Don’t Bet on a Broncos Dynasty

Added January 30, 2014 by Levi Watkins

Whether or not the Denver Broncos win Super Bowl XLVIII, they are not a team built for long-term success. Of course most of their future prospects are tied to Peyton Manning’s playing future. With a victory, the soon-to-be 38-year-old quarterback could walk away on top just like another legendary Broncos signal-caller. Even though Manning has denied retirement rumors, his surgically repaired neck might make the decision for him. But Manning isn’t the only player that will affect Denver in 2014 and beyond. Here are some others.

Champ Bailey – Age and injuries limited the future Hall of Famer to five games in 2013. Like Manning, he has rebuffed any notion of calling it quits, but a Lombardi Trophy would cap a fantastic career and leave Bailey with nothing more to play for.

Eric Decker – He’ll be a 27-year-old free agent in March and has the size and athleticism wide receiver-needy teams covet. Plus, he’s scored 33 touchdowns in four years. Obviously the chances of him returning to Denver improve greatly if Manning sticks around, but the front office might not be willing to pony up huge dollars one year after handing $12 million to Wes Welker.

Knowshon Moreno – The former first-round pick notched his first 1000-yard season and totaled 13 touchdowns, which was the same amount he scored from 2010-12. With Montee Ball waiting in the wings, handing Moreno a long-term deal would be risky. Decker is probably the bigger priority, so shelling out cash for both players seems unlikely.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie – When a 27-year-old player hints at retirement, red flags should be raised immediately. DRC’s “love” for the game has always been in question, which is why he’s playing on his third team in six seasons. If Bailey calls it a career, Denver may have no choice but to offer Cromartie a multi-year extension. Their overall depth in the secondary is lacking.

Julius Thomas – His breakout 2013 campaign catapulted him into the elite tight end category alongside the likes of Jimmy Graham and Vernon Davis. He has one year left on his rookie contract, but management must strongly consider locking him up before he hits free agency.

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