By Frank Schwab
To Mike Shanahan, there isn’t a predicament on what to do with Rod Smith. Smith is recovering from hip surgery and hasn’t practiced yet. But Shanahan said he has told Smith he will have a place on the team, which probably means at the cutdown date he’ll be put on the physically unable to perform list and miss the first six weeks. Shanahan said Smith can take as long as he needs to heal.
Even if Smith never plays again, keeping him around wouldn’t be Shanahan’s worst idea. Smith is recognized as the leader of the Broncos, especially now that linebacker Al Wilson is gone. Is that leadership more valuable than keeping around a seventh linebacker or fifth safety who might be inactive every week? Probably.
Also, as businesslike as Shanahan is, he is sentimental about players like Smith who have done so much for the Broncos franchise. Remember, at Ed McCaffrey’s retirement press conference, Shanahan got very emotional. Parting with Smith won’t be easy either.