. Trading Justin Simmons might happen if the Broncos don't really go anywhere in 2023. Simmons is likely entering the last few seasons of his career and might want to actually experience winning football.
And I do think a team would take on Jerry Jeudy's fifth-year option. It's not too expensive and there might be teams truly desperate for WR help. The Broncos could also do more here or swap moves I made with other ones. They could trade Courtland Sutton and Garett Bolles. They could also extend one or both of them for cap relief.
They could restructure Zach Allen's deal for some serious cap relief as well. A restructuring of Russell Wilson's deal saves over $10 million. And on a lower scale, doing some work with players still on their rookie deals can also free up cap space.
As you can see from the chart above, the Denver Broncos could realistically save over $50 million on their 2024 cap number, giving them anywhere from $40-$50 million in 2024 to spend in free agency if they wanted to. You see, I do think the "Broncos don't have cap space" argument is not a good one. The team can free up tens of millions. And sure, if the Broncos did these exact moves that I laid out, they'd have that many more roster holes, but I'd argue that each one of those players outside of Justin Simmons aren't really players who are a net positive to the team right now.