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Saturday to Packers; Broncos in talks with Tamme; Harvey to Bengals

Jeff Saturday, the former Colts center seen by many as signing wherever Peyton Manning landed, has instead agreed to join the Green Bay Packers as the replacement for Scott Wells, who signed with the Rams.

In the leadup to Manning's decision to sign with the Broncos, and in the intervening days, it had been rumored that the QB would be followed by several of his Indy teammates, including Saturday, WR Reggie Wayne, TE Dallas Clark, RB Joseph Addai, and TE Jacob Tamme. This theory was never publicly confirmed or advanced by Manning himself.

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Broncos agree to terms with TE Dreessen

The Broncos have replenished their veteran TE presence following the departures of Daniel Fells and Dante Rosario by agreeing to terms with former Texan Joel Dreessen.

Dreessen (6-4, 245), who will turn 30 this summer, attended Fort Morgan High School and Colorado State University before being drafted by the Jets in the sixth round of the 2005 Draft. He's started 35 of the 91 games he's played in, amassing 110 receptions, 1,364 yards, and 13 touchdowns, with a career-high six scores in 2011.

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Broncos sign Porter, who was Manning’s SB 44 nemesis

Tracy Porter's biggest NFL moment came at the expense of Peyton Manning on the biggest stage in American sports. Now, the two will be wearing orange together.

Porter (5-11, 186), whose interception of Manning and subsequent touchdown in SB 44 finished off the Colts' bid for a second championship in four seasons, agreed to join the Broncos on a one-year deal, it was reported.

The 2008 second-rounder (40th overall, Indiana) started 39 of the 43 games he played in during four seasons with the Saints, compiling 194 tackles, one sack, 32 passes defensed, seven interceptions, and four forced fumbles along the way.

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Broncos took best deal; Tebow had no input; Jets declare Sanchez starter

Contrary to previous reports, the Broncos did what was in their self interest as an organization.

Vic Lombardi reports:

NEWS: I can confirm the Jets offered the better draft picks. The Jags package was less attractive. The Broncos chose the Jets.

Mike Klis confirmed this:

Jags offered same $2.53 million rebate as Jets. No more. Difference was Jets gave 6th to Broncos in return for 7th. A 40-plus move up.

Lombardi also confirmed that neither Tebow nor his brother Robby had any input into the trade.

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Jets to acquire Tebow, split refund with Broncos

Adam Schefter is reporting on ESPN that the Broncos and Jets have again agreed to a deal that will send Tim Tebow and a seventh-rounder from Denver to New Jersey in return for a fourth- and sixth-rounder. The Jets had announced the same trade earlier in the day but had not yet read the details of the quarterback's contract; at issue was the $6,277,500 guarantee Denver had paid Tebow last summer.

$5,036,250 of that figure covered Tebow's 2012-2014 salaries, and as is customary with such advances, any team acquiring Tebow would owe the Broncos a refund on the salary already paid but not yet earned. Instead, the Jets and Broncos have agreed to split the difference, meaning the Jets will be sending Denver about $2.5M to complete the deal.

According to Schefter, the Jaguars had jumped back into the bidding after the initial deal fell through, and were willing to pay most or all of that $5,036,250 figure. Schefter reports that Tebow ended up having some input into where he landed, and he chose the Jets, despite wide assumptions he preferred to go home to Florida.

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Broncos add WR Andre Caldwell

According to Jason Cole, the Broncos have signed former Bengals WR Andre 'Bubba' Caldwell (6-0, 190) to a two-year deal. Caldwell, who was drafted by Cincinnati in the third round of the 2008 Draft, has 124 catches for 1,172 yards and six touchdowns in 51 career games, 14 of them starts; he turns 27 next month.

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Tebow’s Choice: Jags or Jets or whatever works best

Per Vic Lombardi:

Twitter has turned this job into verbal sportstalk radio. I love it. Still waiting on Tebow. Sounds like Jets are trying to make it work.

More to follow.  Not sure if Vic is 95% sure the Jets are trying.

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Tebow trade to Jets hits snag; Jags in the mix; Robby Tebow enters the fray

According to Adam Schefter, there is a chance the Broncos' trade of Tim Tebow to the Jets will fall through due to financial aspects of Tebow's contract that the Jets find unsatisfactory:

Denver and Jets have encountered hangup in language in Tim Tebow's contract that could nullify trade. If the Tebow trade to Jets falls apart, St. Louis could wind up getting back into play. Sides sorting through details. Tim Tebow has $5 million worth of recapture language, meaning Jets would have to pay back money to Denver. Jets might be unwilling. Complex. The same money issues in Tim Tebow's contract caused complications for Jacksonville trying to complete trade. Now Jets facing them.

This is a surprising development, especially since Tebow and Jets coach Rex Ryan share the same agent, Jimmy Sexton.

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Broncos lose Bunkley to Saints

Brodrick Bunkley has spurned the Broncos' efforts to re-sign him, choosing instead to join the coachless Saints; Lindsay Jones says the team had been optimistic last night they would retain the 28-year-old tackle. According to Adam Schefter, Bunkley has agreed to a five-year deal with $9M in guarantees.

Bunkley had helped revitalize Denver's defense in 2011; according to PFF, he was the third-rated defensive tackle in the NFL overall, and the best against the run. The Broncos had acquired Bunkley last summer in exchange for a conditional 2013 draft choice believed to be a sixth- or seventh-rounder.

Goodell drops hammer on Saints

Roger Goodell has delivered his verdict on the Saints' institutionalized bounty system, and the punishment will be severe:

  • Saints HC Sean Payton has been suspended for the season without pay
  • GM Mickey Loomis has been suspended for eight games
  • Rams DC Gregg Williams has been suspended indefinitely
  • Assistant HC Joe Vitt has been suspended for six games
  • New Orleans has been docked $500K and their 2012 and 2013 second-rounders

Player punishments have not yet been determined.