Talk about turmoil. We knew Sean Payton was a hard-headed guy so things could go south with a big personality like Russell Wilson. But they went south in a HURRY. Russell Wilson is expected to be released. And now there are rumors swirling regarding trading star wide receivers Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy. Which could then result in the subsequent elevation of Marvin Mims. Or maybe Sean Payton and Joe Lombardi bring in more of their old friends… 

Since the NFL combine is done and NFL free agency opens next week, we’re going to do our best to delve into all the possibilities here regarding Broncos weapons. We’ll look at the roster, depth chart contracts, and salary cap to make some free agent predictions both for Broncos fans and fantasy football gamers alike. So let's get to it!

*The salary cap numbers referenced in this article come courtesy of our friends over at*

Fantasy Football Depth Chart: Denver Broncos


Russell Wilson

Jarrett Stidham

Ben DiNucci

Running Back

Javonte Williams

Jaleel McLaughlin

Dwayne Washington

Running Back

Samaje Perine

Tyler Badie


Wide Receiver

Courtland Sutton

Tim Patrick

Phillip Dorsett

Wide Receiver

Jerry Jeudy

Brandon Johnson

David Sills

Wide Receiver

Marvin Mims

Lil'Jordan Humphrey

Michael Bandy

Tight End

Adam Trautman

Chris Manhertz

Nate Adkins

Tight End

Greg Dulcich

Lucas Krull


White = unrestricted free agent

Green = role is safe

Yellow = role could be in jeopardy

Red = could be traded or released





Russell Wilson: It’s not completely “official” but it seems pretty official after reports have emerged that the Broncos informed Russell Wilson that he will be released. On one hand, Russell Wilson has led some great teams, including a Super Bowl-winning team. Plus his statistics have generally been good. Even these down years for the Broncos have been better numbers-wise than teams like the Patriots, Steelers, Falcons, Giants etc. have seen at QB.

On the other, he was on a rookie deal when the Seahawks won the Super Bowl and his cap hit was under 5% when they went back the following year - since being paid by both the Seahawks and Broncos, he hasn’t seen as much success in the W-L column. And the contract is where it gets really interesting with Russ. His current deal has offset language regarding the money he is owed. The short and sweet of what that means is that the Broncos get some of that money back if another team signs him. So, if a team signs Russ to a big contract, the Broncos are off the hook. But Russ gets paid the same amount anyway. If he wants to stick it to the Broncos, he could opt to sign a one-year deal for the vet minimum for $1.2 million. That would be doing his new club a big favor and hurting the old one.

Jarrett StidhamJarrett Stidham clearly has value as a backup based on the teams that have brought him in. Being a good backup often involves a lot more than simply being ready to play if the starter goes down. But I doubt the Broncos under Sean Payton plan to move forward with Stidham as the starter and try to compete with the likes of Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert in 2024. Unless their plan is to do a bridge year here, in which case they could settle for whoever at QB as they posture for draft position in 2025.

Ben DiNucciThe Broncos benched Russell Wilson down the stretch to ensure that he didn’t get hurt and trigger injury protections in his contract. Since Wilson was off the table, DiNucci was brought in as an emergency option. He signed a futures deal to join them in camp again this spring so he’ll do his best to battle for the backup job (or emergency third QB, if they carry one). 

BRONCOS QB FREE AGENCY TAKE: The Broncos will almost certainly bring in outside competition at the quarterback position, whether that be via the draft or free agency. The quality of that QB will depend on their short term plan in terms of a bridge year or competing now. If they want to trade for a QB, Justin Fields is probably the most fun name but giving a second chance to a guy like Mac Jones could be something Sean Payton would be on board with. These are the options in free agency if they want to go that way instead. 

POSSIBLE FREE AGENT QB OPTIONS: Ryan Tannehill, Jacoby Brissett, Gardner Minshew, Tyler Huntley, Sam Darnold, Carson Wentz, Marcus Mariota


Running Back

Javonte WilliamsThe fact that Javonte Williams played at all by Week One is impressive considering the serious knee injury he suffered in 2022. And we can give him a pass to some degree for efficiency. But 3.57 yards per carry is ROUGH, to say the least. This year we are hoping he gets back closer to what we saw pre-injury but the quality of the offense around him is going to be important in that, as always.

We all know that Joe Lombardi loved to throw the ball to the RB with the Chargers, Saints, and Lions and that was no different here as the Broncos threw the ball to the RB more than any other team in the league. That is promising for the fantasy value of Williams if they don’t do anything in free agency. If they further split the backfield, it could be concerning. 

Samaje PerineWith uncertainty on the knee for Williams, the Broncos did go out and get pass down back Samaje Perine from the Bengals. He led the RB group in routes run with 218 (170 for Williams) and he was far more efficient with 9.1 yards per reception vs. 4.9 for Javonte. They all had their struggles in pass-blocking but the Broncos probably could just run it back with the group they have. Perine is on the last year of his deal and could be released for $3 million in savings, $1.5 million in dead cap. 

Jaleel McLaughlinThere was some smoke in the preseason behind Jaleel McLaughlin and he actually showed a little fire. He ran for 5.39 yards per carry and broke off some chunk plays while also catching 31 of his 36 targets. He’s under contract for 2024 and 2025 before becoming a restricted free agent in 2025 so they have cheap control of a solid backup for the foreseeable future. 

Dwayne WashingtonWashington had some familiarity with Sean Payton from his time in New Orleans, but he never really found a way to crack the lineup in Denver. I expect him to move on in free agency, but he could be a guy that just floats around waiting to sign if someone gets hurt.

