Happy Saturday, friends. As per Doug's request from last night, I have some thoughts on the potential matches between the Broncos and new free agents Charles Woodson, Dwight Freeney, and Austin Collie.
All are established veterans, but have enough tarnish at this point that they won't command much contractually - think one-year deals, with little or no guaranteed money.
Collie's issue is concussions, but I'd take a look at him as a fourth WR for the minimum. I'm sure he has better chemistry with Peyton Manning and knowledge of the route concepts than Matt Willis (who's also an unrestricted free agent) does.
I think there's more potential value to the Broncos with Collie than there is to any other team, and the risk to the team is nil.
Woodson just became my number-one candidate for the one-year, $4 million special. I think he can be the difference on a Super Bowl team if he can stay healthy.
The dude is unique, because he can play the run like a LB, and he's nasty as a blitzer off the slot. To me, he's the best answer in the NFL to contending with the Patriots in 12 personnel, because nickel with Woodson isn't your typical nickel.
I really can't think of anyone I'd rather put on Aaron Hernandez in man-to-man, either. The Patriots play offense inside-out, and the Broncos play defense outside-in. Woodson would give them a playmaker inside who can match up with TEs.
Denver will again be visiting New England in 2013, and there's a good chance the Broncos' playoff hopes will involve another matchup with the Patriots.
As for Freeney, I'm not feeling it for the Broncos. He's had a great career, but he's getting up there in years for a pass rusher. How many rushers who rely on quickness have played at a really high level into their mid 30s? Not too many. For whoever signs him, I think he's a one-year, $4M kind of player too, who plays limited snaps to maximize his effectiveness.