Broncos Emerge From Trying Offseason With Promising Team
Team-By-Team Offseason Roundup
Courtney Brown, DE
Al Wilson, LB
Free Agents Lost:
Patrick Chukwurah, DE
Cooper Carlisle, G
Michael Myers, DT
Tatum Bell, RB
George Foster, T
Jake Plummer, QB
Dre Bly, CB
Free Agents Re-Signed:
Quincy Morgan, WR
Kenny Peterson, DE
David Terrell, WR
Free Agents Added:
Montrae Holland, G
Travis Henry, RB
Daniel Graham, TE
Paul Smith, FB
Patrick Ramsey, QB
Brandon Stokley, WR
Alvin McKinley, DT
Warrick Holdman, LB
D.D. Lewis, LB
Rd. 1 (No. 17 overall) Jarvis Moss, DE, Florida
2 (56) Tim Crowder, DE, Texas
3 (70) Ryan Harris, T, Notre Dame
4 (121) Marcus Thomas, DT, Florida
The business of assembling a football team was an afterthought in the Denver Broncos' offseason. Their disappointment with just missing last season's playoffs turned to grief when cornerback Darrent Williams was shot and killed after attending a New Year's Eve party, and that grief worsened when backup running back Damien Nash collapsed and died after hosting a charity basketball game in February.
Everyone in the organization was left reeling, and those connected with the franchise say the mood has been somber when the players have gathered at the team's headquarters during the offseason. But club officials have done the work of retooling the roster, and the results seem promising.
The Broncos upgraded the offense in free agency by signing tight end Daniel Graham and tailback Travis Henry. Graham gives Jay Cutler the sort of reliable receiver at tight end that can greatly benefit a young quarterback. Henry replaces Tatum Bell, who was traded--along with offensive tackle George Foster--to the Detroit Lions for cornerback Dre Bly.
Quarterback Jake Plummer was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and has vowed to retire; either way, he won't be around to be Cutler's backup. Former Washington Redskins starter Patrick Ramsey was signed as a free agent to fill that role. Cutler also got help when the Broncos added wide receiver Brandon Stokley after he was released by the Indianapolis Colts.
Bly might have preferred to land with the Redskins but ended up signing a five-year, $33 million contract with the Broncos that includes $16 million in guaranteed money. He gives the Broncos a solid cornerback to play alongside Champ Bailey. Pass-rushing help came in the first round of the draft when the Broncos traded up to get Florida defensive end Jarvis Moss. It can be debated whether trading up was necessary in a draft saturated with defensive linemen. The Broncos ended up with only four draft picks. But if Moss produces, they won't be complaining. This was a good team that was made better by the moves of this offseason, and it's possible that the Broncos could join the short list of clubs chasing the New England Patriots for AFC supremacy.
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