Broncos Rumors

Broncos Working To Re-Sign Billy Turner

  • The Broncos have begun negotiations with offensive lineman Billy Turner, and he may be the sole member of Denver’s unrestricted free agent class that will reach an agreement before the start of the new league year, writes Mike Klis of 9News. A former third-round pick of the Dolphins, Turner signed for $2MM last offseason and should receive a salary bump this year. He played 76% of the Broncos’ offensive snaps a year ago, and could return either as a starter or a valuable reserve in 2019.

Broncos Haven’t Asked Sanders For Pay Cut

The Broncos have yet not approached Emmanuel Sanders or his agent about taking a pay cut, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. At this time, it sounds like Sanders will be a Bronco in 2019, Pelissero adds. 

Sanders made waves this week when he indicated that he will not consider taking a pay cut from Denver. The Broncos could still theoretically make that request, but as of this writing, they have not done so. Ultimately, Sanders might not have much to worry about as the Broncos appear to still have him in their plans.

Sanders recorded in 71 catches for 868 yards and four touchdowns last season. He also rushed for a touchdown and threw a touchdown pass. Those numbers weren’t in line with his previous career bests, including a 101-catch, 1,404-yard season in 2014, but big numbers were hard to come by on a listless Broncos offense in 2018.

In theory, the Broncos could cut Sanders and save his full $10.25MM salary against the cap while eating his bonus proration of $2,687,500. But, cap space is not at a premium, even when factoring in Joe Flacco’s contract. We should know the score in a matter of weeks – $1.5MM of Sanders’ $10.25MM salary becomes fully guaranteed if the Broncos exercise his option and a decision must be made by March 12.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Adrian Amos In Talks With Bears

This year, Adrian Amos profiles as one of the best safeties available in free agency. Ideally, the Bears would like to keep him from the open market, and they’ve opened up talks with 25-year-old to try and keep him in the fold. 

At this point it’s really the waiting game. I want to be back in Chicago. Chicago has been talking back and forth, they want me back,” Amos told SiriusXM. “But we’ll see how things shake out. Nothing is certain right now. It’s still a little early. Over the next couple weeks, I guess we’ll find out a lot more.”

Amos, 26 in April, enjoyed the best season of his career at the perfect time. Starting in all 16 games, Amos finished out with 73 tackles, two interceptions, nine passes defensed, a fumble recovery, and a sack. The advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus positioned Amos as the eighth-best safety in the NFL last year, though he placed even higher in 2017.

For his part, Amos says he’d like to return to Chicago.

I would like to be back, but the business part of it, it’s complicated sometimes,” Amos said. “Things still could happen, but I have to be prepared for all scenarios. I’m not writing anything off and that was the team I was drafted to as well. There could be a chance that I’m back and there could be a chance I’m anywhere. That’s the crazy thing about this situation where my contract’s up so anything could really happen. I’m just sitting back and really waiting to see what happens.”

Meanwhile, he also recognizes that the Broncos would be a good fit now that his former defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is Denver’s new head coach.

I don’t know, but obviously that would be a fit where I know the defense and things like that,” Amos said. “But it’s not something that I’m pinpointing like, ‘Hey, I want to go there,’ or anything like that. I’m just keeping all options open. First and foremost, I’m a Bear right now, so that’s a main focus early on. But if that doesn’t work out, then I have to explore what team fits me best, what team gives me the best opportunity to take care of my family as well as progress on the football field.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Emmanuel Sanders Won’t Consider Pay Cut

Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders is set to enter the last year of his three-year, $33MM pact with the Broncos, and he is due a $10.25MM salary in 2019. He will be 32 next month, and he tore his Achilles in December, but he has no intentions of reworking his deal, which carries a nearly $13MM cap hit next season.

104.3 The Fan asked its Twitter followers today if the Broncos should approach Sanders about a restructure, and Sanders tweeted, “it ain’t happening..no way Jose.” Troy Renck of Denver 7 ABC sides with Sanders, saying that there is no need for him to rework his deal, and that it would be foolish for the Broncos to trade for Joe Flacco and then let a veteran receiver of Sanders’ caliber go (Twitter link).

Of course, there is a difference between a restructure and a pay cut. Sanders clearly interpreted the hypothetical question as “should the Broncos approach Sanders about a pay cut,” and if that’s the case, then his stance (and Renck’s) is certainly understandable. But perhaps the two sides could come together on an extension that would buy Denver a little cap relief and would result in a little more guaranteed money in Sanders’ pocket (though the fact that he is rehabbing from his Achilles tear could mean, as Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk observes, that the Broncos will not be addressing Sanders’ future for at least the next few months).

