Now that the excitement of free agency's opening act has ended, defensive stars (or former stars) in their mid-thirties are taking the stage.
On Friday, New England will host Colts DE Dwight Freeney, who has been discussed as a possible replacement for Elvis Dumervil in Denver. The Pats will also host Cards S Adrian Wilson and Falcons DE John Abraham.
San Francisco is reportedly having serious discussions with both Packers S Charles Woodson and Eagles CB Nnamdi Asomugha.
Baltimore remains interested in Steelers LB James Harrison.
Updated 9:30pm ET
Let's take a look at where Denver's flurry of activity appears to have left them in terms of the cap.
They've so far added Wes Welker, Louis Vasquez, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Terrance Knighton, and Stewart Bradley.
Kevin Vickerson and David Bruton have been retained, while Ryan Clady, Tony Carter, Britton Colquitt, Mitch Unrein, Chris Clark, and Lance Ball were tendered, and count against the cap no matter whether they've signed (Clady hasn't).
To this point, D.J. Williams and Caleb Hanie were cut.
More from Jason La Canfora on the Broncos not being done: (4:00pm ET)
Denver is not done adding players even after the addition of Welker, Terrance Knighton and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and the franchising of left tackle Ryan Clady.
They still want to address pass rusher and will release Elvis Dumervil if he does not take a reduced salary rather than pay him $12 million, with Connor Barwin, Dwight Freeney and Richard Seymour among the potential targets. They still could add depth in the secondary as well, according to a league source.
Due to the cap situation we'd mentioned earlier, it's not likely the Broncos could sign anyone else before the Dumervil situation is settled, or they've released another player or reworked another deal. Mike Klis's assessment of Denver's cap status would appear to agree with that sentiment. (4:00pm ET)
Updated 10:55pm ET
Champ Bailey has another new partner, and the Broncos continue to be active early in this year's free agency period. According to Adam Schefter, Denver agreed to terms with former Eagles corner Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on a one-year deal.
For the seemingly ageless Bailey, there's never a dull offseason in Denver, whether it's the revolving door of defensive coordinators, or the constant swapping of cornerbacks across the field from him. To wit, he's played in Denver under Larry Coyer, Bob Slowik, Mike Nolan, Wink Martindale, Dennis Allen, and Jack Del Rio, while he's partnered with Kelly Herndon, Darrent Williams (RIP), Dre' Bly, Andre' Goodman, Perrish Cox, Tracy Porter, Chris Harris, and now Rodgers-Cromartie.
We've been suggesting for days - quite strongly - that Elvis Dumervil had no reason to accept the pay cut being demanded by the Broncos, and it's been our expectation all along that the two sides would be parting ways.
Dumervil is set to make $12M in 2013, and that salary becomes guaranteed if he's on the Denver roster come Saturday. Our assumption has been that the Broncos were looking to halve Elvis's salary, and that he could instead get around $10M per year on the open market.
Then, the market opened.
A pair updates of interest from Mike Klis:
1. There's been no progress between the Broncos and Elvis Dumervil; Klis thinks this could stretch until Friday, which is essentially Denver's deadline. Of course, now that PMFM & Co. will be posting 40+ per game, who needs defense?
2. Manning was among those to put in a recruiting call to Wes Welker, which had to be somewhat bittersweet for Peyton, assuming he's not a cyborg (big assumption). Welker figures to replace Brandon Stokley, who was part of the Duke reenactment of the 2009 AFC title game, hosted Manning for his first recruiting trip to Denver last year, and came out of retirement to join his buddy with the Broncos.
Updated 8:56pm ET
The Broncos defense will have 660 pounds of mass at its fulcrum (the literal one, not the figurative one that is Von Miller) this season, assuming Terrance Knighton is able to win a starting job next to Kevin Vickerson.
Knighton was selected by Jacksonville in the third round of the 2009 Draft (72nd overall) when Jack Del Rio was their head coach, and he played under Denver's current DC for two and a half seasons, until Del Rio was fired in 2011.
As first reported by Adam Schefter, five-time Pro Bowl slot receiver Wes Welker has agreed to terms with the Broncos.
And there it is: what many in New England thought wouldn't happen has. Wes Welker has left the Patriots. He's a Bronco.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 13, 2013
Updated 10:54pm ET
Bradley was a third-round pick by the Eagles in 2007, and started 28 games with them in 2008 and 2010.
He signed a five-year, $25M deal with Arizona in 2011, but never started any of the 32 games for which he dressed. He collected $10M of the deal over two years, and was released on March 1.
Looks like Bill Simmons may be getting into the news-breaking side of the business...
Filed to ESPN: Broncos in serious talks, trying to hammer out an agreement with Patriots WR Wes Welker. Decision expected today.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 13, 2013
Wouldn't portend well for Brandon Stokley's chances of returning, but the Broncos would be getting younger in the slot by about five years.
Updated 4:32pm ET