Rewind: The Broncos used the franchise tag for the first time in 10 years to retain K Matt Prater, but that was lost in the shadow of their courtship of QB Peyton Manning, who flew to Denver on Friday and spent nine hours meeting with John Elway and John Fox on a private plane, at team headquarters and over dinner. After rolling over cap room from 2011, the Broncos are an estimated $44.7 million under the cap -- more than anyone else pursuing Manning, which would allow them more freedom to add players he would like to help rebuild the offense. Fast-forward: While the Broncos await Manning's decision, they continue to negotiate with DT Brodrick Bunkley, who is the highest priority among their 17 pending free agents. When the signing period begins, the Broncos are also expected to pursue a veteran safety like Reggie Nelson (Bengals) or Brandon Meriweather (Bears) since they don't know whether Brian Dawkins will return or retire. Their tasks beyond Bunkley hinge on Manning's choice. If he becomes a Bronco, expect Denver to pursue some available Colts standouts like TE Dallas Clark and WR Reggie Wayne; if not, look for Denver to add plenty of mid-priced free agents to shore up a still depth-shy roster.