ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Here are the moves the Denver Broncos should consider when free agency opens at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday:
Work the plan: OK, the Broncos moved fast at quarterback with Case Keenum expected to formally sign with the team once free agency opens. Now, it's more important than ever they avoid their mistakes of 2017 and make sure the offense they put Keenum in fits his skills. They also need to keep as much talent around him as they can. They are listening to trade offers for running back C.J. Anderson and will need to be prepared to replace him if they do make a move there. The Broncos are prepared for Devontae Booker to be the primary back if Anderson is moved, but still need to look at some options who could play in some of their third-down packages as a receiver.
See about a homecoming: Nate Solder is a Colorado native and the top left tackle expected to reach free agency. It's a thin year at tackle in the draft and free agency, so Solder will be a high-value target for plenty of teams. Yes, the Broncos used last year's No. 1 pick on left tackle Garett Bolles, and Bolles started every game in his rookie season and was viewed as the long-term solution at the position. But Solder would not only help stabilize a position group that has been too unsettled over the past four seasons, he would also provide Bolles the kind of veteran mentorship he needs. If the Broncos simply elect to look for a right tackle in free agency, then make it someone who can help Bolles with his game-day approach. Bolles is too emotional when he plays and was too quick as a rookie to dismiss help when it was offered.
Sign Malcolm Butler to a prove-it deal: The Patriots benched Butler for the Super Bowl and the Philadelphia Eagles kept completing passes against his replacement, so that isn't the best endorsement a guy can have heading into free agency. But with Aqib Talib headed to the Rams, they could sign Butler to a one-year deal that dangles another chance at free agency in 2019. The reward far outweighs the risk for a healthy cornerback who has played at a high level in his career.
Consider Donte Moncrief: A size/speed receiver who won't turn 25 until August deserves a long look from a team that is decidedly thin at the position. Judge Moncrief not by what he did when Andrew Luck was out of the Colts' lineup, but what he showed with a quarterback who could get him the ball. Put Moncrief in a formation with Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders and the Broncos have two 220-pound receivers with big-play speed to go with Sanders' quickness and burst. It would give all three more room to work as defenses try to decide where to tilt the coverage.