Per multiple reports, Broncos free agent defensive tackle Mitch Unrein is visiting with the Chargers on Wednesday. Denver reportedly wanted to re-sign the Eaton native, but they obviously haven't yet met his asking price. Over his four seasons, Unrein has played in 54 games (three starts), totaling 49 tackles along the way.
But he only dressed for eight games in 2014, and saw only 46 defensive snaps, easily the smallest workload of his career. Previously, Orlando Franklin left for San Diego, reuniting with head coach and former Broncos OC Mike McCoy.
Let's get caught up on what's been going on with the rest of the AFCW teams, which is to say, quite a bit.
Much of this is stale news, but my OCD nature won't allow me to entirely skip mention of all of it. Apologies for the recent sporadic nature of posts.
Here's what's new (and old):
Since reviving his elite QB status under Mike McCoy, Philip Rivers has seemed destined to finish his NFL career with the only team he's known. However, Rivers is apparently less certain of that:
Asked on Tuesday if he thinks he will play his current contract out rather than agreeing to extend the deal that ends after the upcoming season, Rivers said, “Yes.”
Asked if he envisioned any circumstance causing him to reconsider, he said, “Honestly, nothing.”
Tim Tebow is fixed, you guys.
Where have we heard that before? Oh yeah, from this guy who was in Tebow's employ.
On Monday evening, 49ers linebacker Chris Borland announced his retirement after just one (stellar) season. The 2014 third-rounder out of Wisconsin says concerns over concussions and their longterm effects drove him to the decision.
Borland is the latest, but youngest, in a string of prominent players who recently decided to retire at 30 years old or younger, including Patrick Willis, Jake Locker, Maurice Jones-Drew, and Jason Worilds.
Here's some of what's been said/written/tweeted since Borland's announcement:
Linebacker Chris Borland, the Niners' third-round pick in 2014, and a rising star who notched 107 tackles as a rookie, announced his retirement on Monday. The reason? Fear of concussions, brain injuries, neurodegenerative disease, and early death. As Borland tells Outside the Lines:
I just honestly want to do what's best for my health. From what I've researched and what I've experienced, I don't think it's worth the risk.
Linebacker Nate Irving met with the Colts on Monday but has not yet agreed to a deal with them, according to Josina Anderson. Irving visited with Arizona sometime last week. Last month, Mike Klis reported that the Broncos would attempt to re-sign their 2011 third-rouner.
Prior to free agency, Anderson had reported that Irving was drawing widespread interest from around the league, which suggested he might leave Denver for a better shot at a starting job. But as with the Broncos, Irving wouldn't figure to start for Indy.
One of John Elway's first draft decisions was to take offensive right tackle Orlando Franklin 46th overall in 2011. One of the key stated reasons, repeated several times, was that Franklin brought nastiness to his run blocking. It was contagious, and it helped the whole line. His later-developing skills in pass blocking were often missed. It was a testament to how effective his run-mauling was.
That’s one of the factors for whichever team takes on Florida's D.J. Humphries next month. Humphries has shown himself to be one of the toughest tackles in this year’s draft. He measured in at 6'5" and 307 lb. at the combine - those are pretty standard measurements for tackles. Most years, someone will argue whether arm length matters. If you think it does, his is 33 5/8 inches.
The 10 Best Free-Agent Deals (So Far)
In general, though, you’ll notice that perennial contenders like the Ravens and Patriots seem to do their business well after free agency begins. That’s not a coincidence.
Denver got Vance Walker at half of Washington's price for Knighton, while Darian Stewart surely signed for a fraction of what Houston paid Moore (no details are out yet on Stewart's contract). That seems like a bet on Wade Phillips and his scheme, as much as anything else.
The Patriots can also be very quietly generous with their players to build that trust with a player who performs. Last season the team reworked the contract of Sebastian Vollmer to give him a better chance of earning incentives in his contract that he missed the year before because of injury. Often they give even their practice squad players a boost in salary at the end of the year. When the time comes to ask players for a pay cut later on, I am sure that these things are remembered. They play a different game than anyone else in the NFL.
This seems like a page the Broncos should take from the Pats' playbook. Over the past two offseasons, we've seen several young Broncos depart unhappily. BTW, love seeing Jason Fitzgerald getting his proper due.