2009 NFL Betting Picks Preview: Denver Broncos

Vernon CroyCorrespondent IJuly 31, 2009

15 Dec 1996:  A Denver Broncos fan rides the mascot and flies a flag during a game against the Oakland Raiders at Mile High Stadium in Denver, Colorado.  The Broncos won the game, 24-19. Mandatory Credit: Brian Bahr  /Allsport

Where to begin with the Denver Broncos offseason this year? Does the word whirlwind mean anything to you? That's probably the best word to describe the Broncos offseason up to this point.

If you're looking for free NFL preseason football picks you might want to stay away from penciling the Broncos into the playoffs this year. Let's review what happened in the offseason.

First of all, they fire their successful coach that has been there forever in Mike Shannahan. Some people thought it was overdue, but this is nothing in comparison to what happens later.

They then proceed to hire a first time head coach in Josh McDaniels, another assistant from the Patriots regime. Yes, the same regime that hasn't pumped out a lot of successful coaches outside of New England, i.e. Charlie Weiss, Romeo Crennel, Eric Mangini, etc. McDaniels then proceeds to trade off his mid 20-something Pro Bowl quarterback (Jay Cutler) to get Matt Cassell who he was familiar with from the Patriots.

This proceeds to anger Cutler to no end and he demands a trade. Amazingly they go ahead and give in to his demands in order to get two first rounders and Kyle Orton. Yes, that Kyle Orton.

The Good News: The good news is...well it's really hard to pinpoint the exact good news here. I guess starting with a clean slate is fun sometimes. At least the Broncos didn't relocate to another city! They were the most active team in free agency although they didn't exactly bring in any great players.

The Bad News: In that free agency crop they managed to sign like 10 running backs and then drafted one with their first round pick. Are they really going to have that many running backs on the roster? Of course not! However, that doesn't stop them from getting running backs on the team for McDaniel's "pass-happy" offense.

They even traded one of those first round picks that they got next year for a second round pick this year. Has anyone ever done that before? Then on top of all the other drama that they've had, their star wide receiver Brandon Marshall demands a trade.

For some reason, they have declined to trade him as of yet. Why would you trade away a franchise quarterback and keep a disgruntled, law-breaking wide receiver that doesn't want to be there? This offseason has defied logic and any convention.

Outlook: If you haven't picked it up by now, I'm not big on the Broncos chances this season. In fact, if you're looking for free NFL picks, you should know that the Broncos will battle it out with the Raiders for last place in the AFC West this year.

They might even take it away from the Raiders early on in the season. How can you replace a successful head coach with an unproven rookie and a Pro Bowl quarterback with Kyle Orton and expect to be successful right off the bat? Yes, it might work in the long term, but I don't see it happening this season.

Make sure you check out Vernon Croy's Expert NFL Picks this season.