Baltimore may have gotten a good measure of revenge on John Elway in recent months, but he still owns Cleveland.
The Broncos have announced the hiring of former Browns GM Tom Heckert as their new director of pro personnel, the role recently vacated by Keith Kidd.
But Heckert was fired by the Browns, who went just 14-34 during his three-year tenure there, so how does this count as Elway sticking it to Cleveland again?
You see, Heckert was actually a popular figure in northeastern Ohio - at least enough for one activist Browns fan to set up a Dont Fire Heckert (sic) website, and another to start an online petition imploring new (and now troubled) owner Jimmy Haslam to keep the incumbent GM.
Updated 12:41pm ET
Despite their soul-crushing playoff loss, and even prior to their mostly excellent preseason, the Broncos have been 2013 overdogs.
As the recent Week 1-16 lines put out by Cantor Gaming suggest, nothing has changed there.
Among those 15 games, Denver is favored in 13, including eight games by a margin of at least six points, and three by double digits.
The only games in which the Broncos aren't currently favored are their Week 12 trip to New England, for which they're 1.5-point underdogs, and the Week 16 game at Houston, which is currently a pick 'em.
Given the matching info, we'll assume that figure does not factor in Denver's signing of Shaun Phillips, who will count for $1.4M this season, with any potential sack incentives beyond that impacting the 2014 cap.
Since we all know that the addition of Phillips's $1.4M cap number is partially offset by the removal of Duke Ihenacho's $480K figure under the Top-51 offseason accounting rule, that means signing the ex-Charger cost Denver $920K against the cap. That brings them to $7.48M in 2013 cap space as of today.
In the murky hours following the completion of the draft on Saturday, it was reported that Denver had signed 16 undrafted rookies. But when the dust settled, there were only 15 signees.
Turns out there was a 16th player added - it just took a couple of days to get there. According to Mike Klis, the team has agreed with former BYU nose tackle Romney Fuga, a 6-2, 320-pounder from Huntington Beach.
Thirteen months and eight days after sending Denver a fourth-rounder (Philip Blake), a sixth-rounder (Danny Trevathan), and $2.53M in cash (of which $1,531,875 will be paid Denver this year) in exchange for Tim Tebow and a seventh-rounder (later sent to Seattle), the LOLJets have waived their former third-string quarterback/punt protector.
Over the weekend, and prior to the completion of the draft, New Jersey put out word that the UT™ had dropped fifteen pounds, gotten faster, improved his throwing motion, and won over members of the organization.
Updated 4:00pm ET
|Ryan Katz||QB||San Diego State||Source, Stats, DS||Oregon State transfer|
|John Youboty||DE||Temple||Source, Stats, CBS, DS||2nd Team All-Big East|
|Lerentee McCray||LB||Florida||Source, Stats, NFL, CBS, DS, NFP|
|Ryan Doerr||P||Kansas State||Source, Stats, DS|
|Ross Rasner||S||Arkansas||Source, Stats, DS|
|Kemonte' Bateman||WR||New Mexico State||Source, Stats|
|Uona Kaveinga||LB||BYU||Source, Stats, NFL, DS||USC transfer|
|Manase Foketi||G||West Texas A&M||Source, NFL, CBS, DS||KSU transfer|
|Lamaar Thomas||WR||New Mexico||Source, Stats, DS||Ohio State transfer, ran track|
|C.J. Anderson||RB||California||Source, Stats, NFL, DS|
|Aaron Hester||CB||UCLA||Source, Stats, NFL, CBS, DS|
|Quincy McDuffie||WR||Central Florida||Source, Stats, DS||Led nation in KR avg|
|Romney Fuga||DT||BYU||Source, Stats, DS, IAOFM|
|Damien Holmes||LB||UCLA||Source, Stats, DS, IAOFM|
|Lanston Tanyi||DE||CSU||Source, Stats, DS, IAOFM||Grad transfer from App. St.|
With their final pick in the 2013 Draft, the Broncos got themselves a new third-string quarterback, and perhaps a future backup for Brock Osweiler.
Miami of Ohio QB Zac Dysert visited Dove Valley earlier in the month, and now he'll be returning to pick up a jersey and eventually sign a contract.
The 6-3, 231-lb. passer was redshirted in 2008 before becoming a four-year starter for the Redhawks.
With their second fifth-round pick (their own), the Broncos took Georgia wide receiver Tavarres King at #161 overall.
King led all Bulldogs receivers last season across the board, with his 42 receptions, 950 yards, 22.6 per-catch average, and nine touchdowns.
The 6-0, 189-lb. receiver, who will turn 23 in July, ran a 4.47-second forty at the national combine. His 2,602 career receiving yards rank fourth in Georgia history, while his 21 receiving touchdowns are third all-time.
Ever since the Dumervil debacle, Phillips has been considered one of the team's options to replace the departed pass rusher, if a less publicized one than Dwight Freeney and John Abraham.
But Broncos fans know Phillips all too well, as seven of his 69.5 career sacks have come against them. He also had 35 total tackles and one interception against Denver, and famously had a pregame in-tunnel showdown with Josh McDaniels in 2009.
Updated 10:25pm ET
After moving back to #146 from #125, the Broncos chose Western Kentucky pass-rushing end Quanterus Smith as their first of two fifth-round picks on Saturday.
Smith suffered a torn ACL last November, and thus did not perform at the combine or the Hilltoppers' pro day.
In ten games as a senior, Smith racked up 12.5 sacks, which is a Sun Belt Conference single-season record; his 24 sacks at WKU have him tied for the conference's career record. At 1.25 sacks per game, Smith got opposing quarterbacks down at a faster rate than anyone in the country.