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Published on 03/02/2012 at Fri Mar 02 10:00.
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Houston Texans defensive end Mario Williams (90) sacks Denver Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler during the third quarter of a football game Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007 in Houston. The Texans beat the Broncos 31-13. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

The Denver Broncos will discuss signing potential free agents Peyton Manning and pass rush specialist Mario Williams, according to multiple sources.

If Manning is still on the Colts’ roster on March 8th, the team will owe him $28 million, which they are not willing to do. With Indianapolis prepared to select Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck first overall in the draft, the team is expected to release Manning within a week from today.

When Manning becomes a free agent, John Elway, the Broncos Vice President of Football Operations, and the rest of Denver’s front office will consider pursuing him, according to a source close to the team.  The team is unlikely to actually sign Manning, but they do have interest in the veteran quarterback.

Denver is also interested in Houston Texans defensive end/outside linebacker Mario Williams, as was confirmed by ESPN‘s John Clayton earlier in the week.  Williams missed most of last season due to injury and is expected to test the free agent market this month.

In February, Elway noted that the Broncos will spend more than their $23 million salary cap this off-season.  The team has $27 million in last season’s cap space that has rolled over into 2012, giving the team an estimated $50 million in cap space this year.

Williams, a 6’6, 283-pound former first overall draft selection, has recorded 53.0 sacks since his 2006 rookie season.  Williams’ six year, $54 million contract expires on March 13th and he will be looking for a team that will pay big for his services in 2012.

The Broncos, with big money available to spend, already have two of the top pass rushers in the game in defensive end Elvis Dumervil and outside linebacker Von Miller, but that won’t stop them from considering creating one of the best pass rushing trios in NFL history.  Dumervil, Miller and Williams are all versatile enough to play linebacker or defensive end, and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio could create a scheme which would creatively involve all three players.

Another option for the Broncos would be to trade Dumervil, but the team is not expected to do so.  Last season, Dumervil, Miller and Williams combined for 26 sacks, despite missing eighteen combined games due to respective injuries.

Stay tuned as we continue to cover these developing free agency stories.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t buy it, EFX has said from day one that they want to build through the draft and bring in veterans (mid tier) to fill the gaps and create competition.  It looks like we will do our best to sign our own veterans, draft the best players on the board, and use bargain free agents.  Sounds like another Klis article.

  • Anonymous

    It’s all part of the game. The more people that are interested, the higher his price tag goes and the more it hurts the team that gets him. 

  • Tigerj45

    Do you mean mark clayton or john clayton?

  • hollyw

    come to the dawg pound,browns town ,come to your new house in the pound…….we will treat you how you deserve like family.   so think of us big brother ,big dawg,  join the d-line of the fearsome-foursome-  of you taylor rubin and sheard…….our defense was built in two years in to a top ten defense now we finish our defense and offense but with your help we will be on our way to tops in the league.come home to the dawg pound!

  • Mike Birtwistle

    Build through the draft but I doubt anyone would ever turn down Mario Williams.

  • anthony33

    I heard John Clayton (not Mark) talking about this up here on his local Seattle radio station.  The Seahawks are interested in Williams too and his point was Denver is one of the teams interested and only one of a very few teams that have a shot at him.  

    Draft a quality DT or two and line Doom, Miller and Williams up outside of them… WOW.

  • Anonymous

    Yawn!!! On the Manning thing… NEVER happen. We’ve got a better shot at RG3 and that ain’t happnin’ either. Plus Manning bugs me (except in his commercials, those are funny as a bastard!).

    Mario Williams would be an amazing add. The three together would, as Jon said, be one of the best pass rushes in history… But I don’t see that happening either, unfortunately.

  • Jon

    This comment looks silly now ;)

  • Anonymous

    Hey I got the second one right…lol.

    I couldn’t agree more but not afraid to eat my crow when appropriate, so I’ll eat it ;-). I’m glad I was wrong, I just really didn’t see him picking us (Denver, of course). I figured he would go with Tenn as soon as they were in the game.