The NFL may put us out of our Pro Bowl misery

Pro Bowl game likely to be shelved
espn.go.com

Many players who will be selected during this week’s NFL draft are regarded as future Pro Bowl selections, but the game itself likely will be suspended this season and beyond, according to league sources.

Sources say that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who has previously voiced his displeasure with the lack of competitiveness in recent Pro Bowl games, is strongly considering suspending this year’s game, sources say.

Beyond 2013, another league source believes the Pro Bowl is “DOA (dead on arrival).”

If the game is suspended, the league still would have a Pro Bowl balloting process to identify the season’s top players and would direct teams to negotiate Pro Bowl clauses into player contracts and to honor Pro Bowl incentive clauses to avoid any serious conflict with the players association. Those players also likely would be honored in some fashion during Super Bowl week.

Good riddance.

The Daily Lard 4-26-12

Happy Draft Day, Broncos fans! As Mike Klis sees it, Denver might be picking within the top five tonight had it not been for the singular heroics of Tim Tebow ($4.99, please).

But wait, there's a draft to talk about - Klis figures the team would be happy to take either of defensive tackles Dontari Poe from Memphis or Michael Brockers of LSU if they're still on the board, and GT WR Stephen Hill if not.

In the absence of those three prospects, Klis reports the team would consider Alabama CB Dre Kirkpatrick, MSU DT Jerel Worthy, and UConn DT Kendall Reyes. He says the team is finally "almost certain" to finally take a defensive tackle (finally!) in the first three rounds, and he floats BSU RB Doug Martin, Washington RB Chris Polk, Baylor RB Terrance Ganaway, Arizona QB Nick Foles and ASU QB Brock Osweiler as other Day 2 possibilities, with a cornerback and kick returner thrown in for good measure.

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 4-26-12"

Denver Broncos 2012 draft picks

Rd Pick Player Position - School Notes
2 4 (36) Derek Wolfe DT - Cincinnati via TB (w/ #101 for #31 and #126)
2 25 (57) Brock Osweiler QB - Arizona State  
3 4 (67) Ronnie Hillman RB - San Diego State via CLE (for #87 and #120)
4 6 (101) Omar Bolden DB - Arizona State via TB (w/ #36 for #31 and #126)
4 13 (108) Philip Blake OL - Baylor via NYJ (Tim Tebow)
5 2 (137) Malik Jackson DE - Tennessee via STL (Brandon Lloyd)
6 18 (188) Danny Trevathan LB - Kentucky via NYJ (Tebow)

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Mike Klis thinks Brandon Spano is absurd

According to Mike Klis, the speculation (led by Brandon Spano) that the Broncos are going to move up in the draft to the #7 pick to take Stephon Gilmore is pretty ridiculous:

There's a report out there saying the Broncos have talked about trading up to Jacksonville's No. 7 spot for CB Stephon Gilmore. Absurd. The Broncos have just one second-round pick (end of round at No. 57) and one third-round pick (end of round at No. 87). You can't get there from here. Broncos may move up a spot or three from No. 25, but even that is unlikely. Broncos wouldn't mind moving back, but they go to bed tonight expecting to make their pick at No. 25.

By this time tomorrow, one of these guys will be wrong.

Evening Lard 4-25-12

Good Evening, Broncos fans! We're less than 24 hours away from the start of the 2012 NFL Draft, and as you've seen, there's been a ton of news all week. So much so that I've been collecting a lot of it the day/evening before posting, and the results have been unwieldy and overwhelming Lards. So, I figure I might as well just post what I've collected so far tonight, and in the morning I'll share anything that posts between now and then.

As for tomorrow, look for Ted to provide his live pick-by-pick analysis of the first round (and the second and third rounds on Friday night), and the four of us will be doing Chewing the Fat entries throughout the draft. We'll post those after each of Denver's picks, and TJ will present some of his Gut Reactions in the wee hours of the night.

Whatever the Broncos do, whether it's making a stunning move upwards or a ho-hum slide down the board, we'll have you covered. See you in the morning, friends, and have a great night!

Continue reading "Evening Lard 4-25-12"

Samuel accepts hefty pay cut to join Falcons

Asante Samuel agrees to three-year, $18.5M deal as part of trade
www.nfl.com

The deal to send cornerback Asante Samuel to the Atlanta Falcons from the Philadelphia Eagles has been finalized, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

As part of the trade, Samuel and the Falcons have agreed to terms on a three-year, $18.5 million deal.

