Over the past four days, the Broncos' three exclusive rights free agents signed their respective tenders. Paul Cornick and Ben Garland ($510K each) signed on Friday, while Brandon Marshall ($585K) signed on Monday. These moves are mere formalities, as the players were essentially stuck with the team the moment they were tendered on March 6.
The Broncos have added yet another player familiar to Gary Kubiak, agreeing to a one-year deal with fullback/tight end James Casey. Originally drafted by Kubiak's Texans in 2009, Casey played four seasons in Houston, parlaying his most productive season into a free agent deal with the Eagles in 2013.
Like many, I see the option of grabbing a center as a prime goal for the Broncos. Matt Paradis might have come to the point where he’s ready. On the other hand, John Elway has spoken repeatedly on their happiness with OT Michael Schofield. He’s been far less effusive about Paradis, although says that they still have faith in him.
That situation has left me combing through the various centers available this year. Will Montgomery went to the Bears, so an additional change is needed. Who?
The Broncos have announced their preliminary preseason slate:
Time’s running shorter. There’s still free agency time to work, and the draft is giving Denver 10 picks. But the offensive line needs help in a big way. I’m not talking about Gino Gradkowski and Shelley Smith here. They’re good depth. Losing Orlando Franklin and Will Montgomery meant the last season’s top two graded linemen are now gone.
Denver’s still about where it was when head coach Gary Kubiak said, "We have to get better up front." It wasn’t a shock, and he’s right. It’s the time of year to fix it. Denver does need to be better up front. One piece of that puzzle is already on the table. It depends on whether Michael Schofield can handle right tackle in the NFL.
Broncos corner Aqib Talib and his brother are under investigation for aggravated assault at a Dallas nightclub, according to WFAA in Dallas. Per Rebecca Lopez, a shot was fired during a fight involving the two men, who were questioned by police but allowed to leave the premises.
Talib signed with Denver last offseason, and his $5.5M salary for 2015 became fully guaranteed on March 12.
Wes Welker is visiting with the Dolphins on Wednesday, according to Ian Rapoport, who notes that it's Welker's first visit of free agency. Greg Jennings met with Miami on Tuesday but left without a deal.
When the Chargers dumped him after just one game in 2004, Welker signed with Miami and proved a jack of all trades. He caught passes, carried the ball, returned punts and kickoffs, and even placekicked. New England threatened to sign Welker to a poison-pill-laden restricted offer sheet in 2007, and the Dolphins sent him northward for two picks, one of which became Samson Satele.
I can see the Broncos taking a quarterback in the second or third round. I think they almost have to with Manning playing this season at 39 years old and Brock Osweiler in the final year of his contact. Brett Hundley, Sean Mannion, Bryce Petty and Colorado State’s Garrett Grayson would be possibilities.
I'm not buying this, unless John Elway & Co. are less enamored with Osweiler than they say (possible, but they would have traded him, right?). As long as they see him as their QB of the future, Osweiler's pending free agency shouldn't be an issue. In that case, a summer or midseason extension would make sense for both sides.
Yesterday, we discussed Denver's worst first-round picks during the 25-year period between 1990 and 2014. The people of Broncos Country have spoken - or, 266 of them have, as of this writing - and Marcus Nash is the clear "winner" with 98 votes (36.8%). Jarvis Moss (73 votes, 28.2%) and Tommy Maddox (50 votes, 18.8%) are the runners up.
I'd love to know how the vote broke down by age, because I have to think that anyone old enough to remember the ridiculousness of the Maddox pick voted that way. Taking a 20-year old sophomore quarterback just months after John Elway had led Denver to its fourth AFC title game in six seasons was purely horrifying.
Examining the worst first-round NFL draft pick for each team since 1990
Sure are a lot of busts from the 2007 class and despot Mike Croel’s selection at 4th overall being floppish, we’re going with Jarvis Moss here.
Look, I know there's a lot of work behind crafting a list involving every NFL team over 25 years. But it's not that hard. And while everyone knows how I feel about Tim Tebow, there's no way he was a worse draft choice than Willie Fractured Ankle Middlebrooks, Marcus Four Career Catches Nash, or Tommy Successor to 31-year-old Elway Maddox (Carl Pickens!).