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To pay or not to pay

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We have a lot of decent players drafted from 2018 onwards who will be up for second contracts in the next couple of years. I’ve excluded the 2020 draft picks as it’s simply too early to say whether they’ll turn into top class pros or not, but for those drafted in 2018/2019 I’m wondering what the current thinking is around who deserves to be a long term Broncos or not?


My thoughts


Class of 2018


OLB Bradley Chubb

IMO, Chubb is the future of our pass rush and we are going to see him earn himself a huge contract this year. He wasn’t back to 100% in 2020 from his torn ACL but even still managed to have a decent season, but we should see a monster year out of him in 2021 and establish himself as one of the best rush LBs in the league. We should use the 5th year option on him and then look to extend next offseason


WR Courtland Sutton

Sutton is a FA next year and I think we should try to extend him if he starts the season well coming off his injury. Having said that, I can see a pathway to a future where Sutton isn’t a Bronco. We literally only have Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler under contract for 2022 at WR, Sutton and Tim Patrick are both free agents. Patrick is underrated and has been the most reliable of all our wideouts so it’s quite easy to see a scenario where he outplays Sutton in 2021 and we let Sutton walk to pay Patrick. 50/50 if Sutton is a long term Bronco imo.


ILB Josey Jewell

Played well in 2020 after a quiet first two years in the NFL. I could see us re-signing him to a cheap deal in 2022.


RB Royce Freeman and WR Dae’Sean Hamilton

I don’t see either of these two as long term Broncos, both likely will be allowed to walk as UFAs after the season. To be honest there is considerable doubt whether these guys even make the team in 2021.


Class of 2019

There is a lot more uncertainty here with these guys only being in the league for two years, but let’s give it a shot


TE Noah Fant

For me Fant is a guy that absolutely needs to be a 10 year Bronco. He gives us a different element in the passing game that will help any young QB develop and is a demon in the red zone. Look for him to improve further in the next couple of seasons and earn himself one of the richest TE contracts in the league.

OG Dalton Risner

Risner is a really solid Guard and someone that can help our OL in the coming years. By the time he’s ready for a bigger money deal, Glasgow should be coming off the books and Ja’Wuan James will be long gone, so it makes sense to give their money to this young superstar.

QB Drew Lock

Lock hasn’t shown enough to warrant being re-signed IMO, although hopefully he makes the leap in 2021. At the very least I see Lock as someone who sticks around in the NFL as a high end backup QB for a long time ala Colt McCoy.

DE Dre’Mont Jones

I’m a fan of Jones and would back him to make the leap into a full time starter this year. Having said that, he needs to improve to be considered for a long term extension. Let’s hope another year with Fangio can leap to him building on a promising sophomore year. 

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I think it's imprative to get Chubb & Sutton extended. As we know, pass rushers win super bowl's and Sutton was looking like a top 15. WR before injury. 


Jury is still out on 2019 class, I like all those guys, don't love them, maybe that changes this year and depends how healthy they are and if Fangio retains his job. I think that's a big key. All those guys are contibuters players right now but can they become healthy key players, I have a feeling it will work itself out. I'd like to to retain Jones, Risner & Fant at this point. 

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Chubb is an easy decision to take the 5th year option.   

Sutton isn't as clear - because you need to see the explosion return - and it's not likely to return until after 2021 season is done, that returns at about the 16-18 month mark (you're playing by 10+ months, but not at peak explosion).   It's very likely IMO that Sutton doesn't quite fulfill his ceiling in 2021 as a result.    IMO this is a decision where you only extend him if it's team-friendly.   The complicating factor is that Sutton & Tim Patrick fill the same roles - and there's no comparison on who's the better player - but Tim Patrick can do 90 percent of what Sutton can but at half the cost or less - well, you get the idea.   It's one of the reasons why I proposed including Sutton in any Watson-level trade talks as a young player (obv dead now).  Mine the value while you can now.   

Jewell is worth signing if he's getting 5M per year or less (or the equivalent in a new FA system).    As he builds miles, the gap between his athleticism being good enough for now goes away.  ILB is such a meat grinder position.    It's also why in a perfect world, DEN finds some ILB solution in Day 2 (or Day 1 if they trade back far enough it's a value play on the Big Board as well).



Fant can't be extended until next offseason, when his 3rd year is complete.    We won't have to decide on an extension, or a 5th year option, until next offseason.

Risner looks to be a guy we should look to extend - but again, we can't do it until next offseason.

Jones play this year really dictates how we go long-term.

Edited by Broncofan
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Yes to Chubb and Sutton and get them done as soon as possible, they will look like steals later. This is what the Vikings did for years.

If Jewell wants to come back for peanuts, sure. Not worried about locking down an average talent. Hell he might not even play this year depending on what we do in the draft. I think Vic is going to want to finally get his guy at LB. The more interesting conversation to me is Alexander Johnson. He deserves a decent raise but he’s on the older side. Wouldn’t hate if we just look to replace both guys with better athletes. Strnad might be one of them.

Edited by BroncoBruin
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