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Remember what happened after the Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl last year? They watched many key players promptly leave for big free-agent contracts.
Danell Ellerbe, Anquan Boldin, Paul Kruger, Ed Reed and Cary Williams all went to play elsewhere. Could that situation now play itself out in Denver?
Eric Decker, Knowshon Moreno, Zane Beadles, Shaun Phillips, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Wesley Woodyard, Mike Adams, Robert Ayers, Paris Lenon, Andre Caldwell, Chris Kuper, Quentin Jammer, Jeremy Mincey, Michael Huff, Steve Vallos and Winston Justice are all scheduled to become unrestricted free agents.
Chris Harris, Tony Carter and Mitch Unrein will all become restricted free agents, and Duke Ihenacho will be an exclusive-rights free agent.
According to Overthecap.com, the Broncos have a little more than $8.7 million available in cap room.
The biggest decisions will be in regards to Decker and Moreno, two of the biggest offensive playmakers on the team.
Placing the franchise tag on Decker would force the Broncos to give him a contract north of $10 million a year. Decker would garner plenty of interest on the open market, but Denver simply can't pay him that much.
If the Broncos can get Decker to agree to stay for $7 million to $8 million a year, they should. If he wants more than that, let him go get it.
As for Moreno, whether or not to bring him back will be a very tough decision for the Denver front office.
In recent years, they have drafted Ronnie Hillman and Montee Ball, planning for Moreno's rookie contract to expire and for him to hit free agency. Until this past season, many fans probably wouldn't have had a problem with him going somewhere else.
But Moreno broke out in 2013, becoming the first player in Denver franchise history to have at least 1,000 yards rushing and 500 yards receiving.
So what is Denver to do?
Ball had a solid rookie season, but he did demonstrate ball-security issues, the same thing that got Ronnie Hillman benched. Moreno didn't fumble once all season.
Denver may have to turn their back to other free agents, but they should do whatever it takes to keep Moreno in Denver.
Then there is the case of Rodgers-Cromartie. If any player deserves a big pay day in Denver, it's him. If Champ Bailey doesn't make the decision to retire, the Broncos may have to make the tough decision to cut him to save the $10 million he is guaranteed next season.
The Broncos could use that money for Rodgers-Cromartie.
It will also be interesting to see what the team decides to do with guards Beadles and Kuper. There is almost no way they retain both players.
Who Should the Broncos Sign From Other Teams?
The Broncos should pursue help in the secondary and along the defensive line as well as inside linebacker, but they should be more focused on retaining as many of their own free agents as they can first.
A few options that would make sense at those positions would be linebacker Donald Butler of San Diego, cornerback Sam Shields of Green Bay and New York Giants' defensive tackle Linval Joseph.