The Denver Broncos will return two veterans to the roster in 2019 after picking up the options on Emmanuel Sanders and Derek Wolfe.
Despite rumors that the Broncos could move on from Sanders, who suffered a season-ending torn Achilles in 2018, president of football operations/general manager John Elway confirmed that the team’s most-experienced receiver would return.Embed from Getty Images
Sanders will be the leader in a wide receiver room that will also feature Courtland Sutton, DaeSean Hamilton, and Tim Patrick, all of whom are entering their second season in the league.
“They’re good football players,” Elway said of Sanders and Wolfe at the NFL Scouting Combine.
“That’s why we plan on exercising, and it’s different situations, but we’re planning on exercising both of those.”Embed from Getty Images
Wolfe, a second-round draft pick in 2012, played 16 games in 2018 after two injury-hit years and, while his production was limited to 43 tackles, 1.5 sacks, an interception and six passes defensed in 2018, the team will welcome his return with new head coach Vic Fangio planning to revamp the Broncos’ defense.
Elway also confirmed that the Broncos are evaluating the situation with pending free agent Matt Paradis, who is expected to gain significant interest after establishing himself as one of the best centers.
Paradis suffered a season-ending broken leg in week nine against Houston, the first time he had missed game time for the Broncos despite dealing with several injuries over the years and having hip surgery last offseason.
“Obviously, we’ve told him that we would like to have him back, but he’s coming off of a pretty significant injury,” Elway said.
“So, we have to evaluate that process. Matt has been a great warrior for us for four years.”Embed from Getty Images
Left guard Ron Leary will also return in 2019, while the Broncos are working on a deal for versatile lineman Billy Turner, and would like to bring back right tackle Jared Veldheer, who is a free agent.
“I’d love to bring all our guys back, but there’s only so much we can do,” Elway added.
“So that’s why until you get to the market and see where everything is, that’s where everything becomes realistic, because we can talk about it and evaluate and say what we’d like right now, but until we see what’s out there and what’s involved, it’s hard to be concrete with which direction.”
Despite trading with Baltimore for quarterback Joe Flacco, which is expected to be officially confirmed when the new league year begins on March 13, the Broncos retain an interest in keeping Case Keenum on the roster.
“Well, there has to be an adjustment of the contract — first of all — and that’s going to be up to him,” Elway said.
“As I told Case when I talked to him, different options and that we’re going to work with him, and give him time to think about it.
“So, we’ll circle back with Case and see where he is, and go from there.”
The Broncos will let 2014 first-round pick Bradley Roby hit free agency after a disappointing 2018 season.