Denver Broncos: 2013 Potential Salary Cap Casualties

Jennifer Eakins@@themondaymommy Contributor IFebruary 21, 2013

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 12:  Fans of the Denver Broncos support their team against the Baltimore Ravens during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 12, 2013 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

With the start of free agency a mere two-and-a-half weeks away, now is the time for the Broncos to review their current player's contracts and potentially restructure or even give a few guys their walking papers.

While Denver has more money to play with than some teams in the league at roughly $14.5 million, it is always nice to head into the free-agent period with the most money possible. After placing a franchise tag on tackle Ryan Clady for $9.6 million, that leaves the Broncos with just under $5 million to spend in free agency.

If the Broncos want to go after any big-time players this offseason, it may require more money than they are currently allocated to spend. Here's a look at some of the guys who could possibly find themselves looking for a new job this offseason in order to free up some cash to spend in free agency.


Knowshon Moreno

Most of you are probably not too shocked to find Moreno on this list of potential cuts. He has been considered a disappointment for the Broncos and has either underperformed or sustained an injury for most of his tenure with the franchise.

In 2012, Moreno filled in for an injured Willis McGahee and had a decent season, rushing for 510 yards and 3 touchdowns in the six games he was in the starting role. Moreno had begun to prove himself to the doubters after working hard to rehab. 

However, he suffered another injury in the playoff game versus Baltimore, bringing his durability into question again.

The Broncos' backfield is still a question mark and it is still unclear how the running backs will fall in line when the 2013 season begins. Knowshon Moreno is slotted to make $3.5 million in 2013, a pretty hefty number for a potentially third- or fourth-string guy.


D.J. Williams

Possibly the easiest cut Denver could make would be to part ways with the high-maintenance linebacker D.J. Williams. After missing nine games last season due to league suspension, Williams lost his starting gig and never earned it back.

If the Broncos decide to keep him around in 2013, he would cost the team $7.732 million in cap space that includes a $6 million base salary. If Williams is released, he would carry a $1.732 million cap charge for the remainder of his signing bonus. However, it would save Denver $6 million; well worth considering.


Joe Mays

Mays began the 2012 season with a new contract, setting him up to make $4 million in 2013 as the starting middle linebacker. However, that job is no longer his. Basically ineffective, then injured, Mays lost the starting role to Keith Brooking.

Even though it is unknown whether the Broncos will resign Brooking, it wouldn't be too surprising to see Denver release Mays along with the $4 million to pursue some defensive help in free agency.

Compared to teams like the Jets, Saints and Cowboys, the Broncos are in great shape heading into free agency money-wise. With a little reorganizing of the roster, Denver has the potential to snag a stud or two that could prove to be the missing piece to the Broncos' Super Bowl puzzle.