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Published on 02/18/2008 at Mon Feb 18 02:07.
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[Javon Walker] [Travis Henry] [John Lynch] [Ian Gold]

The Denver Broncos are facing serious personnel decisions in the next two weeks, as four of their starters are anticipating large bonuses in the wake of injury. Javon Walker, Travis Henry, John Lynch and Ian Gold are each owed significant money between February 29 and March 4, the Denver Post reports.

Walker, who has stated that Denver may not be the “best fit” for him this offseason, is the most likely to be moved. The wide receiver is due $5.4 million in bonuses on March 4. Various reports indicate that Walker will be released if the Broncos cannot consummate a trade before this deadline.

Henry, whose first season with Denver was marred with injury and marijuana suspension drama, is due $6 million on February 29. He will be asked to restructure his deal. Henry’s recent statements indicate that he remains loyal to Mike Shanahan and the Denver community; his willingness to restructure his large salary will indicate the degree of this dedication.

John Lynch has been sitting on retirement for the past several weeks, with several of his teammates (including fellow Pro Bowler Champ Bailey) asking the longtime veteran to stay another season. He is due $1.12 million on March 4, possibly setting a deadline for his decision. Lynch has suggested that he would only stay if he were promised a continued large role in the team’s defense – with the team’s lack of depth at safety, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where that wouldn’t be the case.

Ian Gold had an up-and-down season, finishing on a few poor performances and ultimately on the bench due to injury. It is rumored that Gold may be on his way out. He is due $500,000 on March 3, a number the Broncos may be willing to survive compared to the other players in question.

Last year, the Broncos did a lot of cleaning house. Although each of these players have a reason to leave or be released, the Broncos may be better off keeping as many of these players as they can. I think Walker will be gone, Henry will restructure, Gold will be asked to stay on the condition that he knows he will be competing for a starting job, and Lynch’s retirement decision wouldn’t surprise me either way.

  • Benny

    The Broncos would be wise to take a step back to take one forward. What does that mean? It means to take the cap hit now and get rid of Walker (injury prone, locker room problem), Henry (injury prone, distraction) and Gold (inconsistent, passive attitude). Bring in guys through the draft to keep building for the future.

  • Kyle

    Javon’s as good as gone, but I’m not sure on Henry or Gold. If Henry doesn’t restructure, he’s definitely gone, but we’re thin at linebacker without Gold.

    Thanks for the input Benny.