Rice, Forte get their scratch; others told to go scratch Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The deadline for teams to sign their franchise players to long-term deals was yesterday afternoon, and a few contracts got done just under the gun.

Baltimore did what they absolutely had to do, by signing running back Ray Rice to a five-year deal which includes $24M in guarantees and a total value of $35M. Incentives can potentially lift that number to $40M. Likewise, the Bears finally rewarded their runner/receiver, giving Matt Forte more than $17M in guarantees as part of a four-year, $32M deal.

But what about value? The numbers say Baltimore paid about market value for Rice, while Forte got more than he is worth. And now that these guys are under contract, what about trading them for a bounty of draft choices? Obviously that would never happen, but as always, great food for thought from Burke.

Jacksonville also locked up their tagged player, as kicker Josh Scobee agreed to a four-year deal with $4.75M in guarantees and a total value around $14M. Those figures are both higher than those given Matt Prater by the Broncos ($4.25M, $13M).

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Doom’s side of story: Elvis wasn’t packing

Normally, the truth is somewhat equidistant to the different sides of a story. And it remains to be seen whether the Miami Beach police report or Elvis Dumervil's version of events is closer to what actually happened in Miami this weekend. But if the account being disseminated by Elvis's people is to be believed, then Broncos Country can breathe a mighty sigh of relief.

According to Mike Klis, two sources close to Dumervil (his agent and attorney?) say Elvis was not armed during Saturday evening's traffic altercation, and that the gun found in the glovebox of the Land Rover he was driving did not belong to him.

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Police report: Dumervil brandished gun during traffic dispute

The Miami Beach police report (copy of report can be viewed there) regarding Elvis Dumervil's arrest has been made available, and Mike Klis has details.  As Vic Lombardi had tweeted earlier, this was not over a parking spot. But the incident does, at a glance, appear to be a case of drivers escalating an everyday traffic dispute.

According to the account of both the alleged victim and the witness who first called the police, Dumervil was following a (friend's?) car in his own Land Rover and was cut off by an Impala driven by the alleged victim.

The witness's account says that horn blowing and verbal threats followed, and the driver of the Impala allegedly threw an object which hit Elvis's Land Rover. Next, Dumervil and his passenger allegedly approached the Impala and lifted their shirts, displaying guns.

Updated 1:14pm ET

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Doom, where’s your valet? Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! According to KDVR, the incident which resulted in star defensive end Elvis Dumervil's Saturday arrest in Miami was a heated argument.

Over a freaking parking spot.

Here's what KDVR is reporting:

A police report detailing the incident and Dumervil’s arrest won’t be available until Monday, but initial reports suggest an argument about a parking spot between Dumervil and another individual escalated to the point that Dumervil may face a felony charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Obviously, we can only hope no charges will ultimately be filed, as Dumervil's agent suggests. But even if that's the outcome, there's always a chance the Ginger Hammer views this as a second transgression by Elvis and suspends him for a game or so. And the likelihood of Appeals Court Judge Goodell potentially overturning a potential ruling by Judge Goodell is rather slim, if we get to that point.

Update 9:20am ET: Vic Lombardi tweeted the following early this morning:

Some clarity in the Dumervil case. The dispute wasn't over parking spot. The car carrying Elvis cut off by another car. Other driver female. Also male passenger in other car involved in the ruckus. No charges were filed. Elvis attorney expects full exoneration. Plenty more details when the police report is released tomorrow. If it's released.

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Gut Reaction: Dumervil arrested in Miami

I'm not an attorney¹, and we obviously don't know the circumstances here, but this case appears to have the potential to be very tricky for the Miami police and State's Attorney's office.  Typically, when some black guy is involved in an altercation, the cops will throw him in jail, and the prosecutor will overcharge the case.

What I mean by that is for someone like me - as a middle-class white guy who can afford a competent attorney - the charge might be disorderly conduct from the start, I pay a little fine and take anger management, and the misdemeanor falls off my record.

