A jury has found Aaron Hernandez guilty of first-degree murder in the 2013 shooting death of Odin Lloyd. Hernandez faces a mandatory life sentence without parole.
Co-defendants Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace are due to go on trial for Lloyd's murder at a later point. Hernandez also faces charges in the 2012 drive-by double homicide of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado.
Over the past four days, the Broncos' three exclusive rights free agents signed their respective tenders. Paul Cornick and Ben Garland ($510K each) signed on Friday, while Brandon Marshall ($585K) signed on Monday. These moves are mere formalities, as the players were essentially stuck with the team the moment they were tendered on March 6.
The Broncos have added yet another player familiar to Gary Kubiak, agreeing to a one-year deal with fullback/tight end James Casey. Originally drafted by Kubiak's Texans in 2009, Casey played four seasons in Houston, parlaying his most productive season into a free agent deal with the Eagles in 2013.
The Broncos have announced their preliminary preseason slate:
Broncos corner Aqib Talib and his brother are under investigation for aggravated assault at a Dallas nightclub, according to WFAA in Dallas. Per Rebecca Lopez, a shot was fired during a fight involving the two men, who were questioned by police but allowed to leave the premises.
Talib signed with Denver last offseason, and his $5.5M salary for 2015 became fully guaranteed on March 12.
Gino Gradkowski passed his physical on Thursday to complete his trade from Baltimore to Denver. The Broncos sent their 2016 fourth-rounder to the Ravens in exchange for Baltimore's fifth-rounder that year.
The Broncos agreed to a one-year deal worth a reported $2M with defensive lineman Antonio Smith (6-3, 290) on Thursday. Smith was cut by Oakland on Tuesday and was reportedly also pursued by Houston, his previous team.
In Denver, Smith will be reunited with Gary Kubiak, Wade Phillips, and line coach Bill Kollar, and figures to rotate in along with Vance Walker and behind starting ends Derek Wolfe and Malik Jackson.
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.
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:
As expected, the Broncos gained four compensatory picks for the 2015 Draft, giving them 10 selections overall. Denver received one fourth-rounder, a sixth-rounder, and two seventh-rounders. Our draft choice tracker has been updated accordingly.
The team has its own selections in the first, second, third, fifth, and sixth rounds, within which they will pick 27th or 28th. Denver dealt away their own fourth-rounder to move up for Cody Latimer last year, and their seventh-rounder went to the Giants in exchange for Brandon McManus. They also have Chicago's fifth-rounder, acquired in a move out of the fourth round in 2014.