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Broncos decline Shane Ray's Option

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This is interesting. It could mean they want to see him be healthy before offering him a long-term extension, it could mean that they have already decided to move regardless of how he plays next year. It could also mean there's a chance we extend Shaq Barrett long-term to be the third EDGE with Von and Chubb. 

Should be interesting to watch how things play out over the next few months. 

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2 minutes ago, AnAngryAmerican said:

This is interesting. It could mean they want to see him be healthy before offering him a long-term extension, it could mean that they have already decided to move regardless of how he plays next year. It could also mean there's a chance we extend Shaq Barrett long-term to be the third EDGE with Von and Chubb. 

Should be interesting to watch how things play out over the next few months. 

I have long advocated for re-signing Shaq but I think it might be too late. I think there's a pretty wide gap between what Denver can afford to offer Barrett and what he'd command in a pass rush-desperate open market. I'm not sure they could offer half of what Shaq would get in March. 

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I'm not shocked, even though financially it wouldn't have been an awful move. I guess they're gambling that he can't build on his last healthy season. There could also be more at play. The writing was certainly on the wall once they took Chubb. On top of that, the comp pick they're likely to get was probably enticing considering we have Chubb, Barrett, and even potentially Jeff Holland one day. 

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Posted (edited)
57 minutes ago, broncos67 said:

I'm not shocked, even though financially it wouldn't have been an awful move. I guess they're gambling that he can't build on his last healthy season. There could also be more at play. The writing was certainly on the wall once they took Chubb. On top of that, the comp pick they're likely to get was probably enticing considering we have Chubb, Barrett, and even potentially Jeff Holland one day. 

The problem is that the comp pick isn't likely to get much with Chubb, Ray, Barrett & Von in a rotation.    He has to get paid AND play well in his next team's first year.  Seems doubtful that happens.    We got a nice comp pick because Malik Jackson & Russell Okung got top 5 FA $ and played well (Okung made the Pro Bowl which put him over the top).

We also have to wait until 2020.   Now we don't have much spending room, so we won't sign a lot of big name FA's, but to even get an end-of-4th, you have to pretty much be a top 7-10 FA signing (or top 20 and make a Pro BowlJ).   Don't know if we see even that.    It's far more likely he just nets us a end-of-5th comp in 2020.   At best.

 

Edited by Broncofan

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10 minutes ago, Broncofan said:

The problem is that the comp pick isn't likely to get much with Chubb, Ray, Barrett & Von in a rotation.    He has to get paid AND play well in his next team's first year.  Seems doubtful that happens.    We got a nice comp pick because Malik Jackson & Russell Okung got top 5 FA $ and played well (Okung made the Pro Bowl which put him over the top).

We also have to wait until 2020.   Now we don't have much spending room, so we won't sign a lot of big name FA's, but to even get an end-of-4th, you have to pretty much be a top 7-10 FA signing (or top 20 and make a Pro BowlJ).   Don't know if we see even that.    It's far more likely he just nets us a end-of-5th comp in 2020.   At best.

 

So, the flip side of the coin is that Ray, in a contract year and healthy, plays lights out and gets his double digit sacks and is a disruptive force. he'll get plenty of opportunity.

Thats best for both parties. Denver gets a better comp pick and rays value goes way up as a FA.

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, AKRNA said:

So, the flip side of the coin is that Ray, in a contract year and healthy, plays lights out and gets his double digit sacks and is a disruptive force. he'll get plenty of opportunity.

Thats best for both parties. Denver gets a better comp pick and rays value goes way up as a FA.

Then it goes back to the original point - the 9M option for a young EDGE that balls out is a major bargain.   And if we can't afford to keep him with Chubb/Von in the fold, we'd get more than a comp end-of-3rd 2020 in value.   A 2019 4th would be greater value.   And again - the 5th year option isn't guaranteed, it just gave Elway the option to opt-in.   Really, if we don't think Ray is a long-term injury risk, Elway should have signed the option.   He could have declined the optoin with ZERO dead money barring serious injury if Ray's play didn't merit it. 

If we're going to use the "Ray could ball out" angle - it only makes the decision to not take the 5th option worse.   The only way taking the option was bad is if Ray can't pass a March 2019 physical.   Otherwise it's either neutral or a better return.

Edited by Broncofan

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The comp pick is no guarantee either, we've become too accustomed to picking up those late 3rd's the past few years. It's not going to happen in 2019, and it may not in 2020 either depending on what they do next March. 

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, BroncoBruin said:

The comp pick is no guarantee either, we've become too accustomed to picking up those late 3rd's the past few years. It's not going to happen in 2019, and it may not in 2020 either depending on what they do next March. 

Yeah - you have to have a top 3-4 FA contract and play well to guarantee the highest round - which is at the end of Rd 3 - 97-100 range.   And it's a 2020 pick.  So you take a round off value-wise than a 2019 pick.    And that's only if the FA contract is that high, must be top 4 - if it's in the 5-10 range, it's end-of-rd-4.   Any later, it's end-of-Rd-5.    A good performance could net Ray a top 10-15 contract, which is fantastic for him, but nets us an end-of-5th  2020 pick. 

Ray could play decently, get a nice-but-not-elite contract - and get us an end-of-5th comp pick.  The range of outcomes are unknown, but unless we believe he's playing well enough to get a top 10-ish contract, that's the comp pick range at best.    And if Ray plays well enough to merit a top 5 FA deal - he'd have been such a bargain at 9M for 2019 we could easily get a 4th 2019 or better.  Which beats the best-case 2020 end-of-3rd already, let alone the end-of-4th/end-of-5th that's more likely.   

