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Published on 02/16/2009 at Mon Feb 16 18:45.
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Dewayne Robertson takes down Philip Rivers. Dec. 28, 2008.(AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

Dewayne Robertson takes down Philip Rivers. Dec. 28, 2008.(AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

The Denver Broncos announced the departure of six more players this evening: defensive end John Engelberger, tight end Nate Jackson, linebacker Niko Koutouvides, safety Marquand Manuel, defensive tackle Dewayne Robertson and linebacker Jamie Winborn.

Several of these cuts were expected, though it may be earlier than we thought for others. Amongst the most surprising may be Winborn who was a decent backup and played well on special teams. Analysts have not hesitated this off-season to point out that head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Brian Xanders have absolutely no loyalty to any players on the current roster. This couldn’t be more true for Jackson, who although he has underachieved his entire career, was held onto by Mike Shanahan presumably due to his dedication in the off-season.

Robertson alone was scheduled to count $16-million against the salary cap, Koutouvides ($3.062 million), Engelberger ($2.185 million), Manuel ($1.333 million), Winborn ($2.25 million) and Jackson ($557,000). Overall the Broncos saved nearly $25 million dollars with the cuts, coupled with the cuts from earlier last week, they have freed close to $30 million.

The worst news, as I mentioned Xanders earlier, is that at his first press conference this afternoon he referred to this season as a, “Transition.” Though not all bad news, he did state that the Broncos may add more draft picks (they currently have eight) and should be busy in free agency, which is scheduled to start soon.

More analysis to come, stay tuned…

  • (dee)

    Gm X mentioned they may be accumulating more draft picks in the future or even for this draft … the only player that is young enough to fetch anything I think may be Dumervil … possibly a 2nd or 3rd?

  • (dee)

    Here’s something I found from FoxSports … hopefully these guys will take one for the team and agree to deferred money down the road in order to help us cap wise…

    Cornerback Champ Bailey ($13.67 million) and linebacker D.J. Williams ($11.6 million), defensive co-captains who spent much of last season on the sideline with injuries and are prime candidates for renegotiating their contracts.

  • SanDiegoBroncoFan55

    man we sure are making a lot of extra cap room…possibly for a big FA? a la Peppers or Asomugha? both of whom im totally down for…the offseason is great cuz we can dream about how good we can be and then the season starts and thats when i start feeling miserable and nervous every sunday, god why do i put myself through this shit haha

  • kerry

    oh my god would everybody stop with the Peppers/Asomugha talk!! their teams have already said they will franchise them both. they nobody is even a free agent until Thursday anyway when the market opens. dont expect either Asomugha or Peppers to be available.

  • Jordan C

    NathanH –

    Maualuga may be a bust, but I’m not sure that it will be because of speed. Multiple scouting reports () have cited speed as a strength. In fact, he may be too fast because his main listed detraction is that he over-runs plays. He may to try too hard to make fancy mega-hit tackles too often as well.

    Watch Youtube videos of his play. He may or may not time fast, but to me, he plays and looks like he’s one of the fastest guys out there. In blitzing, he’s on the QB first, he’s catching up with RB’s from behind, etc.

    90% of busts are because of bad attitude and/or injuries. I haven’t seen any indication that either will be an issue.

  • kerry

    correction. the deadline to franchise players is Thursday. free agency opens the 27th.

  • Jordan C

    I totally agree with kerry on this. They won’t trade for any of the franchised high dollar players either, since they’d have to give up major draft picks and major dollars. Don’t count on Asomugha, Peppers, Suggs, Haynesworth, etc.

  • Katch22

    Can somebody please tell me who was the last big money FA to turn a bad D around? I can’t think of one??? Team players is what we need, not MONEY players!

  • kerry


    yeah i can name one. Joey Porter for the Dolphins was a huge contributor for the turnaround in Miami.

  • SanDiegoBroncoFan55

    goddammit you guys are right i totally forgot about them being franchised…..ghey….then sign dunta robinson…ha

  • Awesome, Austin

    Joey Porter was the reason it was Tuna!

  • Awesome, Austin

    Correction: Joey Porter was NOT the reason for the turnaround it was Tuna!

