Denver Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler (17) drops back for a pass in the end zone during a game on December 20, 2015 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. File photo by Shelley Lipton/UPI
The Denver Broncos’ hopes for 2018 won’t be made or broken by any of their pending free agents, but there are some players they might like to bring back at the right price.
Inside linebacker Todd Davis, a starter for the last two seasons, headlines the group, although the Broncos could bring back fellow free agent Corey Nelson, who was Davis’ backup, at a more affordable price.
Wide receiver Cody Latimer, a 2014 second-round pick who struggled in his first three seasons, finally emerged as a solid No. 3 receiver in 2017 and could return, especially if the Broncos part ways with Demaryius Thomas or Emmanuel Sanders.
Defensive ends Jared Crick and Billy Winn, both of whom spent the season on injured reserve, are also set to become free agents, and one or both could be brought back to provide rotational depth. Running back Jamaal Charles, who didn’t contribute much in his only season with the Broncos, is not expected to return.
Quarterback Brock Osweiler should settle in as a backup somewhere, but the Broncos seem likely to move on from him as they overhaul their complement of passers. None of the Broncos’ free agents are considered franchise or transition-tag candidates.
Unit-by-unit depth chart as of Super Bowl LII. Injured players listed as starters if that was their status when injured.
*Asterisk indicates player ended 2017 season on injured reserve.
QUARTERBACKS (D-minus): Starter – *Trevor Siemian. Backups – Paxton Lynch, Brock Osweiler (UFA), *Chad Kelly.
RUNNING BACKS (B): Starters – C.J. Anderson, FB Andy Janovich. Backups – Devontae Booker, Jamaal Charles (UFA), De’Angelo Henderson.
TIGHT ENDS: (C-minus): Starter – Virgil Green (UFA). Backups – Austin Traylor, Jeff Heuerman, Matt LaCosse, *Jake Butt.
WIDE RECEIVERS (C): Starters — Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders. Backups – Cody Latimer (UFA), Bennie Fowler, Jordan Taylor, Isaiah McKenzie, *Carlos Henderson, Jordan Leslie.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (C): Starters – LT Garett Bolles, LG Max Garcia, C Matt Paradis, RG *Ron Leary, RT *Menelik Watson. Backups – C/G Connor McGovern, T Donald Stephenson (UFA), G/T Allen Barbre (UFA), T Cyrus Kouandijo, T Elijah Wilkinson, G/T *Billy Turner (UFA).
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (B-plus): Starters – DE *Derek Wolfe, NT Domata Peko, DE Adam Gotsis. Backups – DE *Jared Crick (UFA), DE Shelby Harris, DE/NT Zach Kerr, DE *Billy Winn (UFA), DE DeMarcus Walker, NT Kyle Peko.
LINEBACKERS (B): Starters – OLB Von Miller, OLB *Shane Ray, ILB Brandon Marshall, ILB Todd Davis (UFA). Backups – OLB Shaquil Barrett, ILB *Corey Nelson, ILB Zaire Anderson, ILB Jerrol Garcia-Williams, OLB Deiontrez Mount, ILB Joseph Jones.
DEFENSIVE BACKS (B-plus): Starters – CB Aqib Talib, CB Chris Harris Jr., SS Darian Stewart, FS *Justin Simmons. Backups – CB Bradley Roby, S Will Parks, S Jamal Carter, CB Marcus Rios, CB Brendan Langley, S Dymonte Thomas, CB Michael Hunter.
SPECIAL TEAMS (D): K Brandon McManus, P Riley Dixon, KOR Cody Latimer (UFA), PR Jordan Taylor, LS Casey Kreiter.