Champ talks resume Lard 2-16-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Negotiations have resumed between Denver and all-universe cornerback Champ Bailey after having come to an abrupt halt midseason. According to Klis, the Broncos are unlikely to utilize their franchise tag on Bailey should their talks fail again. This is quite sensible, for as great as Champ is, he is unlikely to be worth a guaranteed $15 million to a team that won but four games in 2010 with no contingency for the 2012 season. If the deal being discussed is similar in structure to what was reported in-season, then we're looking at a 4-year, $40 million deal (or more, now that the Broncos have no leverage aside from the specter of a lockout). I'll throw on my speculation hat and say that a deal of that size and for a player of Champ's stature would likely require Denver to guarantee around $25 million or $30 million over the course of the contract. Let's hope it gets done, because even at age 33, Bailey shows no signs of slowing down and has already stated publicly that when he does, he will welcome a shift over to safety.

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You Got Served - Welcome to the offseason

Happy Tuesday friends, and welcome to another kicking-it-old-school edition of You Got Served.  As Doug lamented Sunday, we’re now into the extended no-football period, of which this is my third as a blogger.  In the past two, this was the time to get really excited about soon-to-come free agency, and in a parallel sense, the draft evaluation activities such as the Combine and various Pro Days.  It’s been an exciting time, with lots to write about.

This year, of course, rosterbation feels a little strange.  Since we don’t know what’s going to happen on March 4th, we don’t know if this is going to be a boring time, or a really exciting one.  I tend to think that it will be exciting sooner rather than later, and I’m proceeding under that assumption.  In any case, we’re going to keep bringing it to you like room service here at the Fat Man.  While other sites fall off, we’re going to keep getting stronger.  Ready….. BEGIN!!

1.  Two weeks ago, I wrote the most focused article I’ve ever written about football, regarding the clear overvaluation of NFL franchises by Forbes - it’s been a gigantic success in the scheme of this site’s current footprint.  It’s been viewed about twice as many times as the next most-viewed article here so far in 2011, and yet, I feel like it’s just scratching the surface.  I’ve been sort of shamelessly trying to push it to finding critical mass, and really widespread (millions of people, rather than thousands) consumption, and while I’ve gotten some wide-platform people to read and compliment it, it hasn’t yet gotten the push I’m looking for.  (For the record, I almost never push my work anywhere once it's done, but this seems different.  It's like I want to be seen in my Sunday best.)

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Stinky Lard 2-15-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Golic and Mark Schlereth spoke yesterday morning on ESPN Radio about the Broncos' offseason picture. Regarding the QBs, Stink correctly pointed to Kyle Orton's 3rd-down struggles as a major concern and says Tim Tebow is the choice. He also said Brandon Lloyd is the Broncos' best offensive player at this point and thinks Denver needs to re-sign Champ Bailey and dump some of their other older defenders. Regarding the draft, Stink suggests the Broncos should just pick the best defender at #2, regardless of position. Finally, it's pretty clear that Stink has been reading the DP - he cites Josh McDaniels' handling of personnel and the Broncos' lack of draft choices as reasons the team is better off without their former coach. I suppose the folks out west who listen to Stink deal with this regularly, but aren't analysts like him supposed to do better than just regurgitate the ridiculous memery?

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The Really, Really Blind Side: Joe Ellis has a Valentine’s Day message for you

What happens when you mix Valentine's Day with the Denver Broncos' front office?

Joe Ellis covering Prince, that's what.

Welcome to yet another preposterous and fictional journey into the bending of time and space we like to call the Really, Really Blind Side.  You will never be the same again...

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Indentured Lard 2-14-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Andrew Brandt takes a peek at the NFLPA and NFL's CBA proposals - the union is pushing for shortening their indentured servitude and protection against career-ending injuries, while the league wants to keep the indenture in place but with a defined compensation slotting system for each and every draft choice. The NFL is also looking to rein in escalators, bonuses and not allow contract negotiations within the first three years of a player's initial contract. Brandt offers up his compromise.

