Chicago gossip columnist says Broncos talking to Urlacher

From Sun-Times jack-of-all-trades columnist Michael Sneed:

Sneed hears that former Chicago Bear Brian Urlacher, whose stellar, longtime career with the Bears began with a growl and ended with a whimper, is getting close to finding a new pigskin playground.

Sneed is told that Urlacher, whose decision to leave the Bears followed their offer of a $1.6 million renewal contract, has been talking to the Minnesota Vikings and the Denver Broncos. “It’s getting close to happening, but Brian is leaning toward heading to Minnesota and is talking a one to two year contract,” said a source close to Urlacher.

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Broncos to host Woodson, who has offer from Raiders

As we've been saying here at IAOFM since February and a couple times more recently, Charles Woodson as a matchup safety for the Broncos is an excellent idea (If you're not sure what we mean by a matchup safety, here is a fine refresher course).

The Broncos' struggles at covering tight ends in recent years, and especially last season, have been well documented.

To that end, Vic Lombardi is reporting that the team is finally going to take a closer look at Woodson:

Updated 8:23pm ET

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Broncos wrap up rookie minicamp, will add two players, release Rippy

Denver completed its rookie minicamp Sunday; here's video of John Fox speaking after practice, and Chris Hall reporting for BTV.

For the coaching staff, it was their first on-field look at the Broncos' draftees and undrafted free agent signings, along with a trio of players invited for an extended tryout.

According to Mike Klis, two of those invitees were impressive enough that they will be signed - CSU DE Lanston Tanyi, and UCLA LB Damien Holmes.

Updated 9:29pm ET

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A post-draft look at the Broncos’ cap situation

Before and after last weekend's NFL Draft, it was reported that the Broncos were $8.4M under the salary cap for 2013.

Given the matching info, we'll assume that figure does not factor in Denver's signing of Shaun Phillips, who will count for $1.4M this season, with any potential sack incentives beyond that impacting the 2014 cap.

Since we all know that the addition of Phillips's $1.4M cap number is partially offset by the removal of Duke Ihenacho's $480K figure under the Top-51 offseason accounting rule, that means signing the ex-Charger cost Denver $920K against the cap. That brings them to $7.48M in 2013 cap space as of today.

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How do the Broncos rookies fit?

Happy Tuesday, friends.  I’ve had a few days to digest the 2013 Draft, and I have some thoughts on the class of players that the Broncos took.  It’s not going to be like a grading exercise, or anything like that, because you can get that crap around the internet from any fool who has a keyboard, just like you can get mock drafts.  For the most part, those grading exercises are worth about as much as the mocks are.

What we should be concerned with is how this group of players fits into this roster.  The time to be worried about reaches and relative draft value is over; it doesn’t matter if you think that some other player who was picked in the fourth round was better than the guy the Broncos took in the third.  Sunk costs are irrelevant to the team’s affairs and decisions of today.  People who dwell on them are morons.

What is relevant is how these players can help the team, both now and in the future.  That’s the topic of today’s article – how does it all fit together?

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Broncos’ UDFA class grows to 16 strong

In the murky hours following the completion of the draft on Saturday, it was reported that Denver had signed 16 undrafted rookies. But when the dust settled, there were only 15 signees.

Turns out there was a 16th player added - it just took a couple of days to get there. According to Mike Klis, the team has agreed with former BYU nose tackle Romney Fuga, a 6-2, 320-pounder from Huntington Beach.

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Denver Broncos 2013 undrafted free agent signings

Player Pos School Links Notes
Ryan Katz QB San Diego State Source, StatsDS Oregon State transfer
Lucas Reed TE New Mexico Source, Stats, CBS, DS Brother of Brooks Reed
John Youboty DE Temple Source, Stats, CBS, DS 2nd Team All-Big East
Lerentee McCray LB Florida Source, Stats, NFLCBS, DSNFP  
Ryan Doerr P Kansas State Source, Stats, DS  
Ross Rasner S Arkansas Source, Stats, DS  
Doug Rippy LB Colorado Source, Stats, CBS Released 5/12
Kemonte' Bateman WR New Mexico State Source, Stats  
Gary Mason DE Baylor Source, Stats, DS Failed physical
Uona Kaveinga LB BYU Source, Stats, NFL, DS USC transfer
Manase Foketi G West Texas A&M Source, NFLCBS, DS KSU transfer
Lamaar Thomas WR New Mexico Source, Stats, DS Ohio State transfer, ran track
C.J. Anderson RB California Source, Stats, NFL, DS  
Aaron Hester CB UCLA Source, Stats, NFL, CBS, DS  
Quincy McDuffie WR Central Florida Source, Stats, DS Led nation in KR avg
Romney Fuga DT BYU Source, Stats, DS, IAOFM  
Damien Holmes LB UCLA Source, Stats, DS, IAOFM  
Lanston Tanyi DE CSU Source, Stats, DS, IAOFM Grad transfer from App. St.

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Gut Reaction: Broncos to sign Shaun Phillips

Adam Schefter reported today that the Broncos are going to sign former San Diego pass rusher Shaun Phillips.  We've been speculating for a while here that Phillips may be in the mix for the Broncos, even if quietly.  The local media has been focused on Dwight Freeney and John Abraham, but they seem to have both priced themselves out of the market.

Phillips got a one-year deal for $1 million, with another $2 million available via incentives.  As far as what kind of player he is, I think we all know that he's the kind of guy you hate until he's on your team.  TJ had a great comparison of Phillips to Bill Romanowski.

Updated 10:25pm ET

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Broncos expected to sign Shaun Phillips

According to Adam Schefter, the Broncos are expected to sign former Chargers LB Shaun Phillips to a one-year deal for a $1M salary, with another $2M available via incentives.

Ever since the Dumervil debacle, Phillips has been considered one of the team's options to replace the departed pass rusher, if a less publicized one than Dwight Freeney and John Abraham.

But Broncos fans know Phillips all too well, as seven of his 69.5 career sacks have come against them. He also had 35 total tackles and one interception against Denver, and famously had a pregame in-tunnel showdown with Josh McDaniels in 2009.

Updated 10:25pm ET

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Broncos hoping against hope to get something for Joe Mays

NFLN's Daniel Jeremiah says the Broncos are shopping Joe Mays and his $4M salary ($500K guaranteed), and good luck with that.

Whenever Mays is cut, as we've suggested would happen for many months now, the Broncos will save $3.5M in cash, $3,333,333 in cap space, and be left with $833,334 in dead money, according to Spotrac.

Johns Elway and Fox have made clear countless times now that Nate Irving, Steven Johnson, and Stewart Bradley will be competing for the starting Mike job, with Mays's name a conspicuous omission.

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