Knowshon Moreno Your team has the best record in the league. The offense is better than anything the NFL has ever seen and the play of Peyton Manning is about as breathtaking as anything fans have since Dan Marino’s record-setting season.

The Broncos charged through the season, only to lose – I mean get slaughtered – in the game’s grandest stage.

Now, while preparing for the Draft and free agency, where John Elway has stated he will be involved in all UFA moves, the team has a roster full of unrestricted free agents to deal with.

And we thought the decision on Manning’s neck may be the most important decision on the mind of Elway and team owner Pat Bowlen.

The list is long, 17 in all. All unrestricted and all wanting a chance to come back and raise the Lombardi Trophy. We all know it won’t happen that way. So who goes and who stays? Here are some names the team must keep to be as competitive as last season.

Zane Beadles

Played in all 16 games on the offensive line. Beadles was a workhorse and would create a huge void if he leaves in the offseason.

Knowshon Moreno

The team is not going to allow Moreno to leave without a fight. He was a key cog in the team’s offensive success and enjoyed some of his best performances last season. While there are other backs in the stable, losing this horse would be costly.

Eric Decker

He is pretty much good as gone – as the media would say. There are other receivers on this team. Decker could cost too much when the team must re-sign key defensive players.

Shaun Phillips

The glue in the middle of this defense. If the team thinks Jeremy Mincey, another free agent, can play inside next to Terrance Knighton, then Phillips may be expendable. But for now, Phillips must return.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

He swore (jokingly) had the Broncos won the Super Bowl, he would retire after the season. The Broncos did not win and well, Rodgers-Cromartie must come back.

Wesley Woodyard

He was as good as this team has had and was a key contributor. With Von Miller out for various reasons, Woodyard and the linebackers pulled it all together.

Dan Koppen or Steve Vallos

I don’t see the team keeping both of them, but these veterans are solid. Koppen was injured this past season, which makes him the more likely of the two not to survive the cut. Vallos is a lunch-pail type of player.