The Broncos could cut Sanders and save his full $10.25MM salary against the cap while eating his bonus proration of $2,687,500. But they are not really pressed for cap space even after they absorb Flacco’s contract, especially since they are likely to cut or trade Case Keenum and save $11MM as a result. It seems more likely that they will simply wait to see how Sanders’ recovery progresses and either approach him about an extension this summer or else let him play out the final year of his deal and see what happens in 2020.

In any event, we should have another update in the next couple of weeks. Mike Klis of 9News points out that, of Sanders’ $10.25MM salary, $1.5MM becomes fully-guaranteed if the Broncos exercise his 2019 option, which they must do by March 12 (Twitter link). Klis presently expects the Broncos to pick up the option, though he concedes it is difficult to predict what GM John Elway will do.

In his 12 games last season, Sanders hauled in 71 catches for 868 yards and four TDs. He also rushed for a touchdown and threw a touchdown pass.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Joe Flacco Passes Broncos Physical

Last week’s trade agreement between the Broncos and Ravens, which will send Joe Flacco to Denver and the better of the Broncos’ two fourth-round picks to Baltimore, looks set to go through.

Flacco traveled to Denver and passed a physical conducted by the Broncos, Albert Breer of SI.com reports.

Although Flacco has started 16 games in nine of his 11 seasons, he has battled a few injuries in recent years. Following his torn ACL in 2015, Flacco encountered back trouble during the 2017 offseason. Last season, a hip injury sidelined him for weeks and eventually led to Lamar Jackson stepping in and, ultimately, bringing setting up last week’s trade.

No trade can become official until the 2019 league year begins on March 13. Flacco will then be headed to the Broncos, where he stands to become the team’s fourth Week 1 starting quarterback in the past five seasons — following Peyton Manning, Trevor Siemian and Case Keenum. Denver’s previous starter remains on the roster, but the Broncos are planning to trade or, more likely, cut the soon-to-be 31-year-old Keenum.

Now 34, Flacco will play on an $18.5MM salary next season. He is not expected to redo his through-2021 contract, which contains no more guaranteed money. The Ravens will eat $16MM in dead money once the trade goes through.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos Notes: Harris, Flacco, LBs, Leary

With Aqib Talib having been traded and Bradley Roby likely to leave Denver as a free agent, the Broncos have work to do to repair their once-formidable cornerback corps. However, the third player from the team’s longtime trio may be in position to sign a third contract soon. Chris Harris is entering a contract year, and with the Broncos having no other foundational pieces at this position, it would seemingly behoove them to enter into extension talks with their versatile All-Pro. Harris has said he is open to signing a third Broncos contract, and Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post writes the 29-year-old defender will be on the 2019 team, as opposed to being shopped around, and is a likely target for an extension. One of this era’s premier corners, Harris nonetheless has a manageable cap number this season ($8.77MM), so an extension would stand to be more about keeping him in the fold than reducing his 2019 figure.

Denver is also expected to let Tramaine Brock walk, so cornerback — for the first time since the Broncos swapped out Champ Bailey and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie for Talib and Roby five years ago — is a major need for this franchise.

Here is the latest from Denver, shifting to its quarterback decision:

  • Joe Flacco will be the fourth Broncos Week 1 starting quarterback in the past five seasons, and thus far the reaction to Denver’s move has skewed negative. But multiple executives viewed this as potentially a short-term gain, with O’Halloran noting one called this a solid move for both the Broncos and Ravens and another seeing the 34-year-old passer having multiple good years left. One defensive assistant, however, disagreed, viewing the veteran as having little quality football left. Flacco has not ranked above 19th in QBR since the 2014 season, when he was ninth. The Broncos will attempt to place him in a similar offense to the Gary Kubiak-coordinated attack that unleashed Flacco five years ago, but with so much time passing, it’s obviously no guarantee Flacco can return to form.
  • The Broncos prioritized Brandon Marshall over Danny Trevathan three years ago, in extending the former and letting the latter walk as a free agent. But in cutting Marshall this week, the Broncos jettisoned their top coverage linebacker. They are expected to look for help on this front in the draft, Mike Klis of 9News notes. Denver still has plus run defender Todd Davis and 2018 fourth-rounder Josey Jewell, but Klis writes the team will look for a rangier addition to complement its incumbents.
  • Offensive line will also be a need for the Broncos, with free agent center Matt Paradis‘ status up in the air. But one member is in line to return. Ronald Leary will not be ready to pass a physical by March 17, Klis tweets. This would fully guarantee $5.35MM of the guard’s $8.1MM salary. Unless the Broncos want to eat a reasonable amount of dead money, as they did upon releasing Menelik Watson last year, Leary can be expected back. The 29-year-old guard has played well in Denver but finished the past two seasons on IR, a 2018 Achilles injury shelving him after seven games.

