I know, like you haven't read a million of these: Here is who I think the Broncos should target when Free Agency begins. Then you read a list of players who not only do the Broncos not need, but they also can't afford.
Reality check guys: The Broncos are cash-strapped. Obviously they will make some moves to cut costs and leave some money open, but getting Barry Cofield, DeAngelo Williams and Nnamdi Asomugha isn't practical, sorry. So without further ado, here is a list of who the Broncos will target when free agency begins:
Who Should You Say Bye-Bye to?
Ryan Harris, RT: Harris is a very talented tackle and I like him quite a bit. The problem is that he is never healthy and will demand a hefty price tag. We simply don't have the money. Sorry.
Correll Buckhalter, RB: Will Buckhalter even be the third string if he sticks around? I've yet to hear of a third string running back worth nearly $2 mil.
I'm not willing to say that Kyle Orton will definitely leave, but he is worth nearly $9 mil dollars in cap space. If he does not earn the starting job, he needs to be traded to free up that room.
Who Will Return?
Wesley Woodyard, OLB: Let's face it, Woodyard was lost in Josh McDaniels' 3-4 defense, but shined brightly in the 4-3. Considering his young age he will definitely be resigned and may have the opportunity to compete for a starting position. At the very least he is good for depth.
Marcus Thomas, DT: Unless he demands a lot of money, Thomas is still pretty youthful and deserves a shot with the new defense.
Matt Prater, K: Matt Prater has shown signs of being a top-tier kicker. I would be surprised if the Broncos didn't retain him.
Who Will Be Targeted on the Cheap?
Thomas Davis, OLB, Panthers: With the injuries that have plagued Davis, some teams may be wary to pay for him. If John Fox can get a deal for him, he could be wearing orange and blue next year.
Ernie Sims, OLB, Eagles: He is still young, and could be a good fit for John Foxs' scheme. I doubt he will be heavily pursued.
Derek Landi, DT, Panthers: This is a former John Fox player that a lot of people forget about. We could certainly use some depth at the DT position, and Landi could bring it, as well as a knowledge of the system.
Zach Strief, OT, Saints: At the very least he is good for depth, and could potentially compete with Orlando Franklin.
Who the Bank Might Break For?
Fabian Washington, CB, Ravens: Acquiring Washington may not actually require a large amount of money, due to injuries. That said, the whole Perrish Cox situation isn't looking good and for a reasonably priced, young player like Washington, the Broncos should definitely look his way.
Brandon Mebane, DT, Seahawks / Barry Cofield, DT, Giants: At this point nobody cares which one we choose. Both are pretty young, similar, Defensive Tackles, and we all know the Broncos need one desperately. If we end up with plenty of cap room we could even get both. (That was a joke. I will eat my hat if we sign both of them.)
DeAngelo Williams, RB, Panthers: Like you haven't heard this one a billion times. It just makes too much sense for the Broncos not to target him.
The lockout is officially over! We'll have more details to come. The Broncos will start Training Camp on Wednesday and teams can begin signing their own free agents and those who played with other teams starting at 6 p.m. (ET) Friday.