The only way declining the option is a winner is if Ray got hurt to the point he couldn't pass the March 2019 physical.   If he balls out, or if he plays just at an average level, then we lose out - it's just a matter of degrees.   The best-case is that it's a small loss.    The worst is a 2-3 round difference in value...and a year later, too, which adds a round gap-wise.  Oh well.

Edited by Broncofan

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Honestly, I think they might be better off just trading Ray, see if they can get a 4th or better. He's not an early down hammer against the run like Barrett who can effectively limit Von's exposure to physical trench play, and ideally he's not going to be taking Chubb or Von off the field too often on 3rd downs, so in reality he's probably the least valuable of our four edge guys. If Holland looks like he can play, I don't think it really makes sense to keep Ray this year. 

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Also not sure Ray's growth from rookie to sophomore year was really all that significant as I keep reading. He was still a liability against the run, and his leap in sack count corresponded to his snap count doubling. Not sure about pressure rates and such but I didn't ever find myself thinking "wow, he's really come into his own". I think he kind of is who he was coming into the league. He was a pro-ready situational pass rusher and that's probably what he'll always be. A nice role player who can still strike it rich in a league that values his position second to only QBs. 

Maybe I have an overly pessimistic view of Ray the player, but even his flashes have never wowed me. I still think it made more sense to give him that 5th year option knowing it makes him more attractive trade bait and that you more than likely rescind it a year later, but I don't think he would be a big loss. I'd take a 2019 4th for him and see what Holland can do. 

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, BroncoBruin said:

Honestly, I think they might be better off just trading Ray, see if they can get a 4th or better. He's not an early down hammer against the run like Barrett who can effectively limit Von's exposure to physical trench play, and ideally he's not going to be taking Chubb or Von off the field too often on 3rd downs, so in reality he's probably the least valuable of our four edge guys. If Holland looks like he can play, I don't think it really makes sense to keep Ray this year. 

I agree with this in theory - but realistically, Elway probably kicked the tires already once he drafted Chubb & signed Holland.   Either he didn't find the market strong enough to get the 2019 4th.   Or Elway couldn't justify in his mind letting Ray's departure weaken their EDGE rotation (I love Holland, but hard to pencil him as a Day 1 ready-to-step-in guy).   

I would do a trade for a 2019 4th a heartbeat, as it beats the best-case result with an end of 3rd 2020 comp pick  Bird-in-the-hand vs.  two-in-bush etc..   But we also have to recognize how much Elway doesn't concede the present year until it's clear we're done.   

If somehow there's an offer out there for that kind of value, yeah, Elway should do it.  Whether he would or not, that's a different story.  

Edited by Broncofan

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47 minutes ago, Broncofan said:

Then it goes back to the original point - the 9M option for a young EDGE that balls out is a major bargain.   And if we can't afford to keep him with Chubb/Von in the fold, we'd get more than a comp end-of-3rd 2020 in value.   A 2019 4th would be greater value.   And again - the 5th year option isn't guaranteed, it just gave Elway the option to opt-in.   Really, if we don't think Ray is a long-term injury risk, Elway should have signed the option.   He could have declined the optoin with ZERO dead money barring serious injury if Ray's play didn't merit it. 

If we're going to use the "Ray could ball out" angle - it only makes the decision to not take the 5th option worse.   The only way taking the option was bad is if Ray can't pass a March 2019 physical.   Otherwise it's either neutral or a better return.

That's something that given their cap situation I don't think they can risk, regardless of how unlikely it is. They just got bit with that with Watson.

I just keep in mind Vons $25 million number next year. We have no cap slack at all! None! An injured Rays cap hit of $9+ million would be devastating.

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1 minute ago, Broncofan said:

I agree with this in theory - but realistically, Elway probably kicked the tires already once he drafted Chubb & signed Holland.   Either he didn't find the market strong enough to get the 2019 4th.   Or Elway couldn't justify in his mind letting Ray's departure weaken their EDGE rotation (I love Holland, but hard to pencil him as a Day 1 ready-to-step-in guy).   

I would do a trade for a 2019 4th a heartbeat, as it beats the best-case result with an end of 3rd 2020 comp pick.   But we also have to recognize how much Elway doesn't concede the present year until it's clear we're done.   

If somehow there's an offer out there for that kind of value, yeah, Elway should do it.  Whether he would or not, that's a different story.  

Yeah, all signs point to the Broncos believing they can contend this year. But I think Elway can reasonably split the difference between "win now" and "win from now on" picking up a bit of draft capital while projecting a drop off from Ray to Holland as the edge rusher who should play the least amount of snaps in the rotation. 

Obviously in the event of injury to Miller/Chubb/Barrett, they'd be more comfortable with Ray getting significant snaps than an undrafted rookie. That would be my only real hesitation, but not many teams have three edge rushers who can ball, let alone four so we're working from ahead even in that case. 

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, AKRNA said:

That's something that given their cap situation I don't think they can risk, regardless of how unlikely it is. They just got bit with that with Watson.

I just keep in mind Vons $25 million number next year. We have no cap slack at all! None! An injured Rays cap hit of $9+ million would be devastating.

Yeah, I get that's likely what drove the reasoning.     The risk is so low, though.    There's no doubt recency bias kicked in - people are influenced by their last experience (in this case, Watson not being able to pass his March 2018 physical no doubt spooked Elway).   For a guy that says he's not afraid to swing for the fences - this was a  very un-Elway like decision.    Ray has no risk that's long-term.  So it's an irrational over-valuation of risk - in a GM that's welcomed taking far bigger risks.  But it's also human nature (and yes, the consequences with our cap situation would be dire - just the probability is so low).   I get it.

Edited by Broncofan

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