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.
The Broncos and Julius Thomas were close to a contract extension as recently as the end of last August, says Thomas's agent, Frank Bauer, in an interview with the DP. However, the Broncos only offered conditional guarantees kicking in starting in 2015, with no increase to Thomas's minimum $645K salary for 2014.
As Bauer tells it, the two sides were close to a deal on the day of Denver's preseason finale at Dallas - with Thomas preparing to purchase a home in the area - but the team never got back to the agent.
During his Thursday presser from the combine, someone apparently asked John Elway a question not related to Peyton Manning's status for 2015. How dare they, right? Anyway, Elway confirmed that Denver will use its franchise tag on Demaryius Thomas if they two sides are unable to reach a longterm agreement by the March 2 tag deadline.
The franchise tender for wideouts should be somewhere around $13M for one year. Once the tag is applied, Demaryius and Denver will face a July 15 deadline to sign a longterm deal. As far as signing the tender - which makes it fully guaranteed - it will be in Thomas's best interest to hold off on that until that July deadline.
Although the Manning Offense doesn't require a fullback, Gary Kubiak's does, and the new head coach says the Broncos will be looking for candidates this week at the combine. Kubes also mentioned that smaller tight ends have often functioned as fullbacks for him, which brings us to James Casey, who was cut by the Eagles on Thursday.
The Broncos will reportedly meet this week with the agents for pending free agents Demaryius Thomas, Terrance Knighton, Orlando Franklin, and Rahim Moore. However, they will not meet with the agent for Julius Thomas, according to Mike Klis.
Last summer, Denver had apparenlty offered Thomas a deal worth around $8M per year. But that was before his latest ankle injury caused him to miss three games and practically wiped out his production. Since then, there's been very little to suggest the 26-year old will return to Denver for a fifth season.