The Denver Broncos are going all in to win a Super Bowl during a small window of time that general manager knows is rapidly closing. They have already spent over $100 million in two days on three free agents in order to capitalize on quarterback Peyton Manning’s shrinking window. It could be now or never for Denver, who is clearly looking to bounce back in a resounding fashion after getting thumped in the big game by the Seattle Seahawks last month, 43-8.
The Broncos know they have the NFL’s best high-powered offense, so much so that they can afford to lose a couple of spare parts such as running back Knowshon Moreno and receiver Eric Decker, who recently inked a five-year deal with the New York Jets. Shoring up the already solid defense has been Elway’s obvious point of emphasis. Through two days of free agency, the Broncos have landed stars such as linebacker and sack artist DeMarcus Ware from the Dallas Cowboys for three years and $30 million, hard-hitting safety T.J. Ward from the Cleveland Browns for four years and $23 million and shutdown corner Aqib Talib from the rival new England Patriots for a whopping six years and $57 million.
“I think everyone says we’re all in now,” said John Elway according to NFL media reporter Judy Battista at NFL.com. “I know the contracts look like they’re big, but the fact is, we’re not mortgaging our future,” added Elway.
While the Denver Broncos are going all in to win a Super Bowl during their small window of opportunity, some questions will arise about the roster turnover. It is widely assumed that the offense will be fine as long as Peyton Manning is leading the show, but he is nearing the end of his career. He is a safe bet as long as he is on the field, but Denver has lost a couple of key cogs to its offense via free agency so far. Aside from Decker and Moreno, two crucial weapons for Manning, guard Zane Beadles has signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars as well. It is not insurmountable, but Denver does have a couple of holes to fill on offense now despite the extra power added on defense. If the Broncos is unable to win it all this upcoming season it will be hard to justify the moves made to bring in Ware, Ward and Talib.
The reason the contracts could hurt down the road is that next offseason, the Broncos have a significant batch of players hitting free agency in 2015. That group includes Wes Welker, Von Miller, Demaryius Thomas, Jacob Tamme, Joel Dreessen, Julius Thomas, Terrance Knighton and Duke Ihenacho. That is a lot of star power and pro-bowlers to lose. There is no way the Broncos will be able to afford them all, but John Elway and company are not worried about that. The Broncos will cross that bridge when they get there, but for now it is Super Bowl or bust.
The Denver Broncos are going all in to win a Super Bowl during a small window of opportunity, a window arguably one season long. Denver is in win-now mode more than any team in the NFL with an aging legendary quarterback and an extraordinary amount of free agents in 2015. As long as we are living in the now, the Broncos are taking drastic measures to make sure they don’t suffer another Super Bowl letdown. What happens in the future will be much easier to handle should Elway be successful in landing another title this upcoming season.
Commentary by Justin Hussong