News

Nunnely retires; Jay Rodgers takes over defensive line

Broncos defensive line coach Wayne Nunnely announced his retirement today after 36 years of coaching. Jay Rodgers, who served as a defensive quality control coach last season, has been promoted to replace Nunnely.

Nunnely worked at the college level for 18 years before coaching the D-lines of the Saints for two years (1995-96), the Chargers for twelve years (1997-2008), and the Broncos for the past three (photos).

The 35-year-old Rodgers is entering his fourth year with the Broncos and is the younger brother of special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers, who begins his second year in that position for Denver.

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Broncos waive Jarmon

According to Mike Klis, the Broncos have waived DT Jeremy Jarmon, presumably to create room on the roster for newly-signed CB Drayton Florence.

Denver originally acquired Jarmon in exchange for veteran WR Jabar Gaffney, who recently headed back to New England following his release by Washington after one season.

Jarmon was among the Broncos' final cuts last season and had signed a future contract on January 2.

Denver Broncos 2012 veteran acquisitions

# Player Pos Ht Wt Age* Terms
83 Hill, Jason WR 6-0 202 27 Signed 2-15; 1 year, $700K
20 Adams, Mike S 5-11 200 31 Signed 3-15; 2 years, $4M ($2M guaranteed)
18 Manning, Peyton QB 6-5 230 36 Signed 3-20; 5 yrs, $96M ($18M guaranteed)
17 Caldwell, Andre WR 6-0 190 27 Signed 3-21; 2 yrs, $1.8M ($200K guaranteed)
22 Porter, Tracy CB 5-11 186 26 Signed 3-22; 1 year, $4M (likely fully guaranteed)
81 Dreessen, Joel TE 6-4 245 30 Signed 3-23; 3 years, $8.5M ($2.5M guaranteed)
84 Tamme, Jacob TE 6-3 236 27 Signed 3-23; 3 years, $9M ($3.5M guaranteed)
16 Hanie, Caleb QB 6-2 222 27 Signed 3-24; 2 years, $2.25M (no guarantees)
97 Bannan, Justin DT 6-3 312 33 Signed 4-11; 1 year, $1M (likely fully guaranteed)
14 Stokley, Brandon WR 6-0 192 36 Signed 4-16; 1 year
29 Florence, Drayton CB 6-0 193 32 Agreed 5-10; 2 years, $4.5M ($1.5M guaranteed, plus $1M in incentives)

* Age on 2012 birthday; See Related: 2012 Draft Picks and 2012 Undrafted Signees

Broncos agree to terms with CB Drayton Florence

The Broncos today announced they agreed to terms with free agent cornerback Drayton Florence. According to Adam Schefter, Denver will give the 10th-year veteran a two-year deal worth $4.5M.

Mike Florio reports that Florence will receive a $1.5M signing bonus and base salaries of $1.5M in 2012 and $1.5M in 2013, with an additional $1M of incentives available in $250K increments based upon 2012 playing time.

Florence had visited the Titans earlier in the week and was reportedly also pursued by the Chargers, who originally drafted him in the second round (46th overall) of the 2003 Draft out of Tuskegee. The 31-year-old spent five seasons in San Diego, the past three in Buffalo, and he played for Jacksonville in 2008 under then-Jaguars coach and new Denver DC Jack Del Rio.

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Vegas sportsbook releases 2012 lines

Cantor Gaming, a Las Vegas sportsbook, has released point spreads for the 2012 season through Week 16.

For now, Denver is favored in seven games, is the underdog in five, three games are pick'ems, and there are no Week 17 lines. The Broncos are significant favorites against Oakland (-7), Tampa Bay and Cleveland (-8.5 vs both), with their trip to New England (+7) the only time they're getting more than 3.5 points.

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CB Drayton Florence to visit Broncos

According to Adam Schefter and Albert Breer, cornerback Drayton Florence is scheduled to visit the Broncos tomorrow after meeting with the Titans today.

Florence, originally drafted by the Chargers in 2003, was cut by the Bills on Friday after three seasons with the team. Reports out of San Diego that day indicated the Chargers were interested in bringing the 31-year-old corner back to his original team, although there have been no reports since of a visit.

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The X-Man Goeth: Broncos fire GM Brian Xanders

The Broncos have fired Brian Xanders after four years with the organization and three seasons as their general manager. Although the story by Mike Klis portrays the decision as a mutual parting of ways, it doesn't take much reading between the lines - or of the DP's Breaking News email titled, Broncos fire GM Brian Xanders after three years in Denver - to discern that the choice was all John Elway's.

Xanders was originally hired by Mike Shanahan in 2008 as assistant GM before being elevated to the GM position following the hiring of Josh McDaniels. McDaniels and Xanders teamed up on a slew of controversial personnel moves, including the trade departures of Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Tony Scheffler, and Peyton Hillis, the drafting of Knowshon Moreno, Robert Ayers, Alphonso Smith, Richard Quinn, Tim Tebow, Zane Beadles, and J.D. Walton, and the acquisitions of Laurence Maroney, Jarvis Green, and LeKevin Smith, among others.

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Terrell Suggs likely done for the year

Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs, the reigning AP NFL Defensive POY, is expected to miss the entire 2012 season due to a torn Achilles suffered possibly while playing basketball (or, not?) in Arizona. The former 10th-overall pick is due to make $4.9M this season and is expected to undergo surgery next week.

The Broncos will head to Baltimore for a Week 15 matchup that will look significantly more winnable if the Ravens are without Suggs, who accumulated 14 sacks, two interceptions, seven forced fumbles, and six passes defensed, and 75 tackles in 2011.

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Seau’s death ruled suicide; family will allow researchers to study brain

Originally posted 5/2/12 at 2:16 pm ET; latest update 5/4/12 at 7:52 am ET

Former Chargers, Dolphins, and Patriots linebacker Junior Seau was found dead at his home in Oceanside, California Wednesday morning, at the age of 43.

Police investigated Seau's death as a suicide, and the autopsy performed on Thursday confirmed it. Bennett Omalu, the forensic pathologist who made the initial discovery of CTE, participated in the autopsy, and on Thursday evening Seau's family announced they would allow CTE researchers to study Junior's brain.

Drafted fifth overall in the 1990 Draft, Seau played 20 seasons - 13 in San Diego,  three in Miami, and four in New England.  His best seasons came with Chargers, however, and often, his best games came against the Denver Broncos.

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Four current and former Saints punished; Porter spared

The NFL has announced that for his part in the Saints' bounty scandal, linebacker Jonathan Vilma will be suspended for the entire 2012 season.

Additionally, defensive end Will Smith was suspended for four games, DE Anthony Hargrove (who signed with Green Bay in March) got an eight-game penalty, and linebacker Scott Fujita (now with the Browns) was hit with a three-game suspension.

Cornerback Tracy Porter, who signed a one-year deal with the Broncos after four seasons with the Saints, was never publicly implicated in the scandal, and he was not punished.

According to Albert Breer, the NFLPA is planning to defend the four suspended players on the grounds that the NFL lacks evidence to implicate them, and all four players are expected to appeal their punishments.

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