The Denver Broncos are not going to make the playoffs this season.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news to those Broncos fans who feel differently, but it is the truth.
In fact, Denver is not all that close. Sure, they have some talent, but they have not spent money in an effort to bolster their postseason chances as of late. They are roughly $25 million under the salary cap, but if they make a few trades before the NFL Trade Deadline next Tuesday, they could make a serious push in free agency in 2012, and possibly become a playoff contender sooner rather than later.
We have already seen Derrick Mason and Aaron Curry switch uniforms, but there are generally very few deals consummated around this time. The salary cap makes it very difficult to complete trades, but the Broncos are rumored to be actively shopping wide receiver Brandon Lloyd, and could also deal a few other veterans to teams in need of depth and leadership.
Lloyd had a breakout season last year in Denver, but many still consider it somewhat of a fluke. If that is the case, then this is the time to move him. The team will also take into account that the Kyle Orton era is basically over in Denver, as head coach John Fox has officially made the switch to Tim Tebow. That most likely means that the Broncos will move the ball more on the ground. Willis McGahee has outperformed Knoshown Moreno, and he will continue to get plenty of touches, also limiting the number of looks that Lloyd receives in the passing game.
Lloyd could fit in with many teams in need of help at the wide receiver position, regardless of how you view his success from last season. Maybe he is not a true No. 1receiver, but he could certainly help out a team as their second and even third option.
For starters, Lloyd could be a great fit in Detroit, as the Lions could use another receiver to take some of the double and triple coverage off of Calvin Johnson, even though it has not slowed him down.
Lloyd would also be a good fit with the Tennessee Titans, who need a replacement for Kenny Britt for the rest of the season. The San Diego Chargers could use a healthy option for Philip Rivers, but it is unlikely that Denver would deal him within the division, unless they got an extremely attractive package of draft picks in return.
Other teams who should go after Lloyd include the San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills.
Whether or not the Broncos move Lloyd remains to be seen, but the team should also consider trading Brian Dawkins and D.J. Williams. Both could provide immediate help to a contender, and they could be included in separate deals or one big trade.
The first team who comes to mind who could use both is the Philadelphia Eagles, the team who Dawkins called home for most of his career. He would provide team leadership, and Williams could be packaged along with him to help the Eagles stop the run.
The New England Patriots should look to upgrade their defense as well, and both Dawkins and Williams would be good fits. New England rarely brings in other players via a trade, but these two are solid players with great character who would fit in instantaneously.
Others who should inquire about either Dawkins, Williams or both include the Buffalo Bills, Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders.
Finally, you are bound to hear Kyle Orton’s name bandied about for the next few days, and the Miami Dolphins are going to be the team you hear him linked to most often. But the bottom line is that there is no possible reason for Miami to even consider trading for Orton. he is not a great quarterback, and the team is going nowhere. They don’t need to add his salary either. They need to play out this year with Matt Moore and focus on hopefully be able to draft Andrew Luck in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Teams who could use Orton, however, include the…
Actually, he is not a big enough upgrade to make any deal for Orton woth the money and draft picks.