Denver Broncos: Check in

Peyton Manning will return to the Broncos in 2014 after clearing a neck exam

Peyton Manning will return to the Broncos in 2014 after clearing a neck exam

I’ve been out for a while so I decided to check in and talk about some of my recent thoughts on the Denver Broncos.

Manning’s Neck: The Denver Post reported on Monday that Peyton Manning has been cleared to play in the upcoming season.  I know that in the past I’ve said that the Broncos will struggle to be successful without a mobile quarterback, and I stand by that belief.

However, if they can’t have a mobile quarterback, Denver might as well have Peyton Manning.  It’s been talked about ad nauseam, but it bears repeating:  Peyton Manning literally had the greatest season a quarterback has ever had in the history of the game last year.

If he were 7 years younger I would be confident in his ability to win another Super Bowl.  That said, he is 37 years old and it’s not guaranteed that he’ll play as well as he did last year in 2014, but for now Broncos fans should be happy.

On that note: On the topic of aging Broncos, Champ Bailey is certainly one of them.  My original thought after the Super Bowl was that the 15-year veteran would retire.  However, there still remains the possibility that he will try to move to safety.  This is a somewhat common move for aging cornerbacks.  Ronde Barber tried it back in the day and ended up finishing his final season with 4 interceptions so it can be done.

I’m not a Bailey hater by any means, but it’s pretty clear to me that he can’t keep up with quicker wide receivers at this point.  In the Bronco’s last two post-season losses Bailey was torched, in 2013 by Torrey Smith and in the super bowl by Percy Harvin.  If he wants to continue playing I think the move to safety is a wise one as far as Bailey is concerned.  But, as far as the Broncos are concerned I don’t know. Bailey’s contract could start to get in the way when it comes to signing younger defensive players, and trying to resign current Broncos like Eric Decker.

Speaking of free agents: My Broncos writing teammate Thomas Hall has been writing some great mock drafts for the Broncos as of late, so I’ll let him take the reigns there.  When it comes to available free agents here are some that could pique Broncos fans interests.

Jairus Byrd, superstar safety out of Buffalo.  He hasn’t really been linked to the Broncos at all, and he was just quoted by ESPN as saying he was open to returning to Buffalo so this one may seem like a stretch.  With that said, he is a young, rising secondary player that the Broncos could seriously use.  In the end the Broncos need a lot of players in the secondary, not just one, so his contract may be too large to take on, but you never know.

Another interesting name to watch in free agency is Brandon Spikes.  Spikes, once a superstar at the University of Florida, played for the Patriots the past 4 seasons.   He does have some concerns; he was bothered by a knee injury last year and ended up on the injured reserve during the playoffs (allegedly for being late to practice.)  New England also plays a different defense than the Broncos do so that could hinder his ability in Denver.  Concerns aside, Spikes is a quality inside linebacker that could upgrade the questionable Denver defense.

Those are my thoughts, what are yours?  Share them in the comments below.

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