The Denver Broncos have a two-year window to win a Super Bowl with Peyton Manning, and they know it. Even though Manning’s contract eats up 16 percent of the salary cap in 2013, the Broncos have plenty of resources to put pieces around him.
Despite being the best team in the AFC in the regular season in 2012, the Broncos had plenty of needs to address. The Broncos needed to add a cornerback, middle linebacker, right guard, running back and other quality depth.
The limiting factor in the NFL is often not a desire to win, but the salary cap. In 2013, the salary cap is $123 million and the Broncos rolled over $14.1 million of their unused cap space from 2012. In total, the Broncos have a maximum of $137.1 million to spend on player contracts.
After releasing linebacker D.J. Williams at the start of free agency, the Broncos had about $122 million committed in player contracts in 2013. The difference of about $15 million was the free cap space at the start of free agency, but additional salary cap space can easily be created by releasing players or restructuring contracts.
Approximate Salary Cap Space at the Start of Free Agency: $14.9 million*
Current Approximate Salary Cap Space: $8.8 million*
*Approximate salary cap space is based on data compiled by spotrac.com, overthecap.com and the average per year salary of reported contract signings. Actual salary cap space will be updated when available.