Denver has signed three of its 2011 draft choices, agreeing to four-year deals with seventh-round pick TE Virgil Green, fourth-rounder TE Julius Thomas and sixth-round pick LB Mike Mohamed. According to Mike Klis, Green's contract includes a
$17,282 $69K signing bonus. The rest of Denver's nine picks should sign in relatively short order, as the new CBA prevents holdouts and places specific guidelines on how much teams can spend on their draft choices. With Green's $2.16M deal, Thomas' $2.592M $2.42M deal ($384K bonus) and Mohamed's $2.2M deal (the latter two figures reported by Lindsay Jones), the Broncos should have $37.698M left to sign the balance of their picks.
According to Aaron Wilson, the Broncos have placed WR Demaryius Thomas on the non-football injury list while the second-year receiver recovers from surgery to repair his torn Achilles tendon. The NFI list differs from the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list in that Thomas will remain an active member of the Broncos' roster and be eligible to return to practice at any point after being cleared via physical. Were he on the PUP list or the reserve/non-football injury list, Thomas would be unable to practice or play until after Week 6 of the regular season. Don't read too much into this though, as Thomas could of course be placed on the PUP list at a later juncture.
According to Adam Schefter, the Broncos have dealt WR Jabar Gaffney to Washington in return for DE Jeremy Jarmon. Jarmon was a third-round pick out of Kentucky by the Redskins in the 2009 supplemental draft and has played in 16 games over the past two seasons (starting one).
The 30-year-old Gaffney spent two years with the Broncos, during which he caught 119 passes for 1,607 yards and four touchdowns. He was due to make $2.4M in salary this season, while his cap number for the year was $2.75M. Jarmon is scheduled to make $480K in 2011 and $565K in 2012, after which he will be a free agent.
6:07am ET Thursday - Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald places the chances of the Orton deal happening at only 60/40, for what that's worth
11:50pm ET - Jason "TV Dude" LaCanfora is reporting that the Broncos are pursuing former Colts DT Danny Muir. Muir is relatively unknown, but if you are a combine freak, you'll probably remember Muir posted better numbers than Brandon Mebane, who was in the same draft class, in almost all categories. Particularly impressive was his bench press (37 reps). In other news, the Rams are in the mix as well. The Rams and Broncos are now pursuing every DT on the planet...at the same time. - TJ
Here are the undrafted players Denver has reportedly agreed to terms with thus far:
|DT||Ronnell Brown||James Madison||NFLDS|
|WR||Mark Dell||Michigan State||NFL, CBS|
|LB||Derek Domino||South Dakota State||NFLDS|
|RB||Mario Fannin||Auburn||NFL, CBS|
|OT||Adam Grant||Arizona||NFL, CBS|
|WR||Jamel Hamler||Fresno State||NFL, CBS|
|LB||Deron Mayo||Old Dominion||NFLDS|
|OT||Curt Porter||Jacksonville State||CBS|
|DT||Colby Whitlock||Texas Tech||CBS|
10:15pm ET - Klis says the Broncos are making a push to re-sign Marcus Thomas.
10:42am ET Tuesday - According to @NFLDraftInsider, the Broncos have agreed to terms with undrafted rookies RB Mario Fannin from Auburn, FB Patrick Hill from Miami, WR Mark Dell from Michigan State,
G Bryant Browning from Ohio State Browning has instead agreed to join the Rams, LB Nick Bellore of Central Michigan Bellore is going to the Jets, and DE Deron Mayo from Old Dominion, younger brother of Pats LB Jerod. According to @NEPatriotsDraft Denver has also signed WR Marshall Williams from Wake Forest, TE Justin Jones from Toledo, CB James Rogers from Michigan, and DT Colby Whitlock of Texas Tech. Rutgers CB Brandon Bing says he's also agreed to join the Broncos; so does Kansas DB Chris Harris. According to @Ethanhamm, Denver has also added OT Curt Porter out of Jacksonville State. (note: click player names for NFL.com and NFLDraftScout.com profiles)
9:14pm ET - According to John Clayton, teams have been granted the right to
sign negotiate but not sign undrafted rookies tonight. (Thanks, underdog)
9:10pm ET - The Baltimore Ravens have told RB Willis McGahee they intend to cut him, and Mike Klis says the Broncos figure to be a possible destination for the 29-year-old back who played for Broncos RB coach and former interim coach Eric Studesville for three years in Buffalo. McGahee has compiled 7,214 yards from scrimmage and 59 touchdowns in seven seasons and was due to make $6 million this season with the Ravens.
Chris Mortensen is reporting on ESPNEWS that the NFLPA's executive committee is expected to vote on the new CBA on Monday, with players then showing up at training camps on Wednesday with the intention of recertifying the players' union. Once the union is recertified, the two sides will be able to collectively bargain the remaining issues such as personal conduct, benefits and player safety. According to Mortensen, such a timeline would likely mean that free agency would commence on Saturday July 30, one week from today.
In what appears to have been timed to follow the release of the arrest warrant in the Perrish Cox rape case, Mike Klis is reporting that the Broncos have hired Jerry Butler to be their new director of player development, a role Butler had held with the Browns for 10 seasons before he was fired in May. According to Klis, Butler's role with the organization is to help players with life off the field, including counseling, education and financial guidance. No word on when he was actually hired, but according to Klis, Butler already started his job earlier in the week. Butler was the fifth-overall pick of the 1979 Draft by the Bills, with whom he spent the entirety of his seven-year career.