According to multiple reports, the Broncos are set to acquire guard/center Gino Gradkowski (6-3, 300) from the Ravens via trade, pending a physical. The fourth-year player figures to compete for Denver's starting center job; he turned 26 in November.
The Ravens have announced that the trade will include a swap of 2016 draft choices. According to Ed Werder, Denver will send their fourth-rounder and receive Baltimore's fifth-rounder. At first blush, this seems a slightly steep price.
According to Jeff Legwold, the Broncos are interested in signing defensive lineman Antonio Smith, who was waived by Oakland on Tuesday. The Texans are reportedly also interested in a reunion with the man lauded for his leadership and known as the Ninja Assassin.
Smith (6-3, 290) has played five seasons in Arizona, five in Houston (under current Broncos defensive line coach Bill Kollar), and one in Oakland. He was due to draw $3.2M in salary plus $800K in roster and workout bonuses this season, and his departure saves the Raiders $4M against their cap.
Denver quarterbacks coach Greg Knapp will dine with Northwestern's Trevor Siemian the night before his April 9 pro day, according to Ian Rapoport. Siemian's senior campaign was cut short by a torn ACL in November. The 6-3, 210-pounder completed 58.9 percent of his passes for the Wildcats, with 27 touchdowns and 24 interceptions, and a modest 5.8 adjusted yards per attempt during his time in Evanston.
Behind Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler, Denver has 2013 seventh-rounder Zac Dysert, who was a gameday inactive every week as a rookie and spent 2014 on the practice squad.
We tend not to put much stock into strength of schedule based upon prior seasons. But it's a figure we all get bludgeoned with throughout the year, so it's pretty much impossible to ignore completely. Anyway, here goes:
Denver's 2015 strength of schedule as measured by opponents' winning percentages is .541, which is the 10th highest figure in the league.
Demaryius Thomas says he won't be joining Peyton Manning at his annual Duke workouts, or participate in the Broncos' offseason workout program. Denver's top wideout tells Jeff Legwold he hopes to secure a long-term deal, adding about his health,
I'm getting getting my body right, still working through a little soreness in my Achilles, but I could run routes
Duke guard Laken Tomlinson was clear about what he wanted to prove to the NFL during Senior Bowl week. "One of the things I want to market to the other teams is that I'm one hell of a player."
The scouts agree. If you want proof, just turn on some later 2014 film of him.
Tomlinson came to America from Jamaica when he was 10 and started football at 11. This is a player smart enough to carry a double major at Duke. That’s in addition to football. He plans to become a physician after his playing career.
Prior to the start of the new league year, it was reported that the Broncos would aggressively pursue a free agent center, possibly Rodney Hudson or Stefen Wisniewski. But Hudson got a megadeal to replace Wisniewski in Oakland, and Denver hasn't yet made a move at the position.
2014 starter Will Montgomery remains unsigned, while Gary Kubiak has mentioned 2014 sixth-rounder (and practice squadder) Matt Paradis and newly added guard Shelley Smith as options, along with several veteran free agents.
Every team needs to have the depth to spell its starters on the defensive line. Having different skillsets provides variety in sub packages. That’s essential in today’s game.
In free agency, you look for players that seem to fit your scheme. Once they’re in camp, you find out the details of their strengths and weaknesses. You do the same in the draft. You get to test, drill, and interview them with extreme thoroughness. Drafts often turn on how well you match player and scheme. That’s why a failing fourth-rounder with one team can play like a first-rounder with the right team’s approach.
The Broncos' sixth-round compensatory pick has been downgraded to a seventh-rounder after the NFL discovered a math error (the system is so complicated that the league can't even get it right). The sixth-rounder would have been pick #208; the new pick is #250.
Denver already had two seventh-round comp picks, numbers 250 and 251. It's just a matter of semantics, but this new pick pushes the other two down a spot. As for how this mistake occurred, let's turn it over to our friend Nick Korte:
Writes Mike Klis:
It appears the team is hoping to re-sign veteran Will Montgomery, who is a free agent.
Does "appears...hoping" mean the team is actively pursuing a new deal with Montgomery? Honestly, it's anybody's guess. That's some real vague stuff right there.