Brock Osweiler's stock is high. The backup quarterback was a relative unknown until he filled in for Peyton Manning during the season and went 5-2 as a starter for the Denver Broncos. That turned a lot of heads his way and as he enters free agency following an expiring contract, Osweiler could cash in. However, it remains to be seen if that happens with the Broncos as the two sides have yet to negotiate a new contract.
The issue for Osweiler is Manning. The veteran quarterback has yet to make a call about his future in the NFL. On March 9, Manning's salary for 2016 of $19 million becomes fully guaranteed. If he does not make a decision before then, the Broncos will make it for him. The issue is that March 9 is also the date as free agency and right now, Mike Klis of KUSA in Denver is reporting that Broncos have yet to start negotiations with Osweiler "out of respect to Manning."
The longer Denver waits to get Osweiler re-signed, the more likely it is that a team like the Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns or Houston Texans sweep in to sign him. Osweiler wants the money. He is looking to cash in on his raised stock in the league. The Broncos cannot afford to stall on their talks.
According to general manager John Elway, the Broncos fully intend to keep Osweiler around. The quarterback will not come as a high-priced option and with little command in the situation, the team can get him signed to a cap-friendly contract. According to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com, Osweiler's contract could come to around $9 million. Another team with slightly more money to spend could offer $13 million, but not much more than that. The Broncos can afford to keep Osweiler around and they would be wise to get the deal done fast.
The quarterback is not the only position the Broncos have to think about. According to the Denver Post, Owen Daniels is thinking about retirement. That means Denver needs a new tight end after both Vernon Davis and Virgil Green were highly inactive. Ronnie Hillman will also hit the free agent market and the Broncos are not likely to keep him around.
The defense is the bigger issue. ESPN is reporting that Von Miller can expect to get the franchise tag. Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan are looking to return. Meanwhile guys like Evan Mathis would like to come back as well. After winning the Super Bowl, everyone wants to remain with Denver, but that might not be possible this offseason.