The Denver Broncos have already made the most highly anticipated organizational move of the season - replacing starting quarterback Kyle Orton with first round draft pick Tim Tebow. The move occurred just before the Broncos' bye week, which just so happens to coincide with the NFL trade deadline, providing an extra week to talk and speculate about which move if any, the Denver Broncos should make next.
In the spirit of positive forward thinking, the following slides outline some transactions the Broncos should consider making before the NFL Deadline.
Stories broke earlier last week that the Denver Broncos were officially fielding offers for wideout Brandon Lloyd. Even though Lloyd lead the league in receiving yards last year, and continues to wow fans with acrobatic catches and his athleticism, this is a move the Broncos must make.
Lloyd has certainly been the Broncos number one receiver for the past two seasons, and has vastly exceeded all expectations. But his contract will be up at the end of the season, and Lloyd will most certainly be seeking top wide receiver money. The Broncos would be wise to get something for him now, as opposed to entering into a bidding war to retain he services.
Besides, Lloyd made comments in the preseason backing Kyle Orton as quarterback, and suggested that a move to Tebow at quarterback would be building for the future - something he seemed disinclined to do.
Another name to hit the trade rumor mill was that of linebacker D.J. Williams. Although Williams is an excellent defender, and it would seem unwise to thin out an already weak linebacker core, the Broncos would do well to make this move.
Williams has spent much of his tenure in Denver hampered by injury, and although solid, never really maximized his full potential. If the Broncos are able to move Williams and continue to stockpile draft picks, it would go a long way for them to rebuild their defense.
Safety Brian Dawkins' name has been mentioned, in conjunction with Williams, as potentially both being sent to Philadelphia for draft picks. Again, this is a move the Broncos should make.
Dawkins is a team captain, a leader in the locker room and an incredible influence on the younger Denver Broncos' defensive players. However, he seems to have lost a step in recent years and the Broncos are on the hook for several million dollars over the next two seasons locked up in Dawkins.
If the Broncos are able to move Dawkins' salary in exchange for draft picks to then bolster their defense with young talent, it will keep them relevant for years to come. Besides, the Broncos still have strong leadership with Champ Bailey and Tim Tebow to replace the intangibles they will lose in Dawkins.
Earlier today it was rumored that Eddie Royal has requested a trade. The Broncos should oblige him. After his breakout season in 2008, Royal has yet to repeat the same kind of performance. Although gutsy and gritty receiver out of the slot, he may not be one who can find himself with Tim Tebow at quarterback.
The more draft picks the Broncos can compile the better, as they need to restock and reload after the previous regime gutted much of the top tiered talent. Trading Royal could help accomplish that goal.
True, if the Broncos were to move Royal and Lloyd, it would leave them very thin at receiver, with Eric Decker, Matt Willis and Demaryius Thomas - who has yet to see the field. In that scenario, they would certainly be looking to sign a free agent or else call up someone from the practice squad.
If the Broncos could possibly move displaced quarterback Kyle Orton, that would be in the in the best interests of the team. Now that they have chosen to go with Time Tebow, and with Brady Quinn rostered as a very serviceable back up, the Broncos should look to get whatever they possibly can for Orton.
Unable to move Orton in the offseason, the Broncos would be wise to scramble and move Orton by the deadline - if at all possible.
Willis McGahee was signed in the offseason to be a change of pace back to starter Knowshon Moreno, and maybe shoulder some of the goal line duties.
In recent weeks, with Moreno hobbled by injuries, McGahee has stepped up as the team's featured rusher, and has back to back 100 yard games. Now with Tebow at quarterback, McGahee's goal line touches will probably decrease, as Tebow excels within the 5 yd line.
However, due to his recent success and his proof that he can still handle the load, McGahee should be promoted to the Broncos starting running back. The team could still use Moreno as a change of pace, third down type of back, but McGahee has been excellent thus far.
This change is probably better suited for the offseason as opposed to the trade deadline, but the Broncos have been inept offensively to this point and should look to upgrade their offensive coordinator. Nothing against Mike McCoy, but as one of the few holdovers from the McDaniels area, the front office should go ahead and bring in their own coordinator - possibly someone more suited to Tim Tebow's strengths.
Either way, were the Broncos to make the moves mentioned above, it would certainly be coming from a mindset of short-term loss, long-term gain.
Some may object to trading away valuable piece of the current defense and receiving core, but if the Broncos can obtain as many picks as possible in the upcoming draft, they can retool this team as quickly as possible. That, or package as many picks as possible for the overall number one.