News

Buckhalter to be released; Broncos agree to terms w/ Auburn RB Mario Fannin, others

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, 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)

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CBA approved; teams can negotiate with undrafted rookies

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.

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Possible NFLPA vote on Monday; free agency would begin July 30

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.

Broncos hire new director of player development

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. 

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Cox arrest warrant released; several Broncos mentioned

The arrest warrant for Perrish Cox was released today, and several Broncos are mentioned in the affidavit. The alleged victim in the sexual assault case spent a night out in September of 2010 with Cox, WR Demaryius Thomas, and her friend Carthy Che, who was dating Cox at the time. Che and the woman both believed they had been drugged the prior night, and the next morning the alleged victim suspected that she had been raped despite not recalling having had intercourse.

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Mortensen says NFLPA vote could take place Friday

UPDATE 10:33PM ET - Chris Mortensen just stated on ESPN that De Smith and the NFLPA's lawyers are currently looking over the documents sent over by ownership and expect to be able to conduct a vote on approving the deal as soon as tomorrow. Mortensen says one of the potential hangups is the lack of an opt-out from the 10-year agreement perhaps seven or eight years into the deal, and that items like player discipline and drug testing cannot be negotiated until the NFLPA recertifies.

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Dawkins expects pay cut; Royal says he’s 100%

This is the closest we've come to talking about real football news in months now; S Brian Dawkins told Mike Klis today that he expects to end up with a restructured deal with the Broncos which will pay him less than the $6 million he's due in 2011. Dawkins even went so far as to say that he and his agent have expected such a scenario since he first signed his free-agent deal with Denver prior to the 2009 season.

Klis also spoke with WR Eddie Royal and RB Knowshon Moreno today; Royal says he's already fully recovered from the February operation on his hip. Meanwhile, Moreno is apparently down to 200 lbs, around 10 lbs less than his prior playing weight with Denver. Perhaps this weight loss could result in more of the explosiveness we've been waiting to see out of Knowshon since the Broncos selected him 12th overall in the 2009 Draft.

Ex-Broncos LB Nate Webster indicted on sex charges

Nate Webster, who played for the Broncos from 2006 to 2008 before retiring, has been indicted by a grand jury in Hamilton County, OH on charges of sexual battery, gross sexual imposition and five counts of unlawful sex with a minor. Webster allegedly had repeated nonconsensual sex with a 15-year-old girl in 2009 and threatened her with a gun to prevent her from telling her own family about the incidents. Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters cited "overwhelming evidence of (Webster's) guilt" and says the ex-LB threatened to "kill (the girl) and kill her family."

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NFLPA okays settlement pending resolution of issues

UPDATE 6:50PM ET - More from Mark Maske...

The owners still could vote Thursday to approve deal even without a players' vote today, according to people familiar with deliberations. The deal is basically in place. It's the resolution of the lawsuit that remains unfinished, and it must be resolved to finish the CBA. NFL labor committee ended its meeting in Atlanta. Full ownership meeting scheduled to begin Thursday at 10 a.m.

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Revelation of NFLPA’s lockout insurance may have forced concessions from owners

Apparently De Smith isn't the thoughtless/reckless goon he was made out to be a month or two ago. As Jim Trotter writes for SI,

slightly more than a year ago he received approval from the executive committee to secure insurance that would pay each player roughly $200,000 if there were no football in 2011

Trotter goes on to say that "only a handful" of people outside of the NFLPA's executive committee knew about the lockout insurance, and when talks appeared at a standstill on Wednesday old friend Domonique Foxworth dropped the proverbial bomb on ownership. Mike Freeman openly wondered this morning what had taken place to spur so much progress on Thursday, and now we know. (Thanks, Chibronx)