As the Broncos gear up for training camp, some players may be doing so as their last in a Broncos’ jersey. At the conclusion of the 2017 season, the Broncos could have as many as 36 players with contracts set to expire.

One of the players entering the final year of his contract is inside linebacker Todd Davis.

Though he may not get the attention or spotlight that fellow linebackers Von Miller, Shane Ray or Brandon Marshall do, Davis actually lead the linebacker positon in tackles in 2016.

In his first year as a full-time starter in Wade Philips’ 3-4 defense, Davis finished second on the team in solo tackles (64), only behind safety T.J. Ward (69).

Davis has always been known as a “thumper” – someone who can land big hits and play well against the run.

Looking ahead to 2017, expect Davis to continue to be a force against the run. With an improved defensive line, Davis should see more opportunities to record tackles and improve the Broncos’ run defense from last year.

With his contract set to expire at the end of the season, David will become an unrestricted free agent, which means he will have the opportunity to test the free agent market if he chooses to.

As with most free agents, the Broncos will need to consider Davis’ value if he receives interest from other teams.

For reference, fellow starting linebacker Brandon Marshall signed a 4-year $32 million contract, which included $15 million guaranteed at the time of signing.

One of the reasons Marshall received a lucrative contract extension was because of his proven ability to play against the run and in pass coverage.

Spending $8 million a year may be a little more than team general manager John Elway would like to pay for Davis’ services, if the team views Davis only as a run-stopping linebacker.

However, playing for a new contact, expect Davis’ numbers to increase this upcoming year.

If Davis can manage to continue to produce at a high level for back-to-back seasons, the Broncos might look to extend his contract before the season’s end, as to not risk him signing elsewhere in the free agent market.

Doing so would allow the Broncos to keep Davis for a less expensive price, as free agent signings are often inflated as teams compete to sign their desired players.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, as Elway used similar tactics with defensive end Derek Wolfe, getting him signed before he was able to hit the free agent market.

A telling sign that the Broncos front office has confidence in Davis, and the other linebackers on the roster, is that the Broncos did not use any of their 2017 draft selections on an inside linebacker.

Davis is one of the younger players the Broncos have on the roster and will still be only 25 years of age when the season comes to an end.

It’s clear that the broncos have enough faith in Davis to be a part of the team’s future. From letting former starter Danny Trevathan walk in free agency to not addressing the inside linebacker position, Davis appears to be a part of the Broncos’ long-term plans.

The combination of promising play, youth and proven production on the defensive side of the ball all seem to point to the Broncos retaining Davis one way or another at the conclusion of the 2017 season.