The Denver Broncos are Super Bowl champions after beating the Panthers, but the team still has pressing concerns heading into 2016 with key free agents hitting the market. Von Miller, Brock Osweiler, Danny Trevathan and Malik Jackson are heading towards free agency and are among the players the team may try to re-sign this winter.
Miller is the main priority for the Broncos, as the linebacker has established himself as one of the top defensive players in the league. Miller won the Super Bowl MVP for the Broncos and even before that he was expected to command a high salary heading into next season. According to Ian Rapoport at NFL.com, the Broncos likely will use the franchise tag on Miller and then try and work out a long term extension with the linebacker.
Using the franchise tag will ensure that Miller does not hit the open market and then will allow the team to take time to negotiate a longer deal. The franchise tag for linebackers is expected to be around $14 million for next season and the Broncos likely would be okay with that number if the sides can't work out a new contract. Miller has put up monster numbers for the Broncos since coming into the league and over the past two seasons he has combined to put up 25 sacks.
Miller has had at least 11 sacks in four of his five seasons with the team and he is coming into the offseason after having a dominant performance in the Super Bowl. Miller had 2.5 sacks, six tackles and two forced fumbles in the game and helped the Broncos win the championship over the Panthers. Miller likely will not be allowed to hit the open market for the Broncos and it's likely that the team uses the franchise tag to ensure that doesn't happen.
The Broncos likely will also try to bring back Brock Osweiler next season, especially if Peyton Manning decides to retire. Osweiler was solid coming in for Manning while the QB was injured this season and Manning likely will not be returning even if he doesn't retire, as he has a $19 million salary for next season. Osweiler has sat behind Manning for years and he has shown potential as a starter.
According to Rich Cimini at ESPN, the "feeling" around the Broncos is that the team will try and sign back Osweiler this offseason. Sam Bradford is the top free agent on the market at quarterback and that could be one route for the Broncos if they don't bring back Manning or Osweiler. Right now it looks like the team will try and retain Osweiler for next season.