Offseason Overview: Broncos Look to Regain Playoff Form

Jay Cutler

Franchise Player: None.

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

• TE Stephen Alexander is very unlikely to be back, he will probably retire.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED

• LB Boss Bailey: UFA Lions; $17.5M/5 yrs, $4.35M SB.

• WR Keary Colbert: UFA Panthers: $7.3M/3 yrs, SB unknown.

• WR Darrell Jackson: FA 49ers; 1 yr, terms unknown.

• LB Niko Koutouvides: UFA Seahawks; $7.5M/3 yrs, SB unknown.

• S Marquand Manuel: UFA Panthers; $4.5M/3 yrs, $500,000 guaranteed.

• S Marlon McCree: FA Chargers; terms unknown.

• WR Samie Parker: UFA Chiefs; 1 yr, terms unknown.

• DT Dewayne Robertson (trade Jets).

• C Casey Wiegmann: UFA Chiefs; 2 yrs, terms unknown.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED

• S Hamza Abdullah: RFA; $972,000/1 yr.

• DE Ebenezer Ekuban: UFA; 1 YR, terms unknown.

• DE John Engelberger: UFA; 2 yrs, terms unknown.

• CB Domonique Foxworth: Potential RFA; $972,000/1 yr.

• TE Nate Jackson: UFA; $2M/2 yrs, SB unknown.

• CB Karl Paymah: Potential RFA; $972,000/1 yr.

• OT Erik Pears: Potential ERFA; terms unknown.

• FB Cecil Sapp: UFA; $645,000/1 yr, $40,000 SB; 2008 cap: $485,000.

PLAYERS LOST

• K Jason Elam: UFA Falcons; $9M/4 yrs, $3.3M SB.

• S Nick Ferguson: UFA Texans; 1 yr, terms unknown.

• LB Ian Gold (released).

• LB Warrick Holdman (released).

• OT Matt Lepsis (retired).

• C Chris Myers: RFA; traded Texans.

• FB Paul Smith (released).

• WR Javon Walker (released).

The Broncos are looking to get back to basics in 2008, and that includes a running game that can grind it out, a passing game that is efficient, and a defense that forces mistakes. Last year the team went 7-9, and was undone by a defense that was awful in stopping the run, allowing 142.6 yards per game. They also were inconsistent, winning their first two, but then losing three straight, and by mid-season they were 3-4, giving up way too many points and yards on the ground. They missed the playoffs for the second straight year, and the pressure will be on this club to get back to form in 08.

They went out in the first round and drafted tackle Ryan Clady from Boise State, sending a message they want to get back to running the football. They also spent their money wisely in free agency, grabbing players like WR Darrell Jackson, LB Boss Bailey, S Marlon McCree, and C Casey Wiegmann. This is a far cry from a team that usually throws money at big names that fail to live up to the hype. Look for a new attitude this season for the Broncos, and if they can start fast (at Oakland, vs San Diego, vs New Orleans, at KC in weeks one through four), they very well could be an impact in the AFC West.

Offseason Grade to Date: B+


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