DENVER (CBS4) – Denver Broncos training camp is fast approaching, and with it another eventful offseason in the books. The team made plenty of headlines, some good, some bad. Next week we will handle the negative, but here are the positives:
1. Peyton Manning Returned
While there were fans who were ready to move on from the Manning era, the future Hall of Famer’s Peyton Manning‘s decision to come back gives the Broncos their best shot at winning in 2015 … that is, if he can stay healthy.
2. Gary Kubiak Was Hired
While it can be argued whether or not Kubiak was the best coach available this offseason, he was certainly the best fit: former Bronco, former Broncos coach, reunited with John Elway.
3. Shane Ray Drafted
The Broncos feel they got a real steal when they were able to draft Missouri linebacker Shane Ray in the first round. The SEC Defensive Player of the Year was considered a Top 10 talent, but a draft week marijuana citation allowed the Broncos to trade up and select him at 23.
4. Free Agent Signings
This year’s signings certainly couldn’t live up to last year’s haul of Pro Bowlers in Ware/Ward/Talib/Sanders, but the Broncos landed a few players to be excited about. Owen Daniels tops my list, the two-time Pro Bowler gives Manning a reliable target at tight end to replace Julius Thomas, and Daniels has spent his entire career playing for Gary Kubiak so he should be a good leader on the offense. Safety Darian Stewart is a name to watch on defense as he should slide into a starting role replacing Rahim Moore.
5. Pat Bowlen Elected Into Ring of Fame
There was only one person who questioned this decision, and it was Pat Bowlen. The Broncos owner will be officially added as the 28th member during the Broncos Nov. 1 game against the Packers. Broncos President/CEO Joe Ellis told reporters that the always humble Bowlen’s reaction to the news was, “Why the hell would you guys do that?” The rest of Broncos Country applauded the announcement.
BONUS No. 6. Broncos Beat Deadline, Sign Demaryius Thomas to Long-Term Deal
The Broncos and star wide receiver Demaryius Thomas agreed on a contract extension ahead of the franchise tag contract negotiation deadline.