Happy Monday, friends. As some of the rumors start to come out about free agency, I have some thoughts on a few of the Broncos-related ones. Let’s rosterbate, shall we?
1. Doug linked to an Omar Kelly report that the Broncos are the leader for Reggie Bush, and he questioned the likely veracity of the rumor, because Bush isn’t bigger or more durable than any of the current Broncos RBs.
I don’t really agree that the Broncos need a big back, because Willis McGahee does fine in that role, and it’s a reasonably safe assumption that he’ll be back to full health in 2013. I wouldn’t call him injury-prone either, over the majority of his career. I do think that McGahee is best in a committee situation, and whether the Broncos acquire another back or not, that that's where he'll find himself in 2013.
The first big reported trade of the offseason included the Niners shipping Alex Smith to the Chiefs for a second-rounder this year and a conditional 2014 pick.
San Francisco's rivals have pulled off the next major deal, as the Seahawks have reportedly acquired WR Percy Harvin from the Vikings in exchange for three draft choices, including Seattle's 2013 first- and seventh-rounders, and a mid-round pick in 2014.
The trade is pending a physical, and like the Smith deal, cannot be finalized until 4pm ET tomorrow, when the league calendar flips.
Updated 10:39pm ET
John Elway announced Monday via Twitter that the Broncos have agreed to terms on a three-year deal to keep backup safety and special teams ace David Bruton in town.
The 2009 fourth-rounder was credited by PFF with three special teams tackles in 2012, and he nabbed his first career interception in the regular season finale against Kansas City. Bruton, who had a partial punt block against Oakland in Week 4, saw just 34 snaps on defense, notching two tackles, a QB hurry, and QB hit.
Via Omar Kelly:
Reggie Bush is competing with a few free agent tailbacks. But he'll pick between Denver, Arizona and Detroit. I hear Denver is the leader...The tailback market is also like a stack of dominoes. Steven Jackson, Bradshaw, Michael Turner, Mendenhall, Green, all impact Reggie Bush. But I'm told Reggie Bush is trying to get with a pass first team so that he can be utilized ideally, playing to his strengths.
This one seems a bit hard to believe. Bush is no bigger than any of Denver's current backs, and for much of his career, he hasn't been any more durable than them, either.
Mike Klis reports that the negotiation between the Broncos and the agent for DE Elvis Dumervil has not progressed this weekend.
Given the circumstances, and the way this story first broke, we're of course not in the least bit surprised.
According to Klis, the two sides exchanged proposals on Thursday and Friday, and there's been radio silence ever since.
Mike Florio's interpretation is that Denver knows how much Elvis is willing to play for, and they're now scouring the DE market to see if they can get better value with someone else, whether it's Dwight Freeney, Osi Umenyiora, John Abraham, or Cliff Avril.
Jeff Legwold and Mike Klis have long maintained that Denver would be looking to upgrade at running back this offseason. According to Klis, one of the players the Broncos have targeted is Pittsburgh's Rashard Mendenhall, who made $1.8M in the final season of his rookie contract.
The 25-year-old back, who is listed at 225 lbs, managed just 244 yards on 60 touches, with three fumbles (!) in six games in 2012; he had suffered a torn ACL in the Steelers' 2011 regular season finale.
Mendenhall has reportedly also drawn interest from Arizona and Miami.
Unsurprisingly, the bloodletting of highly paid veterans is continuing today, first with Pittsburgh's release of former DPOY James Harrison. It remains to be seen which teams will be interested in signing Harrison; Ted had suggested Houston as a possibility, while Khaled Elsayed thinks Indy, Arizona, and Cleveland would be well-served to consider him.
WR Anquan Boldin, who had 22 catches and four touchdowns during Baltimore's postseason run, is likely the next big name to become available, as he has reportedly turned down the Ravens' request for a pay cut.
DE Elvis Dumervil appears likely to join that list, and the Broncos are said to be one of several teams scouring the DE market in advance of that decision.
In advance of Tuesday's deadline, the Broncos have tendered punter Britton Colquitt, running back Lance Ball, and tackle Chris Clark at the lowest possible restricted free agent level. Each will be paid $1.323M for 2013, provided they sign their tenders.
With the league calendar set to flip on Tuesday at 4pm ET, teams are required by that time to offer tenders to all restricted free agents they hope to keep; fullback Chris Gronkowski had been informed earlier that he would not be tendered, and will be an unrestricted free agent.
Tony Carter and Mitch Unrein, as players with fewer than three accrued seasons, had been classified as exclusive rights free agents, meaning they're stuck at Denver's mercy. The Broncos have tendered each at the $630K minimum.
A couple of weeks ago, we snickered at word that Dolphins backup QB Matt Moore was seeking a multiyear deal worth around $5M per season. Well, Moore's laughing all the way to the bank, as he's apparently about to get $8M over two years to stay in Miami.
Probably only half of that is guaranteed, but Moore still got what he wanted - a cushy salary to be a backup QB. Not bad at all. The deal is in line with what Kyle Orton got from Dallas last year (three years, $10.5M, $5M guaranteed).
According to Elvis Dumervil's agent Marty Magid, the defensive end is willing to rework his deal:
They informed us they want to do a restructure. I'm not classifying this as a pay cut. I'm going ahead with this being a restructure. If we can meet on some common ground, there's a potential we can get it done. If we can't, they'll have to make a decision. But we're definitely in good faith going to try to negotiate this out. Elvis wants to return as a Bronco if it all possible, and that's what we're trying to do — make the client happy and try to appease the team.
Translation: Denver's going to have to pony up a lot more guaranteed money for my client to accept a lower salary.