Once Denver made the biggest splash of free agency in adding Wes Welker, it was practically a foregone conclusion that Brandon Stokley would not be re-signed.
The only question was whether the 14-year veteran would retire, wait for a possible injury among Denver's wideouts, or sign somewhere else entirely.
Stokley, of course, served a crucial role in the Broncos' recruitment of Peyton Manning - hosting, and then playing catch with (secretly in a neighborhood park) - his old Indy mate. And once Stokely realized that he, too, might have something left in the tank, he said he'd play in 2012 for the Broncos, or nobody else.
Obviously, yesterday's signing of Ryan Lilja (which is pending a physical) is quite a coup for John Elway & Co., following the season-ending injury to Dan Koppen.
But given that J.D. Walton may not be back at all this season, the lack of center experience for Manny Ramirez and C.J. Davis, and the apparent developmental struggles of Philip Blake, can we be sure the Broncos are done adding depth there?
Apparently, the Broncos are no more excited by the possibility of having Manny Ramirez start at center than the rest of us. That is to say, they're not super into the idea.
According to Alex Marvez of Fox Sports, the team has extended an offer to recently retired 31-year-old Chiefs center Ryan Lilja (6-2, 290).
Lilja was a guard for most of his eight-year career, but excelled at center for Kansas City in 2012.
Following the season-ending knee injury to center Dan Koppen, the Broncos have agreed to terms with lineman Steve Vallos (6-3, 310), pending a physical.
The 29-year-old Wake Forest alum has played in 42 games (nine starts) over six seasons in the NFL with Seattle, Cleveland, Jacksonville, and Philadelphia.
The Broncos are apparently about to find out whether Manny Ramirez or Philip Blake can cut it as an NFL center.
Incumbent center J.D. Walton is out until at least late October following surgery in June to clean out an infection in his surgically repaired left ankle.
When that infection was discovered, Denver re-signed Dan Koppen, who had filled in for Walton quite admirably in 2012.
Denver waived undrafted rookie tight end Lucas Reed on Friday and added former Kansas City tight end Jake O'Connell (6-3, 250) on Saturday to replace him.
In four seasons with the Chiefs, O'Connell started eight of the 35 games in which he appeared, totaling 15 catches for 108 yards and no touchdowns. Kansas City drafted him in the seventh round of the 2009 Draft.
The Broncos have inked 2013 first-rounder Sylvester Williams, who had been their only unsigned player. Denver selected the North Carolina defensive tackle 28th overall, and he figures to play a significant role within the team's line rotation.
According to Mike Klis, the contract is worth $7.6M over four seasons, including $3.9M up front and $6.1M in guarantees.
Wharton spent his first eight seasons in Carolina, which of course means he's well-acquainted with John Fox and line coach Dave Magazu. He visited with the Panthers on Tuesday, but left without a deal.
Originally drafted by Carolina in 2004, the former Gamecock has started all 99 regular season games in which he's played, all of them with the Panthers.
In one of the bigger mistakes of John Elway's tenure running their football operations, Denver signed Mays to a three-year, $12M deal in March of 2012.
The contract included $4.5M in guarantees, including $500K of his 2013 salary.
Denver's nightmarish July continues, as Adam Schefter reports that all-universe linebacker Von Miller is facing a four-game drug suspension from the NFL.
Miller, who received the only vote for 2012 DPOY not marked for J.J. Watt, is said to be appealing the ban.
Obviously, there's no player more integral to the Broncos' prospects in 2013 and beyond than Peyton Manning, but Von may be a close second.
Updated 2:26pm ET