Mike Klis reported last week that Denver was essentially out of the running for Samuel, and now it's official. Samuel had been due about $21.5M over just two seasons according to the terms of his prior contract.

Atlanta sent Philly a seventh-round pick in return for Samuel; according to Kils, Denver had been offering either a fifth- or sixth-rounder, or a player.

Overspeed and Luke Kuechly

Take a likely top-15 pick at middle linebacker and add one trip to the Combine and what do you get? Good form on the testing. Luke Kuechly (KEEK-lee) produced such an outcome two months ago, and in doing so he showed exactly why the Combine’s best functions are to get medicals and interviews, look for outlying anomalies and serve to make sure that time will reward those expected to become higher draft picks with expensive semi-private training at the top facilities in the country, courtesy of their friendly, hopeful agents. His elite status also permits elite training. It showed. 

I say hopeful agents because those representatives put out the cash for that training, which runs to 20 thousand dollars, and sometimes higher. They front other funds as well, and often lose money on the endeavors, but they’re hoping enough good will to get the next contract to negotiate as well. Much as it surprises no one who’s been in business, the best agencies usually take the lion’s share of the top market. Everyone scrambles to try to be the next success story - among both the athletes and their agents.

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The Daily Lard 4-25-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Panthers WR Steve Smith says a Saints defender told him during a game that he'd get fined were he not to "go after (Smith's) legs" while forcing him out of bounds. Smith also relates a conversation he had with Gregg Williams during a game last year, saying "He took responsibility, he was saying it wasn't right, but that's who he was."

And yet, Joe Vitt incredibly claimed yesterday that the team's players never tried to hurt opponents. Really, Joe? It's a wee bit late for denials. Saints fans? At least they're honest.

Meanwhile, the FBI and Louisiana State Police are investigating the wiretapping allegations against Saints GM Mickey Loomis. Cortez Kennedy vouched for Loomis to Peter King, who of course finds the whole thing interesting. PK notes that New Orleans so vocally and vehemently denied the allegations after offering quiet reactions to news of their own Vicodin and bounty scandals.

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You Got RAMD: The 2012 Rational Actor Mock Draft

Are y’all ready to get RAMD?  For the third year in a row, I’m doing a Rational Actor Mock Draft, which assumes that I know what a rational actor would do.  Basically, if every team were run by somebody who thinks like me, this is what would happen.  Please note the following ground rules:

1.            Trades are allowed, and will generally stick semi-close to the Value Chart, despite its general stupidity as a tool.  I do this to keep things inarguably reasonable, even to devotees of the Chart.

2.            This is meant to describe what teams SHOULD do, not what they WILL do.  I’m not interested in regurgitating Peter King’s disinformed mock, and you shouldn’t be interested in reading something like that.  Take this exercise as me sharing my thought process, and hopefully, a bit of football insight.

3.            As such, I don’t care if this matches any actual picks, as they happen.  When PK or some other tool is patting themselves on the back for getting seven or eight right, I’ll be smirking at them.  When they bitch about agonizing over this pick or that pick for hours, I won’t be; there’s no agony to this whatsoever.

I’m glad we had this talk.  Turn your clothes backward, and Jump!  Jump! Because I’m the Daddy Mack, and I just told you to.

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Denver SB teams were most diversely sourced champs

When Draft Classes Make the Biggest Difference
fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com

But no team found contributors in more places than Denver’s two Super Bowl champions. John Elway came aboard in 1983; a dozen years later, Denver drafted Terrell Davis. Rod Smith was an undrafted free agent and Ed McCaffrey came to Denver after playing with the Giants. Gary Zimmerman and Mark Schlereth manned the left side of the line, but were drafted by N.F.C. East teams in the 1980s. John Mobley, Tom Nalen and Shannon Sharpe were key contributors, but drafted years apart. The ’97 team fielded only two starters who were part of the same Denver draft class: middle linebacker Allen Aldridge and center Tom Nalen. In 1998, two second-year players — guard Dan Neil and defensive tackle Trevor Pryce — were the only starters from the same draft class (Aldridge was playing with the Lions in 1998).

Collecting so many aging free agents like Howard Griffith, Tyrone Braxton, Bill Romanowski, and Neil Smith, plus younger players like Alfred Williams, Darrien Gordon, and Maa Tanuvasa, and then combining them with the guys listed above to create a cohesive winner was a remarkable feat, cap Shanahanigans aside.

As for the main point of the piece, Stuart shows that rookies (or any single draft class) rarely make significant contributions to a SB championship, which stands in contrast to Elway's comments from yesterday about expecting immediate impacts from drafted players.

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