Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport
Denver is going to be looking for upgrades to the pass rush this offseason. Their Super Bowl window is open so long as Peyton Manning is under center, and that means taking a chance on older veteran free agents isn’t out of the question. Arguably the best veteran pass-rusher is Jared Allen.
The Broncos can’t rely on Von Miller in 2014. He’ll be coming off an ACL injury that he suffered late in the 2013 (Week 16) regular season. His status for the start of training camp is unknown at this time. There’s a chance Miller could be quite limited by the start of the 2014 regular season.
The Broncos can’t rely on Quanterus Smith in 2014. The 2013 fifth-round pick was leading the NCAA with 12.5 sacks when a knee injury cut short his final season at Western Kentucky. The second-year player has intriguing upside, but he’s a complete unknown at this time.
The Broncos can’t rely on Derek Wolfe in 2014. He’ll be coming back from a spinal cord injury that cut his season short. He’s feeling good at this time, and Wolfe believes he can come back bigger, stronger and faster in 2014. Wolfe certainly could, but right now his future production level is unclear.
Denver will likely re-sign Shaun Phillips to a new long-term deal. He signed a one-year deal last year for only $1.4 million. This offseason, he’s seeking much more than that. Phillips could be in line for a deal that will give him nearly $4 million annually.
Signing Phillips makes a lot of sense. The team knows he can get pressure on the quarterback, and his price tag won’t be too high.
The price tag for Jared Allen might be much different.
Allen had a $17 million cap number in 2013. His next contract may be a short one because Allen is going to be 32 years old this season. Allen had 22 sacks in 2011, but has only compiled 23 sacks over the last two years.
Even though he hasn’t missed a game since 2007, Allen is a 10-year veteran and near the twilight of his career. Adding Allen would be fantastic if the Broncos could add him for what Phillips will sign for.
That seems unlikely to happen, and Allen may still come with a premium price tag in 2014.