Are they risky? Yes. Are they realistic? Depends. Remember last year when Jimmy Graham was traded to Seattle? That came as a huge shock and surprised us all. What if I said there is an opportunity for five teams to make a bold move this offseason and be in Super Bowl contention for next season? Below are “5 Bold Moves” that can take a team to the next level and possibly a Lombardi Trophy in 2017. Let’s dive in!
Bold Trade #1
The New Orleans Saints trade Drew Brees to the Denver Broncos in exchange for draft picks.
This may seem crazy at the moment, but let me give you a scenario. Brock Osweiler’s frustration over not being the quarterback down the stretch and in the playoffs pushes him to want to go elsewhere this offseason. There would be plenty of teams that would be interested in his services that need a quarterback, and a 25-year-old one at that with starting (and winning) experience. Here are some teams that may be interested: Philadelphia, New York Jets, Cleveland, Houston, Chicago and Los Angeles. He could make some serious money if he decided to head into free agency. If he does, who will be Denver’s quarterback? Denver has an elite defense and is Super Bowl ready, they just need a reliable quarterback.
Enter Drew Brees and New Orleans. The Saints understand they need to rebuild. They are currently $3 million over the salary cap and need to get under to be able to add free agents and rookies. Drew Brees is 37 years old, but is still great and physically able to go for a few more years. Peyton Manning had the mind to play, but lost the arm strength. Brees can still do it and can honestly play until he is 40. This is where I find the perfect match: a great team in need of a veteran quarterback, and a team with a salary cap crisis needing to start fresh.
Entering this offseason, the Broncos will have $16.7 million dollars in cap space. After Manning officially retires or is let go from Denver, it jumps up to $38.2 million due to losing the $21.5 million cap hit Manning would have had in 2016. This still doesn’t give the Broncos space to add Drew Brees and re-sign or franchise tag Von Miller, who must be the Broncos’ top priority in re-signing their own players.
This is where the releasing of Ryan Clady comes in. This cut would save the Broncos an extra $8.9 million dollars against the cap. This raises their total to $45.9 million in cap space after factoring in dead money. This would create enough room for Drew Brees’ contract ($30 million dollar cap hit) and for a deal with Von Miller to stay in Denver. You also can’t tell me general manager John Elway couldn’t work with Brees in restructuring his contract to make it a three-year, cap friendlier contract.
What would it cost the Broncos to make this move? Probably two first-round picks, and two mid-round picks. For a chance to take this stacked team to a few more Super Bowls, it would be worth the price to get Drew Brees. The Saints need the youth and cheaper talent, and could use those extra picks to get their quarterback of the future in this year’s draft. Denver would get a quarterback ready to lead that dominating defense back to another Super Bowl.