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Broncos add LB Bowen, release Leonard, waive Domino

The Broncos made a few roster moves today, claiming LB Alvin Bowen off waivers from Jacksonville, releasing DT Louis Leonard, and designating LB Derek Domino as waived/injured.

Bowen (6-1, 222) dressed for two games last year with the Jaguars, was originally a fifth-round pick of the Bills in 2008, and has also been a member of the Redskins and Seahawks. Denver had signed Leonard just prior to their season finale last year, while Domino was an undrafted free agent signed this year out of South Dakota State.

Prater arrested for DUI

In case you were wondering why the Broncos had Steven Hauschka still on the roster and playing last night, it wasn't just to keep starting placekicker Matt Prater fresh. Turns out, the team may need him at some point this year - if and when Prater is suspended by the NFL. Why would he be suspended? Well, Prater was arrested last week for DUI in Greenwood Village. Apparently, Prater's hefty raise from $550K last year to $1.835M this season on a restricted tender couldn't afford the guy a cab or designated driver. And to top it all off, he was also charged with fleeing the scene of an accident. Idiot kickers...

Lombardi says Denver not committed to Tebow; Lammey calls report “BS”

NFL.com's Mike Lombardi posted a column today proclaiming that Tim Tebow has no support among the Denver brass, and that with Josh McDaniels out of the organization and John Fox wanting to "win now and worry about the future later," Tebow is merely at this point vying for the backup job with Brady Quinn. The former Broncos consultant says any team with Tebow needs to commit fully to developing him into a pro QB, and he speculates that such an undertaking will only happen in another organization that acquires him ala Steve Young and the Niners back in 1987.

Yet, as respectable as Lombardi's writing and knowledge of the league are, this one reads as hard to believe. It was only two weeks ago that Orton was reportedly thisclose to being shipped off to Miami, as clear a sign as any that the Broncos were prepared to move forward with Tebow as their QB, at least for the 2011 season. And while it's feasible that Orton has outperformed Tebow so much so that he's the clear starter right now, there are still four preseason games and 4.5 weeks to go before the opener versus Oakland. Could the Broncos organization have performed a complete 180 regarding their long-term plans at QB in a matter of two weeks? I find that dubious at best.

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Broncos release first 2011 depth chart

The Broncos have released their first official depth chart of the year; some brief observations:

1. Without a doubt, the biggest stunner is that Chris Kuper, who received over $13M in guarantees as part of a contract extension in June of 2010 and has been a fixture at RG for four seasons, is listed with the third-team offense behind Russ Hochstein and Eric Olsen. Either this is motivational in nature, or the Broncos really will be scouring the waiver wire for linemen, and hard. FWIW, TJ has been telling me for a long time that he doesn't get why Kuper receives so much praise. Well, apparently Kuper is killing it at practice today, because just in the past hour he's jumped back up to the first team! Or, it was just a typo by the guys running the official site. (Thanks, Royalwithcheese)

2. Despite all the accolades for rookie Julius Thomas' play thus far in camp, and speculation that Richard Quinn's job was in jeopardy, Quinn sits with the second teamers behind newly-acquired Daniel Fells, with Thomas down with the fifth team and fellow rookie Virgil Green sixth.

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Fannin clears waivers, placed on IR

We interrupt your regularly scheduled Tim Tebow/Kyle Orton debate for some other news this afternoon.

The Denver Broncos reported that undrafted free-agent running back Mario Fannin cleared waivers and is now back with the Broncos on injured reserve.

Yesterday the Broncos waived Fannin due to a knee injury he suffered in practice earlier in the week. 

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Players ratify CBA; HGH testing instituted

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.

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Broncos sign Ty Warren

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.

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Broncos acquire Brodrick Bunkley from Eagles

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.

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Broncos add Derrick Harvey, finalize deal with Rosario

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.

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Gut Reaction: Broncos sign Marcus Thomas

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.

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