John Elway enters his sophomore season as a Broncos executive with a more assertive and confident approach. We should see more of Elway's thumbprint on the final post-training camp roster as he begins his quest to build a championship team.
Out with the old in with the new, right? Well, maybe. There are some big names that may not suiting up for the orange and blue on their opening game against the Steelers on September 9.
Let's take a look at some of the potential big cuts.
Knowshon Moreno, RB - There is certainly a large amount of speculation surrounding this underperforming running back. Training camp will be Moreno's last chance to prove that Josh McDaniels didn't make a crucial error in drafting him as high as he did.
The Broncos have three guys they are high on at running back in Willis McGahee, Ronnie Hillman and Lance Ball. While Ball may never see significant playing time, he is great on special teams and a solid role player. That realistically leaves one spot at running back and it could potentially go to Mario Fannin. He impressed the staff last season and would have made the final roster if not for an injury.
With Moreno's disappointing play, injury history and some off-field issues, it wouldn't be too surprising to find the 12th overall pick in 2009 playing somewhere else in 2012.
Caleb Hanie, QB - The former Colorado State quarterback signed with the Broncos in March of this year after being waived by the Chicago Bears. The intention was to have Hanie back up Peyton Manning who had just decided to sign with Denver less than a week earlier.
The Broncos shocked many fans and players when they then drafted Brock Osweiler in the second round of this year's draft. That doesn't exactly bode well for Caleb Hanie. The other quarterback fighting for a roster spot is Adam Weber who has a lot of upside and has continued to grow in the system.
D.J.Williams, LB - I actually tried to leave Williams off this list since I've painted him in a negative light in my past few articles and he is indeed a stud on the field.
However, besides the string of other off-field issues Willliams is dealing with this off-season, it is now being reported that he is accused of using non-human urine for potentially three of his drug tests. Seriously?
Williams is coming into the season with a six game suspension for that violation of the league's substance abuse policy. He could possibly tack on four more games, depending on the outcome of a court date in August from a prior DUI arrest in 2010. As great of a player that he is on the field, John Elway and the coaching staff may not feel that he is worth the trouble and send him off to be another team's public relations nightmare.
This season's training camp is probably the most highly anticipated one in the history of the Broncos' franchise. Record number of fans are expected to hit Dove Valley and see how this year's team will shape up with the Peyton Manning as the signal caller.
Will the Broncos part ways with some big name guys before opening kickoff on September 9? It is certainly in the realm of possibility.