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Woody Paige: Denver Broncos are saving salary cap space for a certain QB, er, Tony Romo

March 21, 2017 Updated: March 21, 2017 at 10:27 pm
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Dallas Cowboys' Tony Romo in action during the first half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

BREAKING NEWS!

(I abhor all-caps, particularly because it's become quite popular in social media political circles, but this is BIG.)

The 2017 Broncos Salute To Fans Tour will be appearing at Woodland Park on May 6, from 10 a.m. until noon.

Only 11 Colorado locales - including the "City Above The Clouds,'' a short, pleasant drive on Highway 24 from Colorado Springs - were chosen for the esteemed honor.

The event includes the first race in the Broncos 7K Series, a local celebration, predominantly orange balloons for the kids and the opportunity to visit with Miles The Mascot, Broncos cheerleaders and, yes, players.

I don't want to build up hopes, but you even might get to meet You Know Who - a famous quarterback. No, not John Elway, Peyton Manning or Jake Plummer. Or Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch.

Maybe, by then, there will be A New Guy.

Does anybody else find it bizarre that the Broncos have stopped signing free agents after these six: guard Ron Leary, tackle Manelik Watson, outside linebacker Kasim Edebali and defensive linemen Domata Peko, Zack Kerry and Bobby Richardson?

According to nflpa.com, the Broncos still have $20,973,416 in salary cap cash. That number is only for the top 51 contracts for current roster players, and does not include the potential $7,303,235 allotted for the Broncos' 10 draft picks.

Which leaves $13,670,181.

Barely shy of the amount necessary for a 13-year veteran quarterback, who has a guaranteed contract for $14 mil.

And if the Broncos cut linebacker Quentin Gause (me, neither) and his $540,000 deal, they would reach $14 million and have pocket change left.

Seems odd that, in the buying spree last week, John Elway didn't add a Six-Million-Dollar-Man for left tackle (King Dunlap, late of the Chargers), a $4 mil running back (Jamaal Charles, late of the Chiefs) and a $3,670,181 inside linebacker (Zach Brown, late of the Bills).

Conspiracy theorists would believe Elway is saving that money in case a certain QB can be acquired in a trade or free agency.

One such smart logician, Mike Florio of NBC's Pro Football Talk, speculates that the Broncos might get something done on this quarterback matter during the NFL meetings at the venerable Biltmore Resort in Phoenix on Sunday-Tuesday. Florio suggests that the owner of one Texas franchise does not want a quarterback to end up with the other Texas franchise.

(It should be noted that the other Texas franchise last year stole a quarterback from the Broncos, which, as the season turned out, wasn't such a good thing for that franchise.)

To prevent a theft of goods - and not a Super Bowl jersey, which happened in that other Texas franchise city - if the quarterback is released to become a free agent and sign wherever he chooses, this owner, Florio hypothesizes, "hopes an offer will be made to him'' during the league meetings. "The truth could be that (the owner) plans in Phoenix to make a team like the Broncos a low-ball, face-saving offer'' that "gets some marginal value'' for the quarterback and "ensures he'll never play for'' the other Texas franchise.

So, would Elway be willing to surrender a third-day draft pick? The Broncos have one pick in each of the fourth-six rounds and three in the seventh, including two compensatory selections. The second is the draft's last selection.

The 253rd pick should be reasonable for Elway (although the Broncos did draft Siemian in the seventh round). And Elway should want to stick it to the other Texas franchise. And Elway certainly could persuade the quarterback to come to Denver in a trade, as both Elway and Manning did, and eventually win a Super Bowl before his career ends, especially since NFL sources have told me the quarterback would love to play in Denver. And Elway could coax the quarterback in renegotiating the remainder of his $54 million contract.

If the quarterback were to accept an incentive-laden pact with a hefty roster bonus, the Broncos then could go sign left tackle, tight end and wide receiver free agents to help him.

The new quarterback could appear in Woodland Park on May 6 - which would be cause for a parade, too, and BIG BREAKING NEWS!

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