Nearly five months after the NFLPA decertified their union and owners instituted a lockout, the players today voted to ratify the new CBA which promises 10 years of labor peace. With this news, the 2011 league year has officially begun, and players with new contracts like returning Broncos Brian Dawkins and Marcus Thomas and new acquisitions Ty Warren, Willis McGahee, and Derrick Harvey are finally eligible to practice.
Adam Schefter is reporting that the Broncos have signed longtime Patriots Defensive Lineman Ty Warren to a 2-year, $10 million deal with $2.5 million guaranteed. I discussed the prospect of having eight quality NFL D-Linemen, and now it seems likely that the Broncos have nine. Warren has primarily been a DE for the Patriots, but he grew up as a DT for the Texas A&M Aggies, and I expect that he’ll mostly play inside for the Broncos.
Warren is 6-foot-5 and weighs 300 pounds. He missed the entire 2010 season with a hip injury that he suffered in training camp, and he was released last week when he failed the Patriots’ demanding physical. Evidently, the Broncos have a less rigorous one.
The Broncos have added another former first-round defensive lineman today, and this time it's a tackle: Brodrick Bunkley of the Eagles, who had originally been traded to Cleveland for a 2012 fifth-rounder on Saturday. However, Bunkley refused to report to the Browns, and the trade was nullified - so he's instead heading to Denver in return for an undisclosed 2013 draft choice.
Bunkley (6'2" 295 lbs) was the 14th-overall pick of the 2006 Draft by the Eagles and played in 76 of a possible 80 regular-season games for Philly, starting 52 of them and amassing 111 tackles, six sacks and seven passes defensed. No word on whether Bunkley will receive a reworked contract with Denver, but he's on the last year of his rookie deal and is due to make
$635K $685K before hitting free agency.
The Broncos have agreed to terms with DE Derrick Harvey (6'5" 252), who had been waived by the Jaguars on Friday. Harvey was selected eighth overall in the 2008 Draft by Jacksonville and has played in 47 of 48 possible games as a pro, starting 32 of them and accumulating 70 tackles and eight sacks with one interception and five passes defensed.
Meanwhile, Mike Klis says Denver is trying to sign both Jamaal Anderson, who is visiting with the Titans next and supposedly will make his decision then, and Ty Warren, who headed to Houston yesterday and has since added a stop with Kansas City to his itinerary.
The Broncos also announced they have finalized their deal with TE Dante Rosario after he passed his physical, and released WR Marshall Williams, who had signed last week as an undrafted rookie.
For once, I agree with an agent.
Here's what Richard Bernoski, agent for recently signed Marcus Thomas, had to say only moments ago:
We're excited about the scheme that John Fox is running, it will give Marcus Thomas a chance to reach his potential and do what he does best which is penetrate to get up field to cause chaos in the backfield. He's been the most productive defensive tackle in Denver playing in a system that didn't fit his skill-set.
Bernoski knows his client well. There was perhaps no player who had to fight his natural tendencies more in the 3-4 defense that Josh McDaniels wanted to run during his time in Denver.
Thomas was never a fit as a two-gap defender. He was simply out of place. Despite this, he played with a lot of effort and held his own as a defensive end.
Marcus Thomas is your classic 3-technique penetrator. He split gaps and uses his quick first step to his advantage.
Then he tries to unleash hell.
The Broncos have agreed to terms with 26-year-old TE Dante Rosario, who spent his first four years with the Panthers and has 82 career receptions for 894 yards and five touchdowns. Although Rosario set a new career high in 2010 with 32 catches, his YPR was a career-low 8.3 after he averaged 12.6 yards per reception over his first three seasons.
Rosario (6'3" 244 lbs) becomes the fifth member of Denver's TE group, along with third-year players Richard Quinn and Dan Gronkowski, plus draftees Julius Thomas and Virgil Green. It's hard to envision the Broncos keeping five tight ends on their final roster, and John Fox's familiarity with Rosario from their time together in Carolina has to factor in, so it will be interesting to see who loses out in this numbers game. Could Green perhaps be headed for the practice squad, or is Gronkowski on his way out?
Update 5:34pm ET - The Broncos have also reportedly agreed to terms with former Rams TE Daniel Fells, and John Clayton says the 27-year old is expected to become Denver's starter. Fells (6'4" 252 lbs - PFR lists Fells as 252 lbs while NFL.com and ESPN list him at 272 - obviously a substantial difference) has 69 career receptions for 745 yards and five TDs in three seasons with the Rams, including a 41/391/2 slash in 2010. Adam Schefter reports that Fells has agreed to a one-year deal.
6:06pm ET - Brief moment of confusion there, as Jason La Canfora had tweeted that Denver signed DT Daniel Muir. Rather, he's heading to the Rams.
6:04pm ET - The Broncos have released LB Dominic Douglas, who had been signed to a future contract following the 2010 season and is quite the active tweeter.
4:29pm ET - Ty Warren, a Texas native and A&M alum, is leaving Denver without a contract to visit with the Texans.
1:56pm ET - The Broncos are among at least five teams expected to host DE Jamaal Anderson, the former eighth-overall pick by the Falcons, who just released the four-year veteran.
The Broncos have made a trio of moves this evening, releasing veteran safety Renaldo Hill after two seasons with the team and adding RB Willis McGahee and Colorado State alum and former Texans WR David Anderson. Hill had not been practicing with the team since the opening of training camp, with John Fox dubiously claiming the eleventh-year player was out due to dehydration on Thursday. Hill was due to make $2.4M with a cap number of $2.775M; he had been under contract through 2012 and will count for $750K against the 2012 cap*. He played and started in 31 of 32 games since being signed as a free agent by Denver before the 2009 season, amassing 98 tackles, two picks, and two forced fumbles.
* I wrote the other day that the release of Correll Buckhalter would accelerate the unamortized chunk ($900K) of his original signing bonus to hit the Broncos' 2011 cap, but that was not correct. All accelerated bonuses from this week and going forward will be charged to teams' 2012 caps. Probably should have figured this out before calling out the DP guys for their transgressions. Glass houses/stones, that whole thing. Anyway, I think I've got it all straight now.
8:05pm ET - The Broncos have announced the signing of WR David Anderson, formerly of the Houston Texans, via John Elway's Twitter feed. Anderson is a solid player, and he has a usually hilarious Twitter feed, which used to be named WhiteOut89. This seems like an addition to a position of strength, but in the Duke we trust. Well, not unconditionally, but let's see what else is brewing. (TB)
1:34pm ET - Andrew Mason is reporting that Tebow continues to struggle in training camp. Brady Quinn participated ahead of him in one team drill today. Is it fair to wonder if the Orton trade rumors affected him a lot more than Orton?
Keep checking back here through the day for mor Broncos rosterbation! But don't hesitate to give us your thoughts.
The Broncos have released RB Correll Buckhalter and TE Daniel Coats, and waived RB Mike McLaughlin. It was announced that Buckhalter would be let go on Monday, presumably for salary cap relief purposes; he was due to make $1.92M in salary and count for $2.37M against the salary cap. His release will provide the team with
$1.47M the full $2.37M* in cap relief and result in a 2012 cap hit of $900K.