Last week, I discussed a few offensive prospects who'd stood out to me during the college all star games, for better or worse. Today, let's do the same for the year's defensive prospects:
Nick Marshall, CB, Auburn - Marshall has a fun story. He showed up at the Senior Bowl, to which he had been invited as a quarterback, went to the first positional meeting, and then went to the powers that be. He told them that he wanted to switch to cornerback, and they agreed to it. He’s 6-1, 207, and he showed a lot of skill at the position.
He seems to prefer press man. That makes him even more attractive as a pro. A long player who isn’t uncomfortable mixing it up and going for the high point should attract plenty of attention. He’s also able to play safety.
Pending free agent Julius Thomas is seeking a contract with "near record guaranteed money" relative to tight ends, according to Jeff Legwold. What does that mean?
As we all know by now, it's all about whether money is fully guaranteed, guaranteed for injury only, or only conditionally guaranteed, as Thomas's agent characterized Denver's last offer to Julius. And as we can see here, no tight end has gotten more than the $16M in full guarantees that Baltimore's Dennis Pitta and Jared Cook of St. Louis did.
If the Raiders and Chargers shack up in Los Angeles, the Chargers and Rams may switch places in the AFCW and NFCW, writes Peter King, in his latest MMQB column. Per King, realignment would not be about any competitive issues, but rather an issue of CBS and FOX getting to share the LA market.
In case you're wondering what's going to happen with pending free agents Jacob Tamme and Will Montgomery, Woody Paige has the scoop:
Tamme probably won't be invited back...Even though Montgomery played in a zone-blocking offense at Washington, he's not in the Broncos' future.
For all of John Elway's talk about liking the roster he put together last year, it appears it's up for another significant overhaul. This shouldn't really be much of a surprise, as there's a new head coach and new (old) schemes on both offense and defense.
Also, there are lots of pending free agents, and it would be something of a shock if the Broncos were to re-sign a significant portion of them, reports Mike Klis. Per Klis, starters Orlando Franklin, Julius Thomas, Terrance Knighton, and Rahim Moore are likely all headed out of town, unless Moore is willing to stay for less cash than he might get elsewhere.
Pending free agent Nate Irving is drawing interest around the league, according to Josina Anderson. The linebacker saw the most playing time of his four-year career in 2014 before suffering a torn ACL in November.
In eight games last season, Irving played 353 snaps, only four fewer than he'd seen the year before in 17 games, including playoffs. Th 26-year old graded out at +1.1 with 46 tackles, a sack, and a safety.
According to Tom Pelissero, the NFLPA expects the 2015 salary cap to be at least $143M, fully clear of the NFL's original predicted range of $138.6M-141M.
If the cap is $143M, OTC projects the Broncos to have just under $28.5M in free space, and for Demaryius Thomas's likely franchise tender to be worth $12.797M. Original round tenders for restricted free agents Tony Carter, Steven Johnson, and Aaron Brewer would be $1.539M each, if Denver elects to tender them, but contain no guarantees.
Running backs, quarterbacks, and wide receivers will strut their stuff today.
The Broncos and Julius Thomas were close to a contract extension as recently as the end of last August, says Thomas's agent, Frank Bauer, in an interview with the DP. However, the Broncos only offered conditional guarantees kicking in starting in 2015, with no increase to Thomas's minimum $645K salary for 2014.
As Bauer tells it, the two sides were close to a deal on the day of Denver's preseason finale at Dallas - with Thomas preparing to purchase a home in the area - but the team never got back to the agent.
During his Thursday presser from the combine, someone apparently asked John Elway a question not related to Peyton Manning's status for 2015. How dare they, right? Anyway, Elway confirmed that Denver will use its franchise tag on Demaryius Thomas if they two sides are unable to reach a longterm agreement by the March 2 tag deadline.
The franchise tender for wideouts should be somewhere around $13M for one year. Once the tag is applied, Demaryius and Denver will face a July 15 deadline to sign a longterm deal. As far as signing the tender - which makes it fully guaranteed - it will be in Thomas's best interest to hold off on that until that July deadline.