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Tear down that statue Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Still reporting from the 17th annual Manning Passing Academy, Mike Klis details some of the family dynamics between father Archie and his three sons Cooper, Peyton, and Eli. The four are sharing a hotel suite throughout the camp; Eli calls Peyton his best friend and says he appreciates having a brother he can turn to for advice to help him in his own career.

Klis, who had told PFT that Peyton was throwing at 85-90% a couple weeks ago, today says that "based on zip, length and accuracy, Peyton Manning can’t throw the ball any better than he did here Saturday night," for whatever that's worth.

Wyoming's Brett Smith is one of the 40 college QBs serving as coaches at the camp, while Syracuse's Charley Loeb won a competition among them yesterday.

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Weekly Limerick Schtick: DJ Williams

Last week's topic was Roger Goodell.  This week, Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams gets his turn, for obvious reasons.

In the bottle D.J. did piss,
but twice there was something amiss.
Non-human they said,
so he hit the head
and the third the Greek could assist.

Let it rip with your own in the comment section.  And to see all the Limericks for all weeks, click here.  We expect to hear from Pushcart any week now.

Drew Brees: Selfish bastard or Randian hero? Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Andrew Brandt shares all the details on the Drew Brees contract, which is essentially a three-year, $61M deal.

As for talk of Brees being "greedy," why shouldn't he be the highest-paid player? After all, he was a free agent and is younger and healthier than Peyton.

His legal battle over the franchise tag was about much more than Drew Brees - it was an issue for all tagged players, and an important victory for the players and the concept of free agency.

Because, think about it - was Brees free this offseason to go wherever he wanted? No, he wasn't.

Granted, it's players like Drew Brees for whom the franchise tag system was first created, and the whole point is about teams getting to hang onto their iconic stars. And, it's only right that he got paid the going rate for an elite, all-time great QB still in his prime. We're not going to say the players "knew the risks" of playing the violent sport and then criticize them for seeking big bucks, right? Because wouldn't that be ridiculous?

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The Bartlett Defense: Part 4 - Running game principles

Happy Friday, friends.  We’ve gotten to Part 4 of the series about the Bartlett Defense, and unfortunately, I find myself a little handicapped.  The computer that can do my nice play graphics is still on a truck somewhere, so you’ll just have to roll with me as I do the best I can in that department.

Today, we come to concepts and rules for run defense.  If you’re just joining us, or want to refresh your memory, please see the following links:

Part 1 – Personnel and Alignment

Part 2 – Principles for 100% Soundness

Part 2.5 – Responding to an Excellent Comment

Part 3 – Reads and thought processes

Let’s start by leveraging some knowledge that most of us have about gaps and defensive line techniques.  There are some naming methodologies for this that are slightly different, and in fact, mine and TJ’s differ.  No way is wrong, but since I think the world revolves around me, we’re going to use mine.  Peep this graphic that I’ve used in the past:

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Thank You, Larry Zimmer Lard

Happy Friday the 13th, Broncos fans!? Congratulations go out to Matt Russell, Denver's director of player personnel and the closest thing to a GM at Dove Valley, who has been elected to the CU Buffs Hall of Fame.

During his playing career at Colorado, Russell was a first-team All-American and won the Butkus Award, which is given annually to the nation's top linebacker.

Also to be inducted in November is Larry Zimmer, the longtime voice of the Buffs and former longtime Broncos radio man.

Having grown up pre-internet, pre-DirecTV, and far away from Denver, Zimmer was one of my few connections to what was actually going on out at Mile High and elsewhere. Sundays for me involved listening to WFAN's Ed Coleman and his NFL in Action show, waiting for the occasional phoned-in updates from in-stadium reporters like Lee Frankel (sp?) detailing the latest exploits of Elway, the Amigos, Sharpe, Mecklenburg, Atwater, Smith, Gaston Green, and even Rod Bernstine. 

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