  • steve

    sign dansby and robinson. draft rey. sign canty. draft a nt. and were set for next year.

  • OC Bronco

    Is taking out the trash considered housecleaning? These players were all below average and we need the room. Bigger names are to come.
    I am huge proponent of the draft. And not in the top 10 of round 1 where you throw a bunch of smack at a kid who has never played a down but in rounds 2-7 where with numerous picks we can get some value and competition in camp.

  • Dakota fan

    GmX- I love that nickname…

    My mock draft is:

    Whoever the hell they pick in April. This is why I read this blog: I like reading other people’s ideas on free agents and draft picks because I haven’t a clue myself.

    The draft is one I’m not even bothering to look at this year, because every time I guess on who they’ll pick, they never listen to me. In regards to free agents- I’m like most of you who think a high dollar free agent isn’t worth the money, especially the money they’re expecting guys like Haynesworth or Peppers to command.

    Last question experts (and I don’t mean that sarcastically- you guys are really on your game this offseason): What constitutes a successful free agent? A mainstay on their side of the ball? A leader who takes them to the playoffs? The Super Bowl? Your thoughts….

  • Joe

    Dakota Fan-

    Peppers is that guy on the defensive side of the ball that will get them to the playoffs. He averages ten sacks a year. I dont know of anyone who even got close to ten sacks on our team. He has the speed, size, and when everyone says that he will be franchised, i dont believe it. They have two days to do it. They first have to resign their OT, or he will get the tag. Peppers will benefit our defense a ton, no doubt about it. Than we can draft BJ or Maluega and our defense will improve. If we get BJ, than I say we go get Vilma. Have Woodyard, Vilma, Dj, and Peppers as LB’s in our 3-4 would be a great linebacking core.

  • Katch22

    I don’t think Denver is going to go after Peppers due to the fact he is a 4-3DE. Why would they invest so much money into a player who might not convert so well?

  • Jordan C

    Dakota Fan –

    That’s a very good question. I would say any free agent would have to fit 2 criteria to be considered a good signing.

    1) They have to play at or above the level that is expected by their paycheck (i.e., if you’re paid starter money, you’d better be a starter.).

    2) They have to play better than the previous year’s incumbent.

    Joe, and everyone else clamoring for Vilma –

    I don’t think that his history as a 3-4 ILB will have the Broncos breaking the bank for him. He was traded out of New York, just like D Robertson, because he didn’t do well there in their new system (3-4).

  • broncobobmeridian

    heres a link to an article on the current cap space:

  • kerry


    because Peppers has already stated he wants to play in the 3-4 defense as an OLB. thats why Denver will go after him IF he isnt franchised. Peppers is a game changer and can instantly make a defense better. that is IF he isnt franchised. which he will be. the Panthers have until midnight on Thursday to franchise a player and ESPN has already said that the negotiations with OT Jordan Gross of the Panthers has been significant. so Gross will sign and Peppers will be franchised.

  • Katch22

    Well I want to dunk a basketball too but that doesn’t mean I will be able to do it. What I was saying is by switching from a position he has been playing his entire career to a 3-4 might not be as easy as people think. Plus when he DOES get tagged you want Den to trade picks and dish out a ton of cash? Don’t get me wrong I think he is a stud and would like to see him in mile high but at what cost?

  • Joe


    You have a point, but what are the other options for Denver to fix this attrocious defense? Peppers is a vet that is not to old. He is 29. He would bring great leadership to our defense and could teach all the lineman such as Moss a couple of things. And he has the talent to make the transition. And that why he will get a chunk of our money to sign him because he knows that if were going to pay him good money, his ass better have a great transition. And plus, the guy is jus straight up athletic. We have to have a big name come in. We got the cap space. We will probably be making more cuts in the near future, so it will just add to it. Mcdaniels and Mike Nolan are cleaning house on defense. Things will be different, and Peppers is a great leader to start it.

