Here are the details on Darian Stewart's contract with the Broncos, according to Aaron Wilson:
When Denver extended Chris Harris for $8.5M/year in December, the deal looked like a coup for the Broncos, who had kept their second most important pending free agent from reaching the market. But now, as more corners are signing new deals, Denver appears to have pulled off a heist of sorts with Harris.
With Derek Newton and Doug Free already back with their old teams, the market for available right tackles is heating up. According to the Journal Sentinel, Packers lineman Bryan Bulaga is seeking $7M-$8M annually, and has drawn interest from Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, and Washington.
It would appear the Packers raised Demaryius Thomas's price tag by re-signing wide receiver Randall Cobb to a reported four-year, $40M contract. That's a big number on an annual basis, and takes a top wideout off the market.
They're not similar players, as Thomas is a physical freak and outside man-beater, while Cobb is smaller and plays inside. Cobb has just one year of elite production, and was limited by injury to just six games in 2013. Thomas, on the other hand, has been one of the league's top handful of receivers for three years running, and hasn't missed a game since 2011.
The Broncos and long snapper Aaron Brewer agreed to a new four-year deal on Thursday, avoiding what would have been an unwieldly $1.52M restricted tender. According to Mike Klis, Brewer will receive a $740K signing bonus, and the deal is worth $4M over the four years.
In a significant coup for the Broncos and John Elway, Peyton Manning is reportedly set to accept a $4M pay cut, down to a $15M salary for 2015. Manning's original deal also calls for him to make $19M in 2016; according to Mike Klis, that portion of his deal will remain unchanged.
Of course, this flies in the face of every claim that Manning is a selfish, greedy bastard, and less of a team player than Tom Brady, who has never in his career accepted a pay cut. Per Klis, the Broncos had sought an even larger reduction.
Once the new league year begins at 4pm ET next Tuesday, teams will be able to execute free agent contracts and consummate trades (like the LeSean McCoy-Kiko Alonso deal announced yesterday).
It's also the deadline for teams to tender their restricted and exclusive rights free agents. According to OTC, Denver has three free agents of the restricted kind (Aaron Brewer, Tony Carter, Steven Johnson), and four of the exclusive rights variety (Brandon Marshall, Paul Cornick, Ben Garland, John Youboty).
Let's get refreshed on how restricted free agency works:
As had long been expected, the Broncos applied their non-exclusive franchise tag to pending unrestricted free agent wideout Demaryius Thomas just ahead of Monday's deadline.
The accompanying tender is worth $12.823M and will count against Denver's cap space immediately, even before Thomas signs the one-year deal. Denver and Thomas now have until 4pm ET on Wednesday, July 15 to agree to a multiyear contract. Once past this deadline, the two sides cannot execute a long-term deal until after the conclusion of the 2015 regular season.
A non-exclusive tag allows Thomas the freedom to sign an offer sheet with another team, but the Broncos would have the opportunity to match, known as a right of first refusal.
The NFL has announced an official salary cap of $143.28M for the 2015 season; the cap was $133M in 2014.
Denver is expected to apply its franchise tag to Demaryius Thomas by the 4pm ET deadline; the accompanying tender will amount to $12.823M. Based upon the cap space estimates at OTC, the Broncos will be left with $16.856M in room as soon as Demaryius is tendered.