Reggie Wayne hasn't announced whether he's playing in 2015, but he definitely won't be back with the Colts. The 36-year-old wideout is set to become an unrestricted free agent, and the only NFL team he's ever played for said on Friday that he won't be back with them for a 15th season.
It will be natural for folks to envision Wayne reuniting with Peyton Manning in Denver. In theory, his familiarity with Manning would be an easy sell, but assuming he takes Wes Welker's spot on the roster, Denver would be getting even older than they already were last year.
Now that he's had the pleasure of coaching the younger, cheaper, and less dramatic Brandon Marshall in Denver, John Fox isn't too interested in the other one. According to the Tribune's Brad Biggs, Foxy's Bears are looking to dump wide receiver Brandon Marshall and his $7.5M salary.
Per Biggs, Chicago would reportedly expect a mid-round pick in exchange for the mercurial soon-to-be 31-year old, whose salary become fully guaranteed next Thursday, March 12.
In a significant coup for the Broncos and John Elway, Peyton Manning is reportedly set to accept a $4M pay cut, down to a $15M salary for 2015. Manning's original deal also calls for him to make $19M in 2016; according to Mike Klis, that portion of his deal will remain unchanged.
Of course, this flies in the face of every claim that Manning is a selfish, greedy bastard, and less of a team player than Tom Brady, who has never in his career accepted a pay cut. Per Klis, the Broncos had sought an even larger reduction.
Once the new league year begins at 4pm ET next Tuesday, teams will be able to execute free agent contracts and consummate trades (like the LeSean McCoy-Kiko Alonso deal announced yesterday).
It's also the deadline for teams to tender their restricted and exclusive rights free agents. According to OTC, Denver has three free agents of the restricted kind (Aaron Brewer, Tony Carter, Steven Johnson), and four of the exclusive rights variety (Brandon Marshall, Paul Cornick, Ben Garland, John Youboty).
Let's get refreshed on how restricted free agency works:
According to multiple reports, the Texans have released veteran center Chris Myers after seven seasons with the team. Myers will turn 34 in September and was set to draw a $6M salary in the final year of his contract; he graded out at plus-2.3 over 1,124 snaps in 2014.
Denver drafted Myers in the sixth round of the 2005 Draft, and he started all 16 games for them at left guard in 2007. In one of their odder moves, the Broncos then signed the restricted free agent to a multiyear contract and traded him to Houston for a sixth-rounder that would become Spencer Larsen.
Omar Bolden and Kayvon Webster are not seen as candidates to replace Rahim Moore if and when he departs via free agency, reports Mike Klis in his latest mailbag. One of Denver's leading rumormongers had suggested last month that the Broncos would have Webster compete at free safety, but Klis unequivocally states otherwise:
Webster is a cornerback.
The Jets "are expected to make an aggressive play" for soon-to-be former Broncos guard Orlando Franklin in free agency, according to Troy Renck.
Miami pulled a rare move by applying a transition tag to pending unrestricted free agent tight end Charles Clay; the resulting tender is worth $7.071M for one season. The Dolphins would have five days to exercise a right of first refusal for any prospective offer sheet signed by Clay with another team.
But unlike with a franchise tender, there's no draft choice compensation associated with a signed and unmatched offer sheet.
As had long been expected, the Broncos applied their non-exclusive franchise tag to pending unrestricted free agent wideout Demaryius Thomas just ahead of Monday's deadline.
The accompanying tender is worth $12.823M and will count against Denver's cap space immediately, even before Thomas signs the one-year deal. Denver and Thomas now have until 4pm ET on Wednesday, July 15 to agree to a multiyear contract. Once past this deadline, the two sides cannot execute a long-term deal until after the conclusion of the 2015 regular season.
A non-exclusive tag allows Thomas the freedom to sign an offer sheet with another team, but the Broncos would have the opportunity to match, known as a right of first refusal.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Denver is fully expected to use a non-exclusive franchise tag on pending free agent Demaryius Thomas by today's 4pm ET deadline.
According to Mike Klis, there's a good chance Thomas delays signing the tender until the July 15 deadline, preserving the only (tiny) bit of leverage he holds. That would mean missing OTAs and minicamps, but from a player's perspective, there's very little reason to rush to sign a franchise tender.
Klis adds that last summer, the Broncos ($13M/year) and Thomas ($15M/year) were pretty far apart in their negotiation toward a long-term deal.