New Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan brings running backs coach Bobby Taylor to Washington, and also targets three of Denver’s top players.
The Denver Broncos have many young players on their squad with the potential to be very good NFL players for a very long time. Three of those guys who have been impact players for Denver, including WR Brandon Marshall, TE Tony Scheffler, and G Chris Kuper, could be those targeted by new Redskin head coach Mike Shanahan. Scheffler and Marshall were both benched by Josh McDaniels in Denver’s last game of the season, all but solidifying their departure this offseason.
Replacing those players will not be easy for the Broncos if they all decided to leave Denver for Washington, but McDaniels is already expecting the rebuilding of the roster to continue. The 8-8 finish to this season does not give them a great pick in the draft, but they should receive a pick in exchange for Marshall nonetheless. But considering the future headache Marshall is sure to cause any team he lands on, don’t expect that pick to be too high.
Shanahan will undoubtedly attempt to bring Marshall to the Redskins. Marshall, coming off of his third consecutive 100+ reception season, would be a great fit in Washington considering the Redskins offensive issues. Marshall has racked up his own fair share of issues in Denver, so his departure is all but expected. Marshall has already cleared out his locker, so he obviously does not plan to return to the Broncos.
Shanahan knows this Broncos roster very well, coaching many of those players in Denver when he was with the team. Denver and Washington pulled off a blockbuster trade involving Clinton Portis for Champ Bailey years ago, a swap that worked out well for both teams. They also exchanged first round draft picks and were also involved in a multi-team deal that almost brought Jay Cutler to Washington.
Denver did snag Dre Bly away from the Redskins in 2007, so the Redskins could return that favor by luring Kuper to Washington. Given the Redskins problems along the offensive line, Kuper will definitely be targeted by Shanahan. The Broncos would then have to decide if they would like to match the offer from Washington, with Kuper being a restricted free agent. Considering that there is no salary cap for next season, the chances of Denver being able to match a Snyder offer to Kuper is highly unlikely.
The Redskins have two very talented TE’s in Chris Cooley and Fred Davis, but Scheffler could also find his way to D.C. as well. Shanahan relies heavily on the tight end position, but Cooley could be ehaded to the Broncos if a deal is worked out to bring Marshall and Scheffler to Washington. Cooley is an excellent football player with great hands who can also block.
Shanahan has already brought over Broncos running backs coach Bobby Turner, who has been with the team since 1995. Denver also lost longtime assistant coach and offensive line coach Rick Dennison, who accepted an offer to become the offensive coordinator on Gary Kubiak’s staff in Houston. McDaniels has already placed an emphasis on change, so though these moves may hurt at first, it allows him to bring in coaches that match his style.
The Broncos must also decide if they will bring back QB Kyle Orton, who is also a free agent this offseason. The lack of proven talent at the quarterback position on the 2010 free agent list now makes Orton one of the top QB’s available, along with Washington’s Jason Campbell.
Orton had issues with turnovers in the second half of the season and never truly established a downfield threat, even with talented receiving options in Marshall and Eddie Royal. Denver will ultimately have the first and final bid on Orton, but they must decide if his potentially inflated value this offseason will be worth the quarterback they’re receiving in exchange for the contract that will be matched or offered.
Denver continued to build for the future, signing guard Matt McChesney, a former defensive lineman at Colorado, and center Dustin Fry. Punter A.J. Trapasso was also signed. McChesney and Fry, both bigger offensive lineman, are prime examples of what McDaniels would like to do along the offensive line. Bigger and stronger seem to be the plan.
Guard Ben Hamilton is another unrestricted free agent and is not expected to return to the team, though McDaniels could utilize his prior relationship with Patriots Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins to bring him to Denver. Considering that Mankins is the best potential offensive lineman available on the free agent market, he will not come cheap. Denver must also worry about Daniel Snyder’s checkbook luring Mankins to D.C. as well.
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Written by Josh Souder