The Broncos and Peyton Manning's agent are working on a restructure of the quarterback's contract, according to Mike Klis. The two sides reportedly hope to have an agreement on a revised deal by sometime next week.
Manning is due to draw a $19M salary and count for $21.5M against the salary cap in each of the next two seasons. For reasons explained here by Joel Corry and Jason Fitzgerald, it's highly unlikely that Peyton would agree to a net pay cut, as he holds all of the leverage in this situation.
According to a pair of reports, the Broncos may have to deal with multidimensional threats Randall Cobb and Percy Harvin on a regular basis. Bill Williamson says the Raiders are expected to pursue Cobb if Green Bay opts not to use its franchise tag on him. Cobb, who turns 25 in August, posted new career highs with 91 catches, 1,287 yards, and 12 touchdowns in 2014.
According to the DP and Atlanta JC, the Jaguars and Falcons are expected to be among the suitors for pending free agent Julius Thomas.
Also at the DP, Troy Renck presents some excellent thoughts about how Broncos Country continues to bury their soon-to-be-former unique threat:
Julius Thomas makes an easy villain.
Predictably, the Broncos will meet with free agent fullback/tight end James Casey (6-3, 240) on Thursday, according to Mike Klis. A native of Texas, spent his first four NFL seasons playing for Gary Kubiak in Houston, was released by the Eagles last week.
Casey could fill multiple needs for the Broncos, who currently have no fullback and only one tight end under contract, in Dominique Jones.
Brandon Marshall is scheduled to become an exclusive rights free agent, IAOFM has confirmed through a reliable source. This means that Denver will be able to tender Marshall a one-year deal at a salary of $585K, and the linebacker will not be free to negotiate with any other teams, unless the Broncos inexplicably choose not to tender him.
Obviously, there's no chance of Denver dumping its leading tackler, so for all intents and purposes, Marshall is not going to reach free agency this offseason, and will be a restricted free agent in 2016.
Pending free agent Julius Thomas is seeking a contract with "near record guaranteed money" relative to tight ends, according to Jeff Legwold. What does that mean?
As we all know by now, it's all about whether money is fully guaranteed, guaranteed for injury only, or only conditionally guaranteed, as Thomas's agent characterized Denver's last offer to Julius. And as we can see here, no tight end has gotten more than the $16M in full guarantees that Baltimore's Dennis Pitta and Jared Cook of St. Louis did.
In case you're wondering what's going to happen with pending free agents Jacob Tamme and Will Montgomery, Woody Paige has the scoop:
Tamme probably won't be invited back...Even though Montgomery played in a zone-blocking offense at Washington, he's not in the Broncos' future.
For all of John Elway's talk about liking the roster he put together last year, it appears it's up for another significant overhaul. This shouldn't really be much of a surprise, as there's a new head coach and new (old) schemes on both offense and defense.
Also, there are lots of pending free agents, and it would be something of a shock if the Broncos were to re-sign a significant portion of them, reports Mike Klis. Per Klis, starters Orlando Franklin, Julius Thomas, Terrance Knighton, and Rahim Moore are likely all headed out of town, unless Moore is willing to stay for less cash than he might get elsewhere.
Pending free agent Nate Irving is drawing interest around the league, according to Josina Anderson. The linebacker saw the most playing time of his four-year career in 2014 before suffering a torn ACL in November.
In eight games last season, Irving played 353 snaps, only four fewer than he'd seen the year before in 17 games, including playoffs. Th 26-year old graded out at +1.1 with 46 tackles, a sack, and a safety.
According to Tom Pelissero, the NFLPA expects the 2015 salary cap to be at least $143M, fully clear of the NFL's original predicted range of $138.6M-141M.
If the cap is $143M, OTC projects the Broncos to have just under $28.5M in free space, and for Demaryius Thomas's likely franchise tender to be worth $12.797M. Original round tenders for restricted free agents Tony Carter, Steven Johnson, and Aaron Brewer would be $1.539M each, if Denver elects to tender them, but contain no guarantees.