Denver Broncos Could Lose Eric Decker and Knowshon Moreno

Updated: February 6, 2014

Denver BroncosDenver Broncos Could Lose Eric Decker and Knowshon Moreno

After a huge, disappointing loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII, the Denver Broncos may end up taking a couple more hits through free agency. Wide receiver Eric Decker and running back Knowshon Moreno both have a good chance to become free agents this offseason, which certainly does not look good for Denver

Decker, 26, is coming off of a career year in 2013. The fourth year wideout out of Minnesota caught a career high 87 passes for a career high 1,288 yards and 11 touchdowns. His 14.8 yards per reception also rank the best in his career for a full season. It is worth noting that his quarterback is Peyton Manning, which could boost his numbers a bit, but it is also worth saying that Denver had a stacked receiving corp in 2013. If Decker were to become a number one wide receiver, his numbers next season could very easily mirror his 2013 performance.

That team could be the New England Patriots. New England has expressed interest in going after a top wide receiver (including rumors of a possible Larry Fitzgerald pick up) this offseason to help bolster their offense led by 3-time Super Bowl winning quarterback Tom Brady.

If New England lets go of wide receiver Julian Edelman, they will almost certainly pick up a number one receiver through free agency or the draft (most likely the former). Decker easily fits the bill. He is big, physical, fast, intelligent, and he is a legitimate red zone threat.

However, if Edelman and Decker are Patriots next year, you have to think about New England’s offense returning to its former Moss-Welker glory days. Sure, Edelman is no Wes Welker, and Decker is not Randy Moss, but the Patriots have other dangerous weapons like Rob Gronkowski in their arsenal. Look out for the Patriots next season, as their offense will look a little different come Week 1.

Broncos’ running back Knowshon Moreno, who is just 26 years old, had a breakout year for Denver, posting career highs in rushing yards, touchdowns, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns (tied with 2010). 23-year-old back up rookie running back Montee Ball showed promise in limited action with Denver last season, totaling 559 yards and 4 touchdowns on 120 attempts. Ball’s 4.7 yards per attempt beat Moreno’s by almost half a yard, while his yards per reception sat a couple of yards lower.

Letting Moreno go is certainly a gamble. If Ball gets injured, the Broncos would need a suitable back up to replace him. Ball would also have to adapt to getting around 250 carries a year, so don’t expect him to put up 4.7 yards per run in 2014. Moreno proved to be a reliable pass catcher as well, which you don’t often find just sitting around off of the free agent market or in the draft.

If the Broncos want to make one last run at the Super Bowl next season (under Peyton Manning), they should keep Moreno and use him alongside Ball. They could become quite a formidable one-two punch as they develop together. As most teams have learned over the years: you can never have too many (good) running backs. With all that being said, however, Knowshon is likely to leave.

Teams interested in a running back include the Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland BrownsMiami  Dolphins, and the New York Giants.

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