Broncos (+700 Super Bowl, +250 AFC)
The Broncos are by far the biggest favorite in the AFC next season at Sportsbook.ag, and they are second right behind the Seahawks for the biggest NFL odds favorite to win the Super Bowl. However at other sportsbooks, the Broncos are not even in the top three when it comes to Super Bowl favorites.
For instance at Bovada, the Broncos are +1000 to win the Super Bowl, behind the Seahawks, (+550) 49ers, (+650) and Patriots (+900). So if you are looking at the Broncos for next season, shop around, because there are better prices to be had than the one I’m quoting for this article. For the most part, I think Denver is pretty well priced at +700.
While the Broncos’ offseason outlook is far from bleak, it is complicated, and the fact is they might have to let some guys go from their AFC Championship roster. For starters they currently only have about 10 million dollars in cap space. They can make room for some more, however the contract of Champ Bailey is standing in their way. Bailey is going to have to restructure his deal which will pay him about $10 million, or the Broncos will likely have to make the tough decision to cut him.
Chris Harris tore his ACL in the playoffs and he is a restricted free agent this offseason, It seems like even with his injury, Harris is high on the Broncos’ list of free agents to bring back. Along with Harris, the Broncos have several other unrestricted free agents that are starters. Knowshon Moreno, Eric Decker, Zane Beadles, Shaun Phillips and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are all unrestricted this offseason, and I doubt the Broncos will be able to bring all of them back.
The offense is so deep that it looks like Moreno will be the first to go. He is an aging running back, and they spent a high draft pick on Monte Ball last season. Decker could be next if the Broncos think he is a luxury they simply can’t afford. Demaryius Thomas is entering the final year of his deal in 2014, and if you ask Peyton Manning, I almost guarantee he would rather have Thomas locked in.
On the defensive side of the football is where the Broncos really need to improve if they want to have any chance of getting back to the Super Bowl. A lot of it is health, but retaining DRC and Phillips would be big, and some additions in the draft and free agency are almost a must. This is another reason why I think the two offensive free agents are gone. Denver really needs to fix their defense, and they have limited recourses to do it. Plus they already have Wes Welker, who will fill in nicely full time next to Thomas and Julius Thomas if they can’t come to terms with Decker.
All in all, if the Broncos ace the offseason, their price could be undervalued right now, but everything would have to fall their way.