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Vic Fangio opens up on the Broncos’ impending roster decisions

Zac Stevens Avatar
February 27, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS — Despite facing the largest media continent in his short time as an NFL head coach, Vic Fangio didn’t back down on Wednesday at the NFL Combine.

In fact, the first-time head coach was extremely candid when talking about what his roster needs and what he’s looking for.

“I don’t think there’s a position on our team where we don’t need [help],” Fangio said in brutally-honest fashion.

Outside of making it very clear the team needs help all over the board, Fangio got very specific on certain position groups and players.

Here’s what he divulged.

Roby to hit free agency

After trading Aqib Talib last offseason, the Broncos are prepared to lose another starting cornerback this offseason as Fangio admitted the team will let former first-round pick Bradley Roby hit free agency.

“We’re going to see how the free-agent market treats him, and we’re going to stay in contact with him,” Fangio stated. “We still have an interest in him, and we’ll see where the process takes us.”

Minutes later, Fangio explained the importance of the corner position.

“First off, you can never have enough of them,” he said, emphasizing how valuable the position is. “We’ve got to have three corners on the field.”

Despite that, they’ll let Roby explore other options.

Sanders expected back

Coming off a torn Achilles, Emmanuel Sanders future with the Broncos has been up in the air. On Wednesday, Fangio attempted to put to rest some of those rumors.

“Emmanuel’s a hell of a player, been a highly productive receiver in the league for a long time,” Fangio said, praising the veteran receiver. “He was having an excellent year last year with the Broncos. We expect him to be back at full speed.”

Fangio expects Sanders to be ready for the season opener and “hopefully [he’ll have] a major role for us.”

Paradis wanted

Less than two weeks until free agency begins, the Broncos’ most high-profile free agent, Matt Paradis, is set to hit the open market.

But that doesn’t mean the Broncos don’t want him back.

“We definitely would like him back,” Fangio said without hesitation. “But John [Elway] can give you more details on that when he’s up here later.”

Elway will speak to the media on Wednesday afternoon.

Paradis is expected to be seeking the largest contract ever for a center.

Not looking to move on from Wolfe

With a $10.925 million 2019 cap hit looming, there has been plenty of speculation if the Broncos will look to move on from Derek Wolfe in order to save over $8.5 million against the cap.

Fangio, however, doesn’t expect the team to part ways with the veteran defensive end, responding “sure” to if he expects Wolfe to be back in 2019.

“I don’t see anything changing our stance there with him.”

Not giving up on Cravens

After trading the equivalent of a fourth-round pick for Su’a Cravens last offseason, the safety had a disappointing 2018 season, including being a healthy scratch for the team’s final three games of the season.

But with a new coach comes a fresh start.

“He can still have a role on this team,” Fangio said. “We’re looking forward to seeing him on the practice field when we get started as see where he’s at.”

Only three years ago, Cravens was a second-round pick by Washington. The Broncos, under Elway, reportedly had a first-round grade on him.

Extreme need at backer

As mentioned above, Fangio was brutally honest when it came to all the needs across the roster.

But when it came to the inside linebacker position, he was devastatingly honest.

“We need to add to that group, but I like some of the players we do have available there in Todd Davis, Josey Jewell and other players that have played in backup roles,” he said, not mincing his words. “But I’de like to see us add a player or two there to be competitive.”

High-profile linebackers will be available this offseason, including four-time Pro Bowler C.J. Mosely in free agency and Devin White out of LSU as a potential first-round pick.

Non-committal on quarterbacks

Due to NFL rules, Fangio can’t talk about the Joe Flacco trade until it becomes official on Mar. 13.

On Wednesday, he wisely dipped, dived and dodged questions about his next quarterback.

But when asked about the team potentially adding a young quarterback this offseason, Fangio was as non-committal as can be.

“We would like to add good young players at all of our positions,” Fangio simply said.

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