The Denver Broncos will head into a critical offseason with a good amount of cap space to work with. According to Field Yates of ESPN, the Broncos have declared a rollover amount of $11 million in unused 2021 cap space, which was the third-highest mark in the NFL.
Only the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Philadelphia Eagles declared higher rollover numbers.
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Broncos Free Agency Outlook
The Broncos are projected to have approximately $47.6 million in cap space this offseason, according to Spotrac.
They have 17 players set to become unrestricted free agents. Here is the full list:
- Teddy Bridgewater, QB
- Melvin Gordon, RB
- Andrew Beck, FB
- Eric Saubert, TE
- Brett Jones, C
- Cameron Fleming, OT
- Bobbie Massie, OT
- Stephen Weatherly, DE
- Shamar Stephen, DT
- A.J. Johnson, ILB
- Josey Jewell, ILB
- Kenny Young, ILB
- Kyle Fuller, CB
- Bryce Callahan, CB
- Michael Ford, CB
- Nate Hairston, CB
- Kareem Jackson, SS
Certain names immediately stand out on that list. Running back Melvin Gordon will certainly attract interest from other teams on the free-agent market. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals are already being discussed as possible landing spots for Gordon.
Running back is not a major need for the Broncos; Javonte Williams was outstanding in his rookie campaign. Still, Gordon was an effective complement to Williams. Gordon and Williams were the second duo in team history to rush for 900 yards each in the same season.
Spotrac estimates Gordon’s market value to be $5.2 million.
Strong safety Kareem Jackson is another name to watch. Jackson has started 44 games over the past three seasons for the Broncos. Statistically, Jackson was phenomenal for the Broncos in 2019 and 2020, as he had a PFF grade of 82.3 in 2019 and 80.4 in 2020.
He did have a down season in 2021, as he allowed career-highs in completion percentage, yards per completion, and passer rating, when targeted.
Nevertheless, Jackson has been a reliable starter throughout his NFL career, and re-signing him should not take up too much cap space. PFF’s contract projection for Jackson is one year for $3.5 million.
Broncos’ 2 Biggest Needs in Free Agency
Another name that stands out on that list is quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. The Broncos will certainly be exploring their options at quarterback in free agency and the NFL draft.
This year’s free-agent class does not include many great starting quarterback options. Jameis Winston, Tyrod Taylor, Andy Dalton, and Jacoby Brissett headline the class. One could argue Bridgewater is actually the best available quarterback.
The trade market will likely be the Broncos’ best shot at upgrading the quarterback position. Rumors surround elite quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson. In addition, there will be some intriguing young players that could be available such as Tyler Huntley and Gardner Minshew.
Finally, the Broncos’ other biggest need is cornerback, as four cornerbacks are set to become unrestricted free agents. They will need to add some depth behind Patrick Surtain II and Ronald Darby. Re-signing Bryce Callahan would be ideal, but the front office will have other intriguing options in free agency such as D.J. Reed Jr. and Rasul Douglas.
With plenty of cap space and the ninth overall pick in the draft, George Paton has the tools to make some big moves this offseason.