Broncos fans are mad at Julius Thomas, just like John Elway wants them to be

The Broncos and Julius Thomas were close to a contract extension as recently as the end of last August, says Thomas's agent, Frank Bauer, in an interview with the DP. However, the Broncos only offered conditional guarantees kicking in starting in 2015, with no increase to Thomas's minimum $645K salary for 2014.

As Bauer tells it, the two sides were close to a deal on the day of Denver's preseason finale at Dallas - with Thomas preparing to purchase a home in the area - but the team never got back to the agent.

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Broncos need to get Gary Kubiak a fullback, and his old one is available

Although the Manning Offense doesn't require a fullback, Gary Kubiak's does, and the new head coach says the Broncos will be looking for candidates this week at the combine. Kubes also mentioned that smaller tight ends have often functioned as fullbacks for him, which brings us to James Casey, who was cut by the Eagles on Thursday.

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The Colts seem to be a classy organization

Indy's trade of a first-round pick in exchange for Trent Richardson seemed somewhat desperate the day they made it. Seventeen months later, it's looking like one of the worst trades in recent NFL history. This is obvious to everyone, including the Colts.

So now, Indy is trying to weasel its way out of paying the guy his $3.184M fully guaranteed salary for 2015, and their justification is that Richardson prioritized a real-life-is-scary-as-shit moment over a sporting event (that he might not have played in anyway).

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Report: Broncos to meet with agents for many pending free agents, but not Julius Thomas’s

The Broncos will reportedly meet this week with the agents for pending free agents Demaryius Thomas, Terrance Knighton, Orlando Franklin, and Rahim Moore. However, they will not meet with the agent for Julius Thomas, according to Mike Klis.

Last summer, Denver had apparenlty offered Thomas a deal worth around $8M per year. But that was before his latest ankle injury caused him to miss three games and practically wiped out his production. Since then, there's been very little to suggest the 26-year old will return to Denver for a fifth season.

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The annual walking up of the NFL’s salary cap estimate has begun

As they seem to do every year, the NFL has started to increase its estimate of the yearly salary cap, this time moving their predicted range of $138.6M-141.8M up to $140M-143M. Last offseason, the NFL's first estimate of a $126M cap was woefully shy of the final $133M figure.

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Wes Welker intends to play in 2015

Contrary to an earlier report from FOX Sports, Wes Welker has told the Denver Post that he intends to play a 12th NFL season in 2015. The legendary slot wideout is scheduled to hit free agency after making $12M over two seasons in Denver.

Given Denver's caponomic situation, his concussion history, and the hiring of Gary Kubiak - in whose offense #3 wideouts tend not to excel - it would be a surprise to see Welker back with the Broncos in 2015.

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Report: 49ers pulled offer from Adam Gase over DC

Hey, remember that time when the 49ers were supposed to name Adam Gase their next head coach, but then went with Jim Tomsula instead, just hours later? According to a report from Tim Kawakami, the Niners pulled a fast one on Gase, first agreeing to his choice of assistants, but then trying to foist Tomsula on him as his DC.

Per Kawakami, Gase quickly nixed that idea, and the Niners promoted Tomsula.

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NFL owners paid Roger Goodell $35M in 2013

In 2013, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was paid $35M, which is pretty remarkable, when one really thinks about it. That's a lot of money for someone who appears to be terrible at their job.

The devil's advocate would likely say that Goodell makes his bosses a lot of money and deserves hazard pay for absorbing the public's scorn on their behalf. Instead of hating the 32 owners, fans can direct their ire at Goodell, so the story goes.

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Mort: Expect announcement from Peyton Manning next week

According to Chris Mortensen, Peyton Manning is likely to announce sometime next week his decision to play in 2015. Mort had previously reported that a decision might have come as early as last week.

Manning reportedly met with John Elway on Thursday to discuss the possibility of returning for a fourth season in Denver. His $19M salary becomes fully guaranteed on March 9.

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Broncos round out coaching staff with Marc Lubick, Samson Brown

Gary Kubiak completed his first Broncos coaching staff by adding assistant wideouts coach Marc Lubick (son of former longtime CSU coach Sonny) and assistant secondary coach Samson Brown. Lubick worked under Kubiak for four years in Houston, with other stints with the St. Louis Rams as a scouting assistant, at CSU as a receivers and tight ends coach, and most recently at Vanderbilt, where he coached wideouts for one season. Brown has worked as an assistant in the NFL with the Jets and Bills, and at several college programs in New York state prior to that.