The Denver Broncos left NFL fans with a bad taste in their mouths, as Peyton Manning and the rest of the team looked unimpressive during their playoff exit.
Questions arose whether or not it was time for Manning to retire, but the future Hall of Fame quarterback is going to give it at least one more shot, hoping the team doesn’t run out of steam come playoff time.
The team is under new direction, as the Broncos moved on from John Fox and will be continuing with Gary Kubiak. After receiving his first head coaching opportunity with the Houston Texans (2006-13), Kubiak was the offensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens last season.
On offense, Manning will not have tight end Julius Thomas, who bolted for the Jacksonville Jaguars during free agency. Manning’s other tight end, Jacob Tamme, is now with the Atlanta Falcons and the team is moving forward with Owen Daniels, who was previously with the Baltimore Ravens and Houston Texans. Another one of Manning’s weapons, Wes Welker, is not with the team and is currently a free agent. Stud wide receiver Demaryius Thomas was given the team’s franchise tag, which means that Thomas can negotiate with other teams, and the Broncos have the right to match any offer, or receive two first-round picks as compensation. With Manning’s uncertainly after this season, it was a convenient maneuver for both sides.
To bolster the line, the Broncos traded for center Gino Gradkowski from Baltimore. The free agent signings on defensive were defensive end Vance Walker and defensive tackle Antonio Smith
As for the defensive losses, linebacker Nate Irving, defensive tackle Terrance Knighton, cornerback Tony Carter and safety Rahim Moore are the largest losses. It’s a lot of turnover for a team who was in the Super Bowl conversation last season.
But as long as Manning is at quarterback, the Broncos will be in contention and Denver Broncos tickets will be in high demand. Manning is an attraction at home or on the road, and you can use Hipmunk.com to see him and the Broncos play against any NFL team. With affordable flights to Denver, Hipmunk can be your main travel resource, along with helping you with your Denver area hotels starting from $65 that’ll have you within walking distance of the stadium.
The Broncos became very run-oriented towards the end of last season and it’ll be interesting to see if Kubiak continues that strategy or goes back to a pass-heavy offense without Thomas at the tight end spot. Maybe there will be rest spots of Manning towards the end of the season so they don’t run of out of steam like they did last season. It’s an interesting season for Denver that can be turned into a transition year if Manning doesn’t play well early.