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NFL offseason wish list: Denver Broncos

Three moves I’d love to see the Broncos make this offseason.

NFL: Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to our fantasy football wish lists, where we’re going through each NFL team and listing three things we’d love to see them do this offseason for fantasy reasons (but also real football reasons).

Question for a friend: Can I still include “Get a quarterback” on my wish list even though the Broncos went out a traded for Joe Flacco? Maybe the trade will work out for Denver—or at least won’t be as terrible as all of us Twitterlings thought when it went down—but I can’t say I’m coming into 2019 with a lot of confidence in the Broncos. Which is a bummer because they’ve got a lot of young talent I’m excited about both from a real football perspective and from a fantasy one. Hopefully these moves will help boost my confidence in the team this coming season.

Trade for Cameron Brate

I loved what I saw out of Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton last year but I can’t say I loved what I saw out of the tight end position in Denver. Jeff Heuerman was fine (31 catches, 281 yards, 2 touchdowns) but he’s also a free agent, which would leave Jake Butt to take over the position. Sadly, Butt’s suffered his third ACL tear last September which is a huge hill for anyone to overcome. Enter Cameron Brate. This is a beautiful kill two birds with one stone (or the animal friendlier phrase I just invented: pet two cats with one hand) as it not only gives the Broncos a legit receiving option at tight end, but also gets rid of the log jam in Tampa Bay so that I can overdraft O.J. Howard with the utmost confidence that he’ll get all the snaps at the position. Win, win. Plus, Brate might be a cap casualty for the Bucs, meaning the Broncos might not even need to trade for him. Win, win, WIN!

Keep Matt Paradis

If the old body of Joe Flacco is going to have any success in Denver, he’s going to have to be kept upright. The Broncos’ offensive line has been a mess for a while now but center Matt Paradis has been a lone bright spot. He won’t be cheap and the Broncos will have to make some cap space to keep him around (hence wish number 3) but keeping him on their offensive line is paramount. Sutton, Hamilton and newly acquired Brate will all be worthless if Flacco doesn’t have the time to get the ball downfield.

Cut Emmanuel Sanders

Cutting Sanders would save the Broncos $10.3 million in cap space but more than that, would free up 98 targets to be shared among their young receiving core. Sanders was very productive last year, but he tore his Achilles in December and at 31-years-old, that won’t be an easy injury to return from. Also, I’m perpetually bitter that Sanders picked the Broncos over the Patriots back in 2014 so maybe if the Broncos cut him, the Patriots can sign him and milk one final year out of him. He did lead the team in touchdowns (4) and averaged 72.3 yards per game. Those are still good numbers. But John Elway if you’re reading this, definitely still cut him.