When you looked at the Broncos on paper this season, they looked like a legit playoff team. Quite honestly, it doesn’t look like it now, but next season will be another rebuilding year for the Broncos and it might be more of a rebuild than this season. Let’s take a look at the holes in the roster next year.
QB: The hope is that Drew Lock will be the guy of the future, but as of now, it remains unclear. If Lock shows this season that he’s not the future at the quarterback position for Denver, it would be time for the Broncos to go out and get another gunslinger.
RB: After the news of Melvin Gordon being charged for a DUI, the Broncos can now move on from him next season and save themselves about $7 million. Depending on how he plays the rest of the season will determine his future with Denver. Once the season ends, Phillip Lindsay will be a restricted free agent and will likely be back with the Broncos for at least one more season depending on if they give him a long-term deal.
LT: One of the most important positions on the field is in the hands of Garett Bolles. Denver declined to pick up his fifth-year option, allowing him to be a free agent after the season. Bolles has struggled so far in his career, but has improved this season. If Bolles can play at a high level and get some praise from his offensive line coach Mike Munchak, Denver could make him a reasonable offer to remain in the orange and blue. There’s also the possibility that Bolles refuses to stay in Denver after being destroyed from the fans and media.
Edge: Do the Broncos bring back Von Miller? That’s one of the biggest questions heading into the offseason. Miller will he coming off a season-ending ankle injury and Denver has a chance to move on from him. Miller’s level of play has decreased in recent years and it’s unclear if he even wants to stay in Denver. I mean, he did hang up the phone when asked about his future. If the Broncos want to move on from Miller, they can free up $18 million. Denver already has a lack of depth on the edge behind Bradley Chubb so they will have to find more depth there whether they keep Miller or not.
D-Line: Jurrell Casey suffered a season-ending bicep tear injury. With it being the final year of his deal with guaranteed money, it’s likely the Broncos gave up a seventh-round pick for a one-year rental player. Unless Casey wants to comeback to Denver on a minimum deal, it’s unlikely he plays another down for the Broncos. Shelby Harris will also be a free agent after this season. Harris tried testing the market last offseason, but didn’t get the money he thought he would get. Harris settled for a one-year deal worth $3 million back with the Broncos. Would Harris chase the best offer next offseason?
LB: The Broncos must upgrade at the middle linebacker position no matter what. Denver has struggled to cover the tight ends since Super Bowl 50, and Josey Jewell and Alexander Johnson are not the answer again. While Jewell remains on his rookie contract, Johnson will be a restricted free agent. No matter what, Denver must upgrade at this position.
CB: A.J. Bouye is more likely a rental player for just this season. Bouye can be released by Denver next season and the situation would not hurt the Broncos at all on the cap. Bryce Callahan could be a cap casualty depending on how he plays this season. After missing all of 2019 with a foot injury, 2020 has turned into the most important season of his career. Denver can move on from Callahan if he shows he can’t be the player everyone expects him to be. The Broncos can opt out of his contract for just $1.7 million. The Broncos will be adding corner depth next season no matter what, but if they lose at least Bouye, the cornerback position will be a top three need in the offseason.
S: Will Justin Simmons and the Broncos get a deal done? That’s the big question Broncos Country will want to know. After being unable to get a deal done this past offseason, Denver was forced to place the franchise tag on Simmons. The Broncos weren’t willing to make Simmons a top five paid safety, but depending on how he plays this season, it will determine how much Denver is willing to offer up. Who’s to say that Simmons doesn’t want to remain in Denver? I wouldn’t expect the Broncos to move on from Kareem Jackson even though they can opt out of his deal next offseason. If Simmons leaves, there’s no way Denver moves on from Jackson. He is the best safety on the team. Denver does have a lack of depth at the safety position.
The roster isn’t deep this season and it’s going to be a lot worse in 2021. The Broncos are in this position because of how many misses they’ve had over and over at the same positions. Get ready Broncos Country, it’s gonna be a long road ahead.
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