The Lard

A comprehensive daily examination of NFL happenings and analysis

The Daily Lard 8-5-11

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! So, Woodrow sat down with Tim Tebow - but the teaser "Then, I felt like it was grabbed back away," turned out to be the only (somewhat) juicy line in the whole thing. If Paige is worth his salt as a journalist, one would figure his next question was, "Taken away by who, Tim? John Fox? Kyle Orton?" Obviously, a starting QB gig is not gifted but rather earned, and apparently Tebow has yet to do that. Perhaps he will in the coming weeks; we'll start to see Thursday once the preseason begins in Dallas. I'll give the interview a "meh". Not much harm in my eyes, and little learned.

Meanwhile, Orton offered up something resembling support for Tebow, saying "I think he can handle (the criticism)...All of us have opinions, but they're just opinions." Hilariously, John Elway claimed to be completely unaware of the Merril Hoge-initiated fireworks in saying, "To be honest, I know there was some kind of storm stirring out there, but to what extent I don't know, because I haven't been paying attention." Haha, sure John - you didn't happen to catch even a minute of SportsCenter or Total Access?

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 8-5-11"

The Daily Lard 8-4-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! According to Mike Freeman, the players and owners have finished hashing out the details of the new CBA, and it appears that there will in fact (thankfully) be curbs on Roger Goodell's power as it relates to the player conduct policy. Rather, word is that appeals of fines and suspensions would not be heard by Goodell (the very person who comes up with them in the first place) but by jointly selected appeals officials instead. Players will vote today to approve the CBA, and then the 2011 league year will begin by 4pm ET, with veterans who renegotiated contracts and free agency acquisitions finally able to practice.

As Doug Farrar writes, the disciplinary process was the main sticking point of the last few days, and it's likely that experienced arbitrators will handle those aforementioned appeals. And guess what? Once this afternoon passes, we'll have ten years of NFL labor peace, and August has just begun. Pretty great, if you ask me.

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 8-4-11"

Evening update 8-3-11

Good evening, Broncos fans! There were a few items worth noting from earlier today, and although many of you are already aware of them, I figure it's worth covering them here. For one, Adam Schefter filed an interesting report on ESPN regarding Denver's QB situation, including the following quote:

Kyle Orton is not going to be traded. Kyle Orton is not going to be a Miami Dolphin this season.

Meanwhile, Mike Lombardi echoed that thought on NFLN, saying,

[Orton] will be the starter in Denver. He will not be traded...He’s in limbo right now. I said all offseