Good Morning, Broncos fans! We've apparently reached something of a lull until what promises tomorrow afternoon to be a vigorous start to the new league year.
Although reports of Denver's interest in pending free agents were relatively scarce this weekend, we fully expect the team to be active tomorrow.
The Broncos have loads of cap space (~ $25M including the recent RFA and ERFA tenders) and plenty of holes to fill (corner, safety, middle linebacker, wide receiver, left guard).
And as we've been discussing for months, they can easily free up more space as needed by cutting any of Chris Kuper ($4.08M), Jacob Tamme ($3M), and Joel Dreessen ($2.5M).
Tamme is the least likely cut among the three, what with his familiarity with Peyton Manning, and the current lack of receivers on the roster.
Dreessen recently underwent knee surgery, so don't expect anything to happen with him for quite some time, unless Denver feels like dishing out an injury settlement. But his salary alone won't be the difference in them making a move or not with someone else, so we'll expect a later release or perhaps a significant pay cut.
Kuper doesn't figure to draw much interest on the open market, so there's always the possibility he again accepts a huge pay cut, as he did in 2013. But there's no way he's back at his current salary and cap number.
As for what they'll with that cap room, many - including Peter King - expect Denver to re-sign Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Of course, PK says DRC's price tag went up as soon as Sam Shields got his eye-popping deal in Green Bay.
King adds in his MMQB column that Eric Decker is lacking for suitors, and he figures Knowshon Moreno won't be striking it rich this week.
Pat Kirwan disagrees on Decker, and he expects the wideout to be among the earliest big signings tomorrow, along with Jairus Byrd, Alterraun Verner, and Michael Johnson and Michael Bennett, who is expected to land in Chicago.
It will be interesting to see how much Denver is willing to offer safety T.J. Ward, if they really are targeting him.
According to Jeff Legwold, Denver would have pursued LB Donald Butler, had the Chargers not re-signed him. Legwold isn't sure if the Broncos are willing to spend what it would take to sign Karlos Dansby, who was reportedly offered $10M-12M over two years to stay in Arizona.
Mike Tanier thinks former Philly wideout Jason Avant makes sense as a substitute for Decker.
PFF's Julian Carpentier adds Kevin Vickerson ($1.8M) as a potential, if unlikely, cap casualty, and he suggests Golden Tate as a two-birds-one-stone replacement for Decker and Trindon Holliday.
Frank Schwab doesn't think losing Decker will be that big of a deal because, well, PMFM.
The Jets expectedly released CB Antonio Cromartie in a cap-related move.
New England re-signed TE Michael Hoomanawanui.
Atlanta is reportedly seen as a possible landing spot for Champ Bailey.
Tennessee is apparently shopping RB Chris Johnson and will cut him and his $8M salary if there are no takers.
Jason Fitzgerald discusses cash versus cap spending and says Denver's low commitments for 2015 suggest they could dole out lots of cash this offseason.
Bill Barnwell sees the Shields and Griffen deals as proof that the higher cap level will indeed result in teams spending wastefully.
Over at Football Perspective, an econ professor presents a look at the most influential plays in NFL history (including The Fumble), relative to SB outcomes.