The Denver Broncos have a problem. Or, at least, they will have a problem once Super Bowl 50 is over and the Broncos have to figure out which of their unrestricted free agents they can afford to keep, and which they will be forced to let hit the open market.
We have already discussed how this might benefit the Giants on the defensive line, where it seems likely that 26-year-old Malik Jackson will reach free agency. The Broncos face a similar dilemma at linebacker. They have to pay superstar linebacker Von Miller to keep him off the open market. They have Brandon Marshall heading to free agency. They also have linebacker Danny Trevathan heading to free agency.
Analysts seem to believe that the Broncos will opt to keep Marshall over Trevathan simply because of cost. The Denver post explains:
Marshall is set to be a restricted free agent, meaning the Broncos will have the right to match any outside offer. The team might be able to retain him on as little as a second-round tender, worth around $2.5 million for one year, Corry said.
Trevathan, the Broncos' leading tackler in the regular season (110) and postseason (14), will be an unrestricted free agent and likely viewing Mychal Kendricks' deal as a baseline. The Eagles' inside linebacker signed a four-year, $29 million contract last August that includes $17 million in guarantees.
Trevathan's Spotrac Calculated Market Value is $6 million annually, with Spotrac projecting a six-year, $36.4 million deal for Trevathan on the open market. That would put Trevathan in-between Donald Butler of the San Diego Chargers (seven years, $51.8 million) and Stephen Tulloch of the Detroit Lions (five years, $25.5 million).
Could the linebacker-needy Giants be a landing spot for Trevathan, who will turn 26 in March? The 6-foot, 240-pound Trevathan has experience playing outside in a 4-3 and inside in a 3-4, so scheme shouldn't be an issue. Trevathan was a sixth-round pick by Denver in 2012 and was a full-time starter in 2013 and 2015. He was limited to only three games by injuries in 2014.
Trevathan is ranked No. 12 on the Pro Football Focus list of the top unrestricted free agents available with an overall grade of 87.6, which means PFF considers him a Pro Bowl-caliber player. PFF says:
Injuries ruled Danny Trevathan out for much of 2014, but his 2015 campaign built on his solid 2013 season, as he flourished in Wade Phillips' 3-4 scheme. Trevathan finished in the top five for ILBs in both run-stop percentage and tackling efficiency, while also having PFF's sixth-highest coverage grade amongst ILBs. With Trevathan one of four Broncos on this list, and several more starters set to become free agents, linebacker-needy teams should like their chances of Trevathan hitting the market.
Is Trevathan a player you would like to see GM Jerry Reese target in free agency, Giants fans?