Why draft an offensive tackle if you’re Denver?

With Ryan Clady locked up on a franchise tag and Orlando Franklin having taken a giant step upward last season, why spend time, money, or a draft choice on an offensive tackle?

Denver has a backup blocking TE/OT in RFA Chris Clark, who’s a decent lineman on run plays but who is not capable of handling any prolonged starting snaps. Since Clady’s cost may have to again be dealt with next season, Denver is still short one viable OT - the guy who can cover if Franklin or Clady go down. There are options on the roster, but it’s not a stretch to say that with Clady potentially playing on a one-year franchise tender and Franklin still being talked about as a guard, bringing in a top OT might be wise.

How would that work? I think it’s pretty simple. If Denver does move Franklin, it’s likely to be at the position he usually played in college - left guard. They didn’t pay right guard Louis Vasquez, with his pass protection skills, to sit out. With Zane Beadles making the Pro Bowl as an alternate (and earning it), though, how would that work? Here’s an option:

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Dumervil to Baltimore; Broncos reportedly pursuing Freeney, with Abraham as next option

Elvis Dumervil has agreed to terms on a five-year contract worth a reported maximum of $35M, including $8.5M in 2013, to join the Baltimore Ravens. His deal is pending a Tuesday physical.

According to Mike Klis's original article, the Broncos will turn their attention to signing former Falcons DE John Abraham, who has been a rumored target of Denver's for much of his career. Ex-Colts DE/LB Dwight Freeney would reportedly be the fallback plan beyond Abraham; both players visited Dove Valley on Thursday.

Then again, Klis says on Twitter that Freeney is Denver's top choice, so there's that. He's also updated his DP story to reflect that.

NFLN's Michelle Beisner cites a source who says the Broncos are "making a hard push for Freeney."

Updated 7:00pm ET

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Reed to Texans; Ravens to meet with Huff; Bears part with Urlacher

With the Broncos set to host aging vets John Abraham and Dwight Freeney tomorrow as potential replacements for Elvis Dumervil, another decorated thirtysomething defender is in the news tonight.

Ed Reed will reportedly bid Baltimore adieu and head to Houston on what is expected to be a three-year deal worth around $4M/year. If true, he'll be accepting a salary far below the $7M figure he was said to be seeking.

There's been some speculation that losing Reed would prompt the Ravens to up their offer to Dumervil, but landing the defensive end wouldn't solve their vacancies at safety. Baltimore had previously cut Bernard Pollard loose, and they will reportedly meet soon with ex-Raiders safety Michael Huff, who has drawn interest from Green Bay, Dallas, and Tennessee.

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Broncos hosting Freeney, Abraham on Thursday

According to ESPN's Ed Werder and Adam Schefter, the Broncos are set to host Colts DE Dwight Freeney and Falcons DE John Abraham on Thursday.

Abraham has been characterized in recent days as Denver's fallback to re-signing Elvis Dumervil, with Freeney the next contingency.

John Elway announced yesterday that the team had presented an offer to Dumervil, but as we'd expected, it was apparently a lesser proposal than the one verbally agreed to by the two sides on Friday.

Updated 4:22pm ET

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Elway: We’ve made an offer to Elvis

Here's the corresponding video mentioned by Hall. We've transcribed what Elway says in the clip:

Updated 2:52pm ET

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NFL turns down second appeal from Denver, Dumervil; Broncos were interested in Barnes

The Broncos and Elvis Dumervil's new agent, Tom Condon, recently appealed to the league office to have the defensive end's reworked three-year, $30M contract recognized. As anyone familiar with how the Ginger Hammer operates might expect, the NFL turned down the request.

But as Mike Klis suggests, honoring the verbal agreement between Denver and Dumervil would set a precedent the league would like end up regretting.

Klis says the Ravens - whose linebackers coach is Don Martindale, the former Broncos LB coach (2009) and DC (2010) - have already been discussing contract parameters with Condon for Dumervil's services.

Updated 6:29pm ET

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What now for Elvis Dumervil and the Broncos?

Happy Monday, friends.  I was out of pocket all weekend, watching the Mets get beat in two spring training games down in Port St. Lucie.  During my baseball-focused couple days, I gave the Dumervil situation some serious thought. 

The first question I’ve been pondering is whether the Broncos really specifically need Elvis Dumervil to play open-side DE.  The answer I’ve been mostly coming to is no.  Remember, if Dumervil hadn't accepted the pay cut, he was going to be released anyway - drama aside, the Broncos had a plan to move forward without him.  They may need somebody to be a threatening pass rusher on sub package downs, but Robert Ayers is perfectly capable of playing there in base situations, and doing a good job.

I think that’s what the Broncos have been thinking, to be honest, and even if Elvis is back in 2013 (which strikes me as less and less likely all the time) I don’t think his stay would be any longer than the one season.  It’s probably in his best interest to go find a team that would view him as their primary pass rusher, and invest in him as such.

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Dumervil agrees to pay cut, will remain with Broncos

A few days ago, we suggested that cutting Elvis Dumervil before the start of free agency would be the right thing to do, and the proper sendoff to a player who'd given seven years to the team.

Turns out, waiting was the best course of action.

According to Adam Schefter, Dumervil has agreed to a pay cut, and will remain with the Broncos for the 2013 season.

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Welker’s guarantee is less than what’s reported, as usual

Elvis Dumervil landed $43.156M in guarantees in 2010. More recently, Tom Brady got $57M guaranteed, while Joe Flacco got $52M. Staggering figures, and big news, right?

Sure, except for the part about the guarantees.

Here at IAOFM, we've long taken pride in focusing on the guaranteed portions of player contracts. The advertised length and total value of deals tend to be farces, which only serve to make players seem better paid than they really are, and for their agents to prop up their own reputations.

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Broncos kicking the can down the road with DRC deal

Originally reported as a one-year deal for $5M, it turns out Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie got a two-year contract, with a voidable second year.

According to Aaron Wilson, DRC's deal is worth $10M over two seasons, with a $4.2M signing bonus, $800K salary in 2013, and voidable $5M salary for 2014. Jason La Canfora reports that the second year voids as long as Rodgers-Cromartie is on Denver's roster five days after the next Super Bowl.

Adding a voidable year, which is essentially a phantom extension of a one-year contract, is done solely for the purposes of spreading a cap hit.

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