  • Joe

    And nobody knows exactly whats going on with the OT resigning situation in Carolina. People can always say its close, when it can be everything but close. Maybe they cant get him signed by Thursday and they have to tag him. Anything is possible. And like you said Katch22, you want to dunk a basketball but that doesnt mean you will be able to, and Carolina wants to have him signed by Thursday, but that doesnt mean they will be able to

  • Jordan C

    Joe –

    A much better option would be to get Terrell Suggs if you want to talk about players that may or may not be available next week. He’s younger (26), averages similar sack numbers, and has proven that he can play both 4-3 DE and 3-4 OLB. I would break the bank for him over Peppers.

    Sure he’s got the occasional attitude problem, but he’d want to come play for his former boss (Nolan).

  • Jordan C

    By attitude problem, I mean that he’s implied that he wants to hurt the opposing players to an unhealthy degree. He’s never shown a lack of “want” or had a drop-off in production like another certain DE from Carolina has had.

  • NathanH

    Ravens are expected to tag Suggs(by the end of today, and work out something long term with Brown(OG) or Ray Lewis. Leaving Scott as the likely odd man out.

    And yea, Peppers would be great in the pass rushing aspect of a 3-4 OLB, but he can’t cover quicker RB’s out of the backfield for **** anymore(his first couple years maybe). He’s a beast and a difference maker on d, no doubt, but 1 guy doesn’t make a defense. If we brought in Peppers(i don’t think he’ll be tagged), it’d likely be for about the same price we could Bart Scott and Chris Canty(possibly even more).

    We have to many holes to fill and if you guys read Xanders’ quotes from the Rocky Mountain news this morning really implied he’s not gonna tie the cap down to 1 guy.

    Did anyone else catch that article? I’m sure its online but i read it in the paper. If so, did any one think some of his quotes were subtle hints that he knows a portion of this money is going to be part of extending Brandon Marshall.

    Right now we’re expected to be in the low to mid 30 million’s in cap space. I’d say they’re putting aside a portion of that and making sure they extend Marshall this offseason. The rest can go to filling out DE/NT/ILB/OLB/FS/SS/CB(if bly’s cut).

    If Champ and DJ are willing to restructure, we could really turn around quickly as we’d be able to land possiblly 3-4 starters in FA imo. Than you have the draft as well which could bring in a starter or 2.

    We’ll see. I really don’t think Xanders has any interest in going after any of the marquee FA’s.

  • Dakota fan

    They announced this afternoon that Suggs is getting the Ravens’ franchise tag, so he’s off the market. Haynesworth makes me nervous- sorry to hate on a fellow lineman, but right now, Peppers seems to make more sense. He’s a better athlete with a lot more speed and better ball pursuit capabilities. Haynesworth is dominant at his position, but I guess it depends on where the coaching staff thinks the needs are.

    Thanks for the input on the question I asked earlier today in regards to the free agent market. Here’s how I see it: it looks like we have enough cap room for one high dollar free agent (Peppers). But from there, GmX and McD could make the defense or break it with free agents. Knock on wood, but they can’t do any worse in free agency than we did last year. Can they?

  • Jordan C

    If Dansby, Suggs, and Peppers are off the market (the professor likely won’t trade for them), I’m not sure if there’s a big money FA that looks good for the Broncos, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Except maybe Chris Canty, but I’m curious to see how much teams are willing to pay for him.

  • Pete

    I don’t think we should trade away 1st round draft picks for franchised players like Peppers. In my opinion, if we were to trade a 1st round player, I want a young guy who has proved to be dominant at his position. Just because you aren’t franchised doesn’t mean you can’t be traded. Find a STUD NT or DE from a dominant 3-4 defense and throw a second round draft pick at that team for the player and his contract. If that doesn’t work, throw your 1st round pick at him. It’s alot more secure than hoping the rookie makes an impact and isn’t a bust. I’d much rather find an early/mid 20’s player who is an absolute stud at his position than an aging person who needs to “make the switch” to a 3-4. Plus, you won’t completely break the bank, cause you won’t have to pay him top dollar, unless he’s currently making absolute top dollar.

  • Nurse Staff

    Is there a thought that some of these players that are let go may come back at a cheaper ticket . I am sure there is a limit on how much can be spent . The Broncos are able to squeeze the dollar to get the most .