Good Morning, Broncos fans! If it seems like everyday brings new reasons to think less of Roger Goodell, it's because it's true. Here are a few from Wednesday:
From a WSJ profile of Goodell, via Deadspin:
Before a recent Cowboys-Giants game, the NFL commissioner strode the sidelines atMetLife Stadium in New Jersey, where he got unsolicited advice from the stands. "Bring back Ray Rice," yelled one fan. Another countered: "Stick to your guns!"
"That's what I love about football," Mr. Goodell said. "It brings out passion."
Roger Goodell will no longer hand down suspensions for players accused of crimes, but will still hear and decide appeals. So, of course, it's still Goodell who has the ultimate power over player discipline, to the surprise of nobody.
As one might have expected, there isn't a whole lot that's new or improved about the supposedly new and improved conduct policy.
Denver re-signed DE Gerald Rivers to its practice squad on Wednesday, six days after they'd cut him to create room for Brandon McManus.
Rivers takes the spot vacated by McManus's promotion to the active roster. Earlier in the week, Isaiah Burse was signed to the practice squad, while Mark Asper was cut.
According to Jarrett Bell, NFL execs are being advised to expect the 2015 salary cap will rise to between $138M and $141M.
This is in line with what Jason Fitzgerald has been predicting over at OTC; under the assumption of a $140M cap, Denver figures to enter the offseason with around $30M in space.
The Broncos may need all of that if they're to re-sign key free agents Demaryius Thomas, Chris Harris, Julius Thomas, and Terrance Knighton. Orlando Franklin, Rahim Moore, and Virgil Green are also pending UFAs.
The Week 15 playoff scenarios are out, and the Broncos have an outside shot at claiming a first-round bye on Sunday.
First things first, they'll need to beat the Chargers, which would give them their fourth straight AFCW crown. A tie also wins the division, but does not open up first-round bye possibilities.
Carolina QB Cam Newton is said to be in fair condition following a two-car accident in Charlotte near the Panthers' stadium. Newton's truck reportedly flipped multiple times after colliding with a car that had been driving across an intersecting street.
Thankfully, Newton and the other driver were both reportedly alert after the accident and avoided life-threatening injury. Newton is said to have avoided a concussion, but has two transverse process fractures in his lower back.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Green Bay (10-3) held off a furious second half rally to edge Atlanta 43-37 on Monday night.
The Packers jumped out to a 31-7 halftime lead, but it nearly wasn't enough. Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan combined for seven touchdown passes in the shootout.
Jordy Nelson piled up eight receptions for 146 yards and two scores, while Julio Jones had 11 catches for 259 yards and a touchdown in a losing effort.
The Broncos re-signed punt returner Isaiah Burse to their practice squad on Monday after he cleared waivers. Denver had cut Burse on Saturday to make room for Brandon McManus, who was promoted to handle kickoffs.
Burse takes the spot of offensive lineman Mark Asper, who had been signed to the practice squad three weeks ago.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Unfortunately, last night's Patriots win wasn't as helpful to Denver's cause as I'd thought.
I'd written a few times yesterday that a New England victory would set Denver up to clinch the AFCW with a win at San Diego next week.
But as noted by an astute reader last night, a Broncos win would give them a season sweep of the Chargers and an AFCW title even if San Diego had won last night.