The Lard

A comprehensive daily examination of NFL happenings and analysis

Is there a worse idea than sitting Peyton Manning with the #1 seed at stake?

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! The NFL's slate of mostly awful Thursday night games came to an appropriate conclusion, with a matchup between 2-12 teams.

Jacksonville won the game, 21-13, but Tennessee was the big picture victor, as they remained in the running for the #1 overall pick in the 2015 Draft.

That race is likely coming down to the Titans and Bucs. The Raiders, who are 2-12 like Tampa Bay, lose strength of schedule tiebreakers to both teams, and thus need an outright worse record to move into the top draft slot.

Continue reading "Is there a worse idea than sitting Peyton Manning with the #1 seed at stake?"

Michigan offer sounds like leverage for Jim Harbaugh with Raiders

Good Morning, Broncos fans! So, will Jim Harbaugh be coaching the Raiders next season? Speculation continues to point that way, but Mark Davis is going to have to write a big check to get it done.

According to multiple reports, Harbaugh has already drawn a massive contract offer from his alma mater, Michigan. It's reportedly worth $49M over six years ($8.17M per). Such a figure, if real, would give Harbaugh a 63.4% raise over his Niners salary and make him the highest paid head coach in either college or the NFL.

It's also 57% more than the Wolverines reportedly offered him in 2011.

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Looks like Jay Cutler is about to have his fifth head coach

Good Morning, Broncos fans! In his latest mailbag, Mike Klis shares a few thoughts on a few personnel questions on the collective minds of Broncos Land:

Like Woody Paige, Klis thinks Peyton Manning will play out his Broncos contract, which runs through 2016. Related to that, Klis thinks Denver should hang onto Brock Osweiler for another year, and that Zac Dysert may have a decent future here (as a backup).

Klis thinks pending free agent Rahim Moore will probably be back next year, even if he's not as high a priority to re-sign as are the Thomases.

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The Bears are descending into a dumpster fire

Good Morning, Broncos fans! New Orleans pounded Chicago in a 31-15 Monday night beatdown that wasn't nearly as close as the final score indicates.

After the NFCS leading Saints (6-8) took a 24-0 advantage into the fourth quarter, the Bears (5-9) tacked on two late touchdown passes from Jay Cutler.

It was a quintessential performance from the sulkmaster, who threw three interceptions, took seven sacks, and fumbled once. Afterward, Cutty bolted early from his own presser, escaping before the local scribes could show up.

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Danny Trevathan says he suffered hyperextended knee on Sunday

Good Morning, Broncos fans! As expected, the league's bungled handling of the Adrian Peterson case is back in the news.

The NFLPA filed suit against the NFL on Monday morning, challenging the decision to uphold Peterson's six-game suspension.

According to the suit, league exec Troy Vincent promised Peterson reinstatement after an initial two-game suspension, with credit for his time spent on the commissioner's exempt list.

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Jason La Canfora or Woody Paige: Who ya got?

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Denver has a chance to clinch its fourth straight AFCW title with a win at San Diego today. And if they get help from Houston, Cleveland, and possibly Atlanta, they would also clinch a first-round bye.

Add in a Miami win at New England, and the Broncos would be back in control of the AFC's top seed and homefield advantage.

Obviously, that's a lot to ask for, and as long as Denver keeps taking care of their own business, they'll eventually lock up a first-round bye.

Continue reading "Jason La Canfora or Woody Paige: Who ya got?"

The Patriots trying to steal back signing bonuses is just another Patriots story

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Peyton Manning should have all of his top offensive weapons for tomorrow's rematch at Qualcomm.

Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas, C.J. Anderson, and Wes Welker were full participants in Friday's practice and are listed as probable.

Meanwhile, Denver is expected to activate Danny Trevathan from short-term IR sometime on Saturday. They'll have to waive a player to make room for him; our guess would be fellow linebacker Todd Davis.

Also probable are Will Montgomery, David Bruton, Juwan Thompson, and Quanterus Smith.

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Cards reach unfamiliar heights, but quarterback injuries may shoot them down

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Arizona became the first team to reach 11 wins by topping the host Rams in a 12-6 field goal fest on Thursday night.

A year after missing the postseason despite winning 10 games (while the Packers made it with an 8-7-1 record), the Cards are virtually assured of clinching a playoff spot on Sunday. It's the franchise's most victories since 1975 (!), back when it played its home games in St. Louis.

In 95 years of existence, the Cards have now won 11 games all of four times, and they've never topped that figure in the regular season.

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NFLPA thinks league is lowballing 2015 cap estimate

Good Morning, Broncos fans! If it seems like everyday brings new reasons to think less of Roger Goodell, it's because it's true. Here are a few from Wednesday:

From a WSJ profile of Goodell, via Deadspin:

Before a recent Cowboys-Giants game, the NFL commissioner strode the sidelines atMetLife Stadium in New Jersey, where he got unsolicited advice from the stands. "Bring back Ray Rice," yelled one fan. Another countered: "Stick to your guns!"

"That's what I love about football," Mr. Goodell said. "It brings out passion."

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NFL announces new/old/same personal conduct policy

Good Afternoon, Broncos fans! The NFL announced a new personal conduct policy on Wednesday. And in typical NFL fashion, it did so unilaterally, without the input of the players' union.

Roger Goodell will no longer hand down suspensions for players accused of crimes, but will still hear and decide appeals. So, of course, it's still Goodell who has the ultimate power over player discipline, to the surprise of nobody.

As one might have expected, there isn't a whole lot that's new or improved about the supposedly new and improved conduct policy.

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