As a public service announcement of sorts, just a friendly reminder that it's Valentine's Day - if it saves just one of our readers from catching a bit of grief, I figure it's worthwhile, haha.

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Football-less Sunday Lard 2-13-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Here we are, the first Sunday without football since August - what a bummer, right? Well, the Daily Lard will still be around every morning to satisfy at least a bit of your pigskin hunger, if a bit late today. As always, thanks for being here - we appreciate your support. Of course, TJ, Em, Ted and I have plenty of exciting ideas for the offseason. There's no shortage of things NFL and Broncos to analyze, from the CBA to the draft to the new coaching staff and schemes. But please let us know in the comments if there's anything you'd like specifically to see from us. Have a great Sunday!

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Progress on Concussions

This past week, the Colorado Legislature introduced SB 40.  SB 40 is also called the Jake Snakenberg Act: it is a bill proposed in memory of a young man who died from having a second concussion only one week after a first concussion, one so mild that it went undiagnosed. Former Bronco and fan favorite Ed McCaffrey was one of the people who spoke at the news conference that announced the introduction of the bill, which is expected to pass with little or no opposition.

I can’t say enough about the potential positive implications of this bill. It’s a big start in controlling the life-long effects of concussions, and that will have eventual repercussions at the college and NFL levels, areas where the issue is starting to be dealt with in a far more medically appropriate way. The designs of helmets are undergoing some radical changes, and even the way that we view how a helmet does and doesn’t help with this problem are coming into the equation. Fewer and better treated concussions in young people will eventually mean fewer among the students who move on to college and NFL sports. It also means that average people who are athletes in high school only would later deal with fewer concussion-related health problems, some of which we’re just now understanding.

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Going (without) Greek Lard 2-12-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Unfortunately, the specter of a lockout has some potential ramifications for the Broncos in light of the rehabilitations facing WRs Eddie Royal and Demaryius Thomas. Royal had surgery on an injured hip (presumably a torn labrum) while Thomas will have his Achilles' tendon repaired in the coming days. But where it gets tricky is that in the event of a lockout, team trainer (when he's not busy interviewing head coaching candidates) Steve Antonopulos cannot have direct contact with any of the Broncos' players, and the players cannot be at Dove Valley for rehab. Greek will be able to be in touch with the players' doctors, but the motivation will have to come from the players and their private trainers. Fortunately we're talking about two guys with fine reputations in terms of their work ethics, but we'll see how that turns out come training camp...

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Chewing the Fat: Tebow versus Newton

Earlier in the week, TJ brought up among our myriad emails the topic of Cam Newton. The Heisman winner was the center of post-Super Bowl attention as his Thursday circus act public workout approached. Here's how the conversation unfolded:

TJ: I know that Doc wasn't sold on Tebow coming out of college and Ted was higher on him. Given that, is Cam Newton so far above Tebow this year?  From the few games of his I watched and the tape I see now, I fail to see the huge variances between what Newton did at Auburn and what Tebow did at Florida. In short, it's like Newton is talked up as a sure thing and Tebow was considered a sure bust (my interpretation, clearly). What are your thoughts?  Is Newton that much more athletic and stronger armed?

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Achilles’ Lard 2-11-11

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Unfortunately, yesterday brought news of another serious injury to Denver's WR corps. Only a week on the heels (cough) of Eddie Royal's hip surgery,  Demaryius Thomas apparently tore his Achilles' tendon - according to the Broncos he's not expected to be ready for action for 6-8 months. Now, with the understanding that every injury is unique in terms of its severity, and all athletes have their own recovery rates, as a Marquette hoops fan (my wife's alma mater) I can share one positive Achilles'-related story. Golden Eagles point guard Junior Cadougan ruptured his Achilles' as a freshman in September '09 and was expected to miss the entire season. But through hard work in rehab, Cadougan remarkably returned to action only four months later. Fortunately for Thomas and the Broncos, it's only February - so Demaryius doesn't need to make quite as fast a recovery to help the Broncos in 2011.

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