Tyler BadieOn one hand, there was some brief hype around Tyler Badie in Baltimore. On the other, it’s always a little concerning to see an RB-needy team move on from an RB. Makes it a little hard for me to invest in a guy like that even in the deepest dynasty leagues. He can be released with $800K in savings, zero dead cap so he still needs to earn his roster spot.

Michael BurtonBurton played fullback for Payton in New Orleans so came along for the ride here. If he’s not back, I expect Payton to target a new fullback. 

BRONCOS RB FREE AGENCY TAKE: The Broncos don’t really need to do anything at the running back position, if they don’t want to. Just fill out the back end. Javonte Williams is the starter so the only thing that would move the needle is if they decided to upgrade the pass-catching back. 

However, it would need to be a high-end option to truly be worth just cutting Samaje Perine. The only scenario I can really even think of would be an Austin Ekeler reunion with Joe Lombardi to play that Alvin Kamara type role for Sean Payton. Or maybe if Alvin Kamara were released…


Wide Receiver

Courtland SuttonWhen the announcement came that Russell Wilson was gone, Courtland Sutton did what any good wide receiver would do - he took to the internet. He posted a cryptic message on X then removed the Broncos from all of his profiles. There are now trade rumors surrounding both Sutton and teammate Jerry Jeudy

Given the lack of high-end names in free agency, one of them probably would fetch a decent price if they were to be moved. And, whoever was left, would be in line for some decent targets. It is worth noting that, based on the free agents and the draft class, it is much easier to find a slot/flanker than it is a big bodied split end like Sutton. 

Jerry JeudyThere have been Jerry Jeudy trade rumors going back as long as I can remember but this is the most smoke they have ever gotten. And this time I do actually believe that Jeudy will be moved. He hasn’t lived up to his first round draft capital though he has flashed at times. And there are some underlying metrics that do suggest he might see a resurgence elsewhere. 

He would immediately be the best wide receiver on a number of teams like the Cardinals, Panthers, and Patriots but there are also teams like the Bears and Cowboys where he could be the WR2. The Cowboys elected to select CeeDee Lamb over Jeudy in the 2020 NFL Draft so maybe they can get the best of both worlds. 


UPDATE Jerry Jeudy has been traded to the Cleveland Browns for fifth and sixth round picks. Here is the full write up on the fantasy football impact.

Marvin MimsThis is basic math here. Earlier this year in a press conference, Sean Payton implied that it was difficult to get Jerry Jeudy and Marvin Mims on the field at the same time due to overlapping skillsets. Then, this week he said he expects an expanded role for Mims in 2024. And now there are Jerry Jeudy trade rumors. 

I don’t think I need to spell it out much further. Mims is a buy right now in dynasty, if you can get away with it. He returned the vast majority of the punts and kicks so, if they plan to elevate his role, they might need someone else to contribute here.

Tim PatrickBad luck for Tim Patrick as he missed all of 2022 AND 2023 with injury. He’s still under contract in 2024 and he could be released with $9 million in savings, $6 million in dead cap. That will largely depend on his health and what they do with the other receiving options.

Brandon JohnsonJohnson was elevated from the practice squad and filled in at times based on injuries. As a practice squad player, he has zero dead cap tied to his deal but he’s also only under contract for $985,000 so fairly cheap if they want him for depth. 

David Sills/Phillip Dorsett/Michael Bandy/Jalen Virgil/Tre'Quan Smith/Marquez CallawaySean Payton was essentially running “live tryouts” with a revolving door of names familiar to him and Joe Lombardi (Tre'Quan Smith a

BRONCOS WR FREE AGENCY TAKE: The Broncos on paper have a full wide receiver room. But, if the rumors are true and they move on from some or all of Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick, they could be in the mix. If Michael Thomas is released by the Saints, perhaps we see a reunion with Sean Payton, for instance. It wouldn’t shock me one bit. Let’s assume though that they keep Sutton at least and Marvin Mims is the slot/flanker opposite him. Here are some field stretching options the Broncos could look at.

POSSIBLE FREE AGENT WR OPTIONS: Gabe Davis, Darnell Mooney, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Mack Hollins, Mecole Hardman


Tight End

Greg DulcichI still believe in Greg Dulcich for both the Broncos and for fantasy football. I mean, it’s not like he went out there and played poorly - he was hurt. If he sticks with the Broncos, he could be that “joker” role that Jimmy Graham played where sometimes it’s tight end, sometimes it’s wide receiver. If not with the Broncos, I think he can catch on somewhere with his ability. Assuming he can get healthy. At his price in your dynasty leagues, Dulcich is a buy. 

Adam TrautmanYet another guy Sean Payton brought over from the previous regime, he’s a good blocker but doesn’t offer much in the pass game. He’s an unrestricted free agent and could be back again in a blocking capacity. 

Chris ManhertzManherz is a more than capable blocking tight end so I’m not 100% sure they need Trautman back. Manhertz fills that role just fine. 

Lucas KrullAfter Dulcich, Krull is the second-best deep dynasty stash on this team as he at least skews toward the passing game. And yes, as you guessed, he was originally signed to New Orleans. 

Nate AdkinsAdkins is on the roster bubble but he’s an interesting depth piece because he can play tight end and fullback all while contributing on four different special teams units. He’ll be in the battle with a lot of guys to make the team as a special teamer. 

BRONCOS TE FREE AGENCY TAKE: The Broncos have a enough depth here with what they have, even if Adam Trautman is gone. And they also don’t really have the cap space to spend up on a more fantasy relevant option than Greg Dulcich. So, I don’t foresee them making major waves at tight end in a weak tight end class.

NFL Free Agency Previews

Discover our other breakdowns for the rest of the league ahead of 2024 NFL free agency: