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.
According to Adam Schefter, the Chiefs are the first team to use their franchise tag ahead of today's 4pm ET deadline, applying it to linebacker Justin Houston. Based upon a $143M cap, Houston's tender is for $13.169M.
Saddled with one of the league's worst cap situations, KC recently cut TE Anthony Fasano and wideouts Donnie Avery and A.J. Jenkins to help their cause. Among their other pending free agents are center Rodney Hudson and former Denver draftee Ryan Harris, both of whom have been linked to the Broncos in recent speculation.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Denver is fully expected to use a non-exclusive franchise tag on pending free agent Demaryius Thomas by today's 4pm ET deadline.
According to Mike Klis, there's a good chance Thomas delays signing the tender until the July 15 deadline, preserving the only (tiny) bit of leverage he holds. That would mean missing OTAs and minicamps, but from a player's perspective, there's very little reason to rush to sign a franchise tender.
Klis adds that last summer, the Broncos ($13M/year) and Thomas ($15M/year) were pretty far apart in their negotiation toward a long-term deal.
Good Afternoon, Broncos fans! We're just nine days away from the new league year and the start of free agency, and speculation is starting to ramp up.
Once past a terrible analogy between John Elway's Broncos and George Steinbrenner's Yankees (and Klis covered baseball...WTF?), Mike Klis says Denver is "almost certain" to sign a top free agent centers, perhaps one of KC's Rodney Hudson or Oakland's Stefen Wisniewski.
FWIW, Hudson graded out at plus-13.0 in 2014, while the son of Steve posted a minus-2.5 grade. In 2013, Wisniewski was at plus-11.4, while Hudson was at plus-4.4.
Good Afternoon, Broncos fans! Although he wasn't part of the coaching staff, another important assistant has followed John Fox to Chicago - player development director Jerry Butler.
Much of what a player development director does isn't measurable, but it might be fair to grade someone like Butler on player arrests. And since Butler came to Denver in 2011, the Broncos had fewer arrests for domestic violence and other serious issues.
They still had too many DUI incidents, and John Elway deserves some of the credit for his construction of the roster, but it at least seems like Denver has lost a solid employee in Butler.
Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Teams have until 4pm ET on Monday to apply their franchise or transition tags to pending unrestricted free agents like Demaryius Thomas.
Dez Bryant, Thomas's fellow 2011 first-rounder, is also likely to be tagged, as the Cowboys have been hesitant to give their star wideout a chunk of guaranteed money. This reluctance has apparently stemmed from his off-field issues, and there's one incident that's caused quite a stir this week.
It's apparently long been rumored within NFL circles that Bryant was involved in a disturbance at a Walmart parking lot in 2011. Local police found no cause to make any arrests, but there are rumors of a video of the incident.
Free agent tight end/fullback James Casey visited Dove Valley on Thursday but left without a contract, according to Mike Klis. Casey spent his first four NFL seasons with Houston under Gary Kubiak, but was released a week ago by the Eagles, who would have owed him a $4M salary.
Already scheduled to visit with Tennessee, Arizona, and Cleveland, Casey added stops in Washington, Cincy, and Jacksonville to his free agency tour.
Judge David Doty has sided with the NFLPA in its lawsuit on behalf of Adrian Peterson, and the Vikings running back may soon be reinstated. However, the NFL has placed Peterson back on the Commissioner's Exempt List and will appeal the decision. Earlier in the day, it was reported that Peterson had been reinstated, but that is not the case.
These players are all able to sign with any team and get a jump on free agency, which begins at 4pm ET on Tuesday, March 10.
The Broncos and Peyton Manning's agent are working on a restructure of the quarterback's contract, according to Mike Klis. The two sides reportedly hope to have an agreement on a revised deal by sometime next week.
Manning is due to draw a $19M salary and count for $21.5M against the salary cap in each of the next two seasons. For reasons explained here by Joel Corry and Jason Fitzgerald, it's highly unlikely that Peyton would agree to a net pay cut, as he holds all of the leverage in this situation.