Demaryius Thomas Involved In Car Crash

Free agent veteran receiver Demaryius Thomas was involved in a rollover crash in Denver early Saturday morning, ABC 7’s Oscar Contreras writes. He reportedly suffered minor injuries. 

Police responded to the single-vehicle accident shortly after midnight. Thomas and another man suffered minor injuries, but a woman inside the car sustained potentially serious injuries though they were not thought to be life threatening.

Police are investigating the crash, but investigators have said neither drugs nor alcohol appear to be involved in the accident.

That is a scary situation for the former Broncos wideout, but it’s great news he escaped the incident without any major injuries.

In his ninth season in the league, Thomas started the first eight games of the season for the Broncos, making 36 grabs for 402 yards and three touchdowns. He was acquired by the Texans at midseason and finished the campaign in Houston, logging 23 receptions for 275 yards and two touchdowns. Earlier this week, the four-time Pro Bowl selection was released from the team.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos Notes: Flacco, Draft, Marshall

The Broncos may have acquired veteran signal-caller Joe Flacco earlier this week, but that doesn’t mean the organization won’t draft a quarterback in this year’s draft. A Broncos source told Matt Miller of Bleacher Report that the team wouldn’t balk at taking one of the top quarterback prospects.

“We’re going to take the best player on our board when the pick comes up,” the source said. “Period.”

Of course, that quote indicates that the team won’t specifically target a quarterback, but it also shows that the team will be flexible heading into the draft. As Miller notes, the Broncos have been connected to Missouri quarterback Drew Lock, although the prospect isn’t projected to be a top-10 pick (Denver’s slotted in at the 10th-overall pick).

Let’s check out some more notes out of Denver…

  • The Broncos will be searching for some help at cornerback this offseason, according to ESPN’s Jeff LegwoldBradley RobyTramaine Brock and Jamar Taylor are all set to hit free agency, meaning the team will need to search for someone to play opposite Chris Harris. The veteran defensive back recognizes that his team will be seeking reinforcement in the secondary, and he’s confident that new head coach Vic Fangio will help to revitalize the entire unit. “It’s like I’ve said, I think we just haven’t evolved here,” Harris said. “You know, after the Super Bowl [in 2016], it’s like we kind of just got stagnant. We haven’t evolved. We’ve got to evolve with everything … get better as players, all of us. I just think this past year we were kind of behind.”
  • We learned yesterday that the Broncos weren’t going to be picking up linebacker Brandon Marshall‘s option, making him a free agent. The 29-year-old emerged as a starting-caliber player during his tenure in Denver, and he’s been productive in both a 4-3 and 3-4 scheme. Marshall believes that versatility will help him as he searches for his next gig. “I think that’s going to help me a lot (in free agency),” he told Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post. “I was in a 4-3 my first year starting in Denver and playing a 3-4 will let teams know I can do it all.”
  • Back to Flacco, we heard earlier this week that the team doesn’t intend to re-work the veteran’s contract. The 34-year-old is under contract in each of the next three seasons at base salaries of $18.5MM, $20.25MM, and $24.25MM, although none of that money is guaranteed.

Broncos To Part Ways With Brandon Marshall

The Broncos are set to part ways with linebacker Brandon Marshall, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The Broncos informed Marshall that they are not planning to pick up his option, making him a free agent in March. 

Free agency officially kicks off on March 13, but Marshall’s injury history could force him to wait a week or two before landing anywhere. If he does sign quickly, it’ll be for a lesser sum than the $7MM he was set to earn in 2019 with Denver.

Marshall, 30 in September, was injured for much of the 2018 season. He finished out with just 42 tackles in eleven games, giving him his lowest number of stops since becoming a starter in the 2014 season.

The Broncos inked Marshall to a four-year, $32MM extension in the summer of 2016, tacking multiple years on to his RFA tender season. After he finished out with 102 tackles, it was an easy decision for GM John Elway & Co. But, given his injuries in 2016 and 2018, the Broncos felt compelled to cut him loose.

I love the organization, they gave me my first chance to play,” Marshall said, via Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter link). “I love all my teammates. I really love city. I felt embraced on and off the field. I’m just sorry I was injured two of the last three years. … It’s a really great organization so we’ll see what happens.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Brandon Marshall Open To Restructure

  • Brandon Marshall is open to restructuring his contract to stay with the Broncos, Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic notes (subscription required), but Denver may be set to move on after a six-season partnership. The Broncos re-signed Todd Davis last year and like 2018 fourth-round pick Josey Jewell, who started several games for an injured Marshall last season and would be a cheaper alternative. Denver would save $5MM by releasing Marshall while also being tagged with $4MM in cap charges. A Super Bowl 50 starter, Marshall played all 16 games in 2017 but missed five in both 2016 and ’18.