DENVER (CBS4) – For the first time in more than a decade, a new voice will be calling the shots in the Denver Broncos front office. The team hired George Paton to be the general manager on Wednesday, becoming the 15th top personnel executive in Broncos history.
As Paton starts his new role, here are the top three offseason moves he’ll need to make:READ MORE: Denver Public Schools To Discuss Extension To School Year
Will Von Miller Return?
The Broncos all-time sack leader is entering the final year of his contract. Miller is set to make $18 million next season and if brought back, he would have a $22.2 million cap hit.
Denver has a club option on his deal and if the Broncos release him, only $4.2 million will count against the cap next season. Miller will also be 32 years-old when the next season begins. He missed all last year with an ankle injury.
Re-signing Justin Simmons
The next line item is workout out a new contract with All-Pro safety Justin Simmons. Simmons had five interceptions, which was good for fourth in the NFL. He also earned his first Pro Bowl nod as well.READ MORE: Hunting, Fishing Applications Open In Colorado
The Broncos couldn’t come to an agreement on a long-term extension last offseason and placed a franchise tag on Simmons, which cost the team $11.4 million. A new deal is expected to be pricy. Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker is the highest-paid safety in the NFL signing a 4-year, $59 million deal last September. The contract comes out to an annual salary of $14.7 million a year.
Paton understands the importance of having an All-Pro safety in the backend of the defense as the Minnesota Vikings have five-time Pro Bowl safety Harrison Smith on the roster.
Will Drew Lock Return as the Starting QB?
The Broncos quarterback took a step back from his rookie season. In 13 starts, Drew Lock was 4-9 and threw 16 touchdowns and 15 interceptions, which was tied for the most in the NFL.
Paton will have to decide if he will bring back Lock as the starter for his third season, draft a quarterback, or trade or sign a free agent veteran quarterback.MORE NEWS: Stimulus Check Update: Some May See Even More Money From Potential Economic Relief Package
The top free agent quarterbacks are Dak Prescott, Phillip Rivers, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jameis Winston, and Cam Newton.