Today I read a news story that brought me to a harsh conclusion.
The story reported that the Denver Broncos' Champ Bailey put his home up for sale in Denver.
There's a chance that he's financially preparing for a lockout. He could be looking for a new home with a more modern feel. It doesn't feel that way though. So while no final word has come from Champ or the Broncos that he will be moving on, this can't be a good sign.
In the case that he does leave I wish him well. He's given a lot of good years to Denver, and I don't blame him for not wanting to be in the middle of a rebuild this late in his career.
His leaving creates a real hole in Denver's already Swiss cheese-like defense though. So I have put together five possible moves that would help fill those holes. I know these five moves will not fix everything, but they're a good place to start.
Using our second overall pick, the Broncos should draft Da'Quan Bowers.
Don't get me wrong, I like Patrick Peterson, but I think second overall is a little high to be drafting a cornerback. Bowers is a monster. I strongly believe that under John Fox's tutoring, he could become the next Julius Peppers.
Denver is in desperate need of a pass rush. Elvis Dumervil will be back next season, and paired with Bowers, I think we have a real threat for opposing backfields. This would also help out our cornerbacks immensely.
Using our second pick in the second round, Denver should draft Stephen Paea.
Our defensive line is in pretty bad shape, and we definitely need to bring in at least one rookie player to grow in Fox's new system.
Paea was a Pac-10 consensus All-American. At 6-foot-1 and 295 pounds, he's big enough to help plug up our line and strengthen our pass rush. If Paea is still around when we make our second pick there's no reason we shouldn't snatch him up. I do think we will need at least one more DT to really give our line a united front, but we'll get to that later.
Using the No. 14 pick in the second round, the Broncos should draft Casey Matthews.
I know many of you are rolling your eyes and muttering things under your breath. I also know that just because his brother has had success in the NFL means nothing for him. I think the kid deserves a shot though.
Casey was built for a 4-3, which I strongly believe the Broncos will transition to this year. He is a sharp kid and plays until the whistle blows on every down. If utilized correctly, we could have a strong inside blitzer here.
His biggest drawback is being slightly undersized, but that can be changed fairly easily.
With Champ and most likely Perrish Cox gone next year, our cornerbacks are in need of reinforcements. Bailey has brought so much skill and leadership to our team, that we will need to find a veteran to replace him. Luckily, there are a few free agents who I think might fit the bill.
Oakland's Nnamdi Asomugha will be available if we can lure him away from Al Davis. The good news is, they can't use the franchise tag on him. However, they can offer him top dollar.
I think Denver needs to do anything and everything within their power to bring in Asomugha. He is probably one of the top three cornerbacks in the game, and I think the only one who can truly replace Bailey.
Ike Taylor is another great option to replace Champ.
I love his toughness. Playing for the Steelers, he has been a force to be reckoned with. When I watch Pittsburgh play, I long to have have their physicality in Denver, and I think a player like Taylor, under Fox, might begin to bring that around.
Antonio Cromartie is another valid option. He had a strong season for the Jets and was a nice compliment to Darrelle Revis.
I worry about his leadership role though. He always seems to be opening his mouth and saying something controversial, but I guess there's no surprise there since he plays for the Jets.
Chances are despite Kyle Orton's strong year, he will not be around for another one. There has been much talk about moving him to garnish another draft pick, which would be beneficial for the Broncos.
I suggest we go a different route.
I firmly believe we should trade Orton for a DT. I know I'm going to catch flack for this, but I'm going to take this even further. I believe we trade Orton to the Washington Redskins in exchange for Albert Haynesworth.
In the 4-3, Haynesworth is dominant. Despite the fact he has been surrounded by problems and drama this year, I still believe he is not a problem player. He's been forced to play in a 3-4 in Washington, and he does not like it. Put him back in a 4-3, and I believe he will once again flourish.
If Josh McDaniels was still our coach, I wouldn't endorse this. However, under John Fox, I think a strong working relationship is possible for Haynesworth. It is taking a risk, but man, could it pay off.
The Broncos' biggest defensive move of the offseason has already been made in hiring John Fox.
So while these five moves will not assure Denver of becoming a top five defense, under Fox I would not be surprised. With these moves, the rest of the draft and adapting existing players to his system, I fully expect to see a 1-2 year turnaround in our defense.
So get excited Broncos fans, because the Orange Crush's second coming just might be around the corner!