Posted Tue Mar 5th by Ian Henson
It is still too early for fans to hear the mention of the Denver Broncos and their secondary without receiving a seething response. A simple mention of Denver’s cornerbacks or safeties opens up a AFC Division Playoff loss wound that has just started healing.
Enter: Darrelle Revis and those rumors, a lot of readers may swing their fingers towards the fact that they are internet rumors started by a guy that was pretty spot on when he vehemently claimed that he Peyton Manning would be going to the Broncos (perhaps even before Manning himself knew). It should also be noted that same Twitter personality placed Maurice Jones-Drew as a likely new resident of Denver earlier last season.
The Revis trade rumors most likely have their roots in ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson guessing that Revis could end up a Bronco, because heck Manning did. Yet, as a resident of Denver myself, I heard ESPN 102.3’s Cecil Lammey go beyond just linking to Williamson’s original post and state that he had heard the Broncos had initiated some type of conversation about Revis with the New York Jets during last week’s scouting combine.
Couple that together with the aforementioned claim that Denver had contacted the Jets’ doctors in regards to Revis and that is three mentions. That’s a hat trick (but only if you aren’t playing American football, football fans just call that a good day in fantasy). The biggest proof in my opinion? The fact that most of this talk happened at the end of January, February was real quite on the Denver/Revis front.
Assuming that Revis is in the plans the Broncos will still need help in the secondary.
Current Broncos CBs:
Champ Bailey, Chris Harris, Omar Bolden & Mario Butler
Broncos Free Agents:
Tracy Porter (Unrestricted Free Agent) & Tony Carter (Exclusive-Rights Free Agent)
Unrestricted Free Agents:
Aqib Talib, Carey Williams, Brent Grimes, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Dunta Robinson, Sheldon Brown, Terence Newman, Kyle Arrington, Pacman Jones, Stanford Routt, Marcus Trufant, Leigh Bodden
John Elway said in his most recent interview with Denver’s 104.3 The Fan that the team is looking for rookie Omar Bolden to step up in a major way for 2013. Tony Carter will be back, as he is an exclusive-rights free agent (no team can make an offer, he would have to be cut), but there is still a gaping hole opposite Champ Bailey. Chris Harris and Carter filled in well, but the Broncos knew last year that they needed more help (thus the 2012 pursuit of Asante Samuel, whom only did not play in Denver last season due to the Broncos not wanting to pay him what he wanted. The deal was supposedly a sixth or seventh round pick back to the Philadelphia Eagles).
If Revis is in a Denver uniform for 2013 the Broncos may still want an additional veteran to help, though not at the price tag that players like Carey Williams or Dominique Rodger-Cromartie would require. Although, a player like Brent Grimes could possibly be swayed to fit nicely into Denver’s budget, his young age will likely push his price tag up. Of course if there is no fire underneath the Revis smoke (or the Broncos get outbid) a call to Williams, Grimes or Rodger-Cromartie’s agent is likely. Me? I would go all in on Aqib Talib if he doesn’t stay with the New England Patriots. His stats aren’t that eye popping, but the Patriots poor secondary made a statistical leap the day that he got on the field in their uniform. For that same reason, he is likely to stay with the Patriots.
Current Broncos Safeties:
Rahim Moore, Mike Adams, Duke Ihenacho & Quinton Carter
Broncos Free Agents:
Jim Leonhard (Unrestricted Free Agent), David Bruton (Unrestricted Free Agent)
Unrestricted Free Agents:
Ed Reed, Charles Woodson, Dashon Goldson, William Moore, Louis Delmas & Kenny Phillips
In that same Elway interview with The Fan, Elway singled out Quinton Carter specifically, stating that he would be back and Elway expects him to be ready to start. Fans will remember the stellar performance Carter had to cap off his rookie season in 2011. Though I know that the mention of Rahim Moore could bring about a hiss that would rocket around the Rockies, but get over it. It was at worst half his fault and I won’t get into it anymore here, Moore was very much improved from 2011 to 2o12 and there is no reason to doubt that the unmentionable catch won’t propel him into being at his utmost peak level of play in 2013.
Denver does seem to be the landing spot for incredible safeties who are just this side of their prime, so I present to you Ed Reed. Unlike John Lynch or Brian Dawkins, Reed isn’t likely to leave his hometown for any reason other than just a slap-in-the-face offer from the Baltimore Ravens. That being said, the Ravens just don’t have that much money and they have a bunch of expensive free agents to re-sign.
Perhaps Charles Woodson is a more likely long tooth to bless the Broncos’ secondary. If Denver is looking to break the bank on a safety, Dashon Goldson is where they will do it. Goldson is likely to get his payday elsewhere though. William Moore is probably going to get more than $5-million per year on his next contract, but Manning doesn’t forget those that intercept him and Moore did just that in Week Two of 2012. Louis Delmas is an often hurt current member of the Detroit Lions, but that hasn’t scared Denver in the past and he may come cheap given his injury history. That same rule could apply to the New York Giants‘ Kenny Phillips, as both are young and should be affordable.
I think that Charles Woodson still makes the most sense here… However, I am not sure that Denver will address safety in free agency. As much as that may bother some people.
Who did we miss? Who did we hit on? Let us know what you think right here in the comments!