AT18. Wednesday Question: How do we look against the Miami Dolphins? It seems like the Broncos’ Offense will be forced to work with substitutions due to injuries. Do you think we can win?

Thanks for the question.

I think they can win, it will be interesting to see the injury report later in the week. Sunday proved the Any Given Sunday mantra to ring true. The OL had plenty of issues with the Rams front, the injuries hurt and 18 didn’t have his best game. He wasn’t as horrible as some suggest, but he wasn’t at his best. 

They will need to protect him better, and it’s up to the OL to get their piss hot a little bit. A lot of the penalties are simply a lack of concentration. 

Here is you a tough Q for Q&A Wednesday.

Option A) The Broncos win out, win the Super Bowl, 18, earns his 6th(NFL) and 2nd(SB) respectively and the announces his retirement with confetti stuck to the side of his face.

Option B) He plays 4 more years(after 2014), without a guarantee of a Super Bowl Championship. Chance he could win 1+, but no promises.

Which do you select?


Do any of you have a team you root for when the Broncos aren’t playing?

I can look at most any game and pick a team I’d prefer to win. The one tonight is a rare one where I don’t really care one way or the other since the outcome doesn’t really affect the Broncos.

I did enjoy the Steelers game today. 

Demaryius, Julius and the Salary Cap

I’ve seen some discussions and people worried about losing either of these guys due to the announcement that the Broncos will not sign either during the season.(which might mean that there will be an announcement of an extension at any point in time, and I’m only half joking).

If the key to real estate is location, location location, the key to salary cap management is structure, structure, structure. 

I’m not worried about losing either one unless they are simply asking for too much in the eyes of John Elway.  At that point, then they might price themselves out of Denver, but I don’t see that happening.

The last figures I saw on cap space from the NFLPA had the Broncos 13.6 under the current cap.

If the cap increases between a modest 5%, or a more likely 10 % the starting cap space will be have a range of 139 & change to 146 & change. If they can carry over 10 million from this year that moves it to 149-156. (the best online cap resource) has 108 million on the books for ‘15 so far, so based on the asssumptions above, that would give 41-48 million to play with. 

Von Miller is on the books at 9.7. They could easily sign him to an extension that could reduce his cap hit to the 5-6 range, creating 3-4 more million in space.

If Peyton Manning were to decided that he wanted to play longer than the 2 years he has remaining on his contract, then could find immediate savings by extending him a year or two as well. 

Those would be the two easiest sources to create cap space if needed for the 2015 season, but with an estimated 41-48 to play with it might not be needed, though I still find it sound to extend Von Miller after this season.

Demaryius Thomas

He’s one of the top receivers in the league and there are some pretty expensive contracts out there like Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald and some questionable deals like Percy Harvin and Mike Wallace. Eyes will also be looking to Dallas to see how/when they extend Dez Bryant. Demaryius has earned his payday and as long as the first year is in the 10-13 range it won’t be a horrible contract for the team.  Johnson signed a 7 year deal in 2012, and restructured in ’13. That’s the beauty of these contracts is that more times than not they can be restructured in any given year to create space for a team. Ben Roethlisberger and Larry Fitzgerald are examples of this and unfortunately, when you restructure you’re pushing cap dollars into the future to create space in the current year. It happens. Any guaranteed $ will count at some point.

The current franchise tag for Wide Receivers was 12.3 million so number next year that could be used on D.Thomas would be a bit higher than that.  It went up to 12.3 from 10.5 the previous year. So any deal that they can sign where his cap # is lower than or similar to that would be a decent one. 

Julius Thomas

His agent might attempt go the Jimmy Graham route and argue he is more WR than TE, and they will likely analyze where he lined up and how many times he lined up in various spots like they did with Graham in determining that he actually was a tight end. The TE tag in ’14 was $7 million up from $6 million in 13, so tagging one vs. the other would show that JT can be tagged for less than DT.   Graham ended up signing a 4 year 40 million dollar deal that gave him a 2014 cap hit of 4 million which was beneficial to his team, so the structure of a JT/DT contract will help dictate what amount of that 41-48 million would be left for Chris Harris, or other players Terrance Knighton, Jacob Tamme, Wes Welker, Brandon Marshall and a host of others.

A team might come along and flash money at a player that the Broncos aren’t willing to spend, and that could happen.

But for the most part, I’m not worried about losing either Thomas, Harris and or Knighton, unless someone grossly overpays for them.  If that happens then so be it, you move on and go shopping elsewhere a lot like Eric Decker and Emmanuel Sanders, or Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Aqib Talib.

It will be interesting to say the least.

References for those that have more interest in the subject.

Q&A Wednesday

Here you go. Outside of Health & Super Bowl Championships what do you want out of the rest 18’s career? It can be a specific stat like 600. It can be a certain event.  I have 3 things in mind. One is “possible”, it might not be likely, but it might be possible.  The other 2 are not very likely but I’d like to see them happen.

Outside of Super Bowl Championships & Health what do you want out of the rest 18’s career?

With all of PM’s season’s or career’s records, which one do you think is the most significant or he values most?

I would say it was the one that ended with his injury. Playing every game, just showing up each week to help the team, I think that would be the one that he would have valued the most had he been able to keep it intact. He had 208. Favre had 297. Peyton would only be at 261 had he never missed a game and played through the 2011 season, so he would  still be years away from it.

Eli is the active leader with 157, 140 games behind Favre, so Eli would have to start each game till 2023 to break it. That one might never fall. Wilson/Luck would have to go 16 more years without missing a start to stand a chance at breaking it. Good luck with that.

From a statistical perspective it would be the touchdown passes, or  wins by a starting QB when he gets that next year(15 behind Favre at the moment). The TD passes contribute to the wins, so I guess I’d have to go with the Wins. 

After this first 6 weeks who do you think is the best team in the NFL?

The spot you put me on says hello.

Hmmm. If I had to bet all I owned(I’m glad I don’t). 

Two of the teams that I think  are among the best wouldn’t make the playoffs today(Seattle & Green Bay), I believe they’ll both work their way in. Detroit & Green Bay have the same record, and holds a head to head win vs. them, but I think Green Bay will erase that when they play again. Philly/Dallas would be the other two teams I could see doing something and I can’t quite explain  the NFC South. New Orleans/Atlanta have lost some strange ones, and Carolina just doesn’t have the offensive weapons to match their defense. You have Newton, a young rookie receiver, Greg Olsen and a passel of injured backs.  

AFC, I’d have to go with San Diego/Denver. New England will win the East, 18’s former team will win the Sun Belt(yes I’m sticking with it until  a 3rd team exceeds “mediocre at best”) and the North, you could draw them out of a hat. 

The Broncos and Chargers could split their games,  and the next 3 weeks are  tougher on Denver(SF,SD,NE) that SD(KC,DEN,MIA), but a 1st place schedule is supposed to be. If the Broncos come through 3-0 then they will be 7-1 with 6 wins against teams that either made the playoffs or had 10 wins last year.That would be a pretty big mid-season statement.  I am glad that the first Den/SD game is in Denver. Weather shouldn’t be a looming issue for the week 16 clash in San Diego, now watch it rain so much it will wash the Naval Base up to the Stadium’s parking lots. 

I can’t bet against 18.