Coming off a roller coaster season that included a 1-4 start, Tim Tebow getting his chance to play quarterback in the NFL and a wild, heart-stopping playoff win over the defending AFC champion Pittsburgh Steelers on the first play of overtime, Denver Broncos fans were very intrigued heading into the offseason.
Would they be able to improve upon their 2011 campaign that saw them win the AFC West division title? Would teams be able to catch up to the college style offense that had been installed to complement Tebow?
There were many questions and fans were eager for answers. What would John Elway and company do to improve this team through free agency and the draft?
Here is a look at the players the Broncos have added to the team through free agency this offseason.
The Broncos made the biggest splash in the entire NFL this offseason with the signing of Peyton Manning.
Some have questioned the very lucrative five-year contract the Broncos gave Peyton after he missed the entire 2011 season, but John Elway felt it was more than worth the risk to bring in one of the game's all-time greatest passers.
The writing was on the wall for Tebow following this signing, and he was soon sent to the Jets in a trade. The signing of Manning has changed the entire complexion of the team and has dramatically raised the hopes for fans in Denver.
It will be very interesting to see how the Broncos will incorporate Manning's no huddle offense into their scheme as well as how much of a factor their running game will be, after leading the league in that category a year ago.
There is no doubt that the Broncos are a better team with Manning under center, and an argument can be made that this was the best free agent signing of the entire offseason.
Mike Adams was one of the first free agents the Broncos signed. He was brought in to shore up the secondary, made even weaker by the retirement of Brian Dawkins.
He will be most useful to the team in pass coverage as he can also line up at cornerback if needed. He's currently penciled in as the starter at free safety, but Rahim Moore will likely get just as much playing time, if not more, at that position.
After playing the past four years for the Bengals, Andre Caldwell agreed to a two-year deal with the Broncos.
In the Broncos' new offense led by Manning, Caldwell could really be the perfect fit. He should relish his time in the slot.
In his best season in 2009, Caldwell caught 51 balls for 432 yards. I don't think it's out of the question that he surpasses both of those totals this season.
It was no secret the Broncos needed help at the tight end position. After Manning was brought in, many felt Dallas Clark would soon follow. But the Broncos instead opted for Manning's other Colts teammate, Jacob Tamme.
That may not be a bad choice. Tamme is younger than Clark, is a better blocker and during the 2010 season when Clark was hurt, Tamme filled in admirably and the Colts offense didn't miss a beat.
That year, he caught 67 passes for 631 yards and four touchdowns, numbers the Broncos would love to see him post in 2012.
The Broncos didn't stop with Tamme. Joel Dreessen was also brought in to play the tight end position, a move the fans liked. Dreessen played both his high school and college ball in the Colorado area.
Dreessen was mainly used as a backup to Owen Daniels in Houston, but when he's gotten his chances, he's shown potential.
After allowing both Daniel Fells (Patriots) and Dante Rosario (Chargers) to join new teams this offseason, Dreessen should easily find a home on this Broncos roster, as Virgil Green and Julius Thomas are the only other tight ends on the roster.
Green and Thomas have a combined four career receptions.
This was a very good signing by the Broncos and one that Manning knows well, as he had the big play in Super Bowl XLIV, intercepting a Manning pass and returning it for a touchdown to seal the Saints victory.
Porter is a big upgrade over Andre Goodman, who the Broncos have since released.
Broncos fans should feel very confident come opening day when Porter is lined up opposite Champ Bailey.
After Jay Cutler was lost for the season due to injury, Hanie was thrust into action, and the team's play behind him quickly eliminated them from playoff contention. After four losses under Hanie, the team benched him in favor of journeyman quarterback Josh McCown.
Due to the inexperience of second-round pick Brock Osweiler, Hanie will likely be the No.2 QB behind Manning this year, but barring an injury to Manning, Hanie will never play a meaningful down for the Broncos.
Most all Broncos fans had to be excited by this signing. This one was simple. Stokley was available and he is familiar with Manning, with whom he flourished as a member of the Colts.
This will mark Stokley's second stint with the Broncos, and although he appeared to be heading towards the end of his career after short tenure's with the Seahawks and Giants, I would expect to see a revitalized Stokley in Denver, one who is a big contributor in the passing game.
Bannan is another former Bronco who has been brought back for a second go around after a very quiet season in St. Louis.
Bannan should help at the defensive tackle position, where the Broncos still have holes following the draft, and between Kevin Vickerson, Ty Warren and second-round pick Derek Wolfe, he should see some playing time.
Bannan brings an extra veteran presence to a defensive line that will need all the solid play it can get this coming season.
Drayton Florence was the first player signed after the Broncos parted ways with general manager Brian Xanders, and he should help validate the Broncos secondary, which was clearly an area of concern this offseason.
Florence being released by the Bills had to come as a bit of a surprise, but he has likely landed in a better situation. He is a physical veteran corner who should help out in the nickel package and perhaps even on special teams.
He also played one season with new defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, which reportedly helped sway his decision to become a Bronco.
The Broncos also made sure to re-sign very productive linebackers Joe Mays and Wesley Woodyard, along with defensive end Jason Hunter.
All in all, I feel this is a very solid, economical free agent class for the Broncos. Obviously they gave the hefty contract to Manning, but they got great role players at affordable prices in Tamme, Dreessen, Caldwell, Stokley and Porter.
Adams, Bannan and Florence will be able to add a veteran presence to go along with the young core the Broncos have at each of those positions.
So Broncos fans have their answers on how the Broncos would look to improve through both the draft and free agency. The next question is, will the moves translate to results on the field?