Tim Patrick helps the Broncos get under the salary cap

Tim Patrick is back with the Denver Broncos in 2024

Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages
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The Denver Broncos needed to get under the salary cap before the new league year on March 13, but wide receiver Tim Patrick made sure to help them with plenty of time to spare. Patrick has unfortunately missed each of the last two seasons due to injuries, which have caused him to miss the first two years of a contract extension he signed in November, 2021.

At the time he signed his extension in 2021, Patrick had emerged as one of the Denver Broncos' most consistent offensive weapons. He was clutch on third downs, he made plays in the red zone, and he was one of the team's few reliable chain movers. Although he may not have changed the fortunes of the team as a whole over the last two seasons, Patrick's absence has been notable, to say the least.

Now, he's going to run it back in Denver for the 2024 season on a re-worked one-year contract, a move that helps the team become salary cap compliant.

Prior to the news regarding Tim Patrick's return to the Broncos for 2024, the Broncos were around $2.65 million over the salary cap. Patrick had a cap number of $15.57 million with the potential of $9.5 million in cap savings if the Broncos would have just cut him. But cutting Patrick would have also resulted in the team taking a dead money hit of around $6 million, which isn't ideal considering all of the money the Broncos are eating on Russell Wilson's contract.

At the time of this post being written, the exact figure of Patrick's re-worked contract for 2024 is unknown, but Chris Tomasson reports that it gets the Broncos under the cap.

Patrick has been paid almost $25 million as a member of the Denver Broncos, most of which has come in 2022 and 2023, years in which he hasn't been able to play for the team. It stands to reason that the Broncos will get Patrick back at a substantially reduced price for 2024, something that is worthwhile for both Patrick and the team, given his recent injury history.

Patrick has also changed jersey numbers to number 12, his old college number at Utah, in case you're looking for number 81 and can't spot him out there the next time the Broncos take the field. Perhaps Patrick decided the number 81 needed to be thrown out after two season-ending injuries.

Patrick's return to the lineup in 2024 could be massive. The Broncos had big plans for him in their offense in year one under Sean Payton, but obviously never got to see those come to fruition. It's not likely the Broncos will bank much on Patrick's availability for the 2024 season, but rather have him as depth and feature him if he's able to stay on the field.

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After cutting both Russell Wilson and Justin Simmons, the Broncos needed a move like this to regain some faith from the fan base. Not only that the team wasn't going to just cut everyone and throw in the towel this year, but players whose decisions to return may be impacted by those moves are still on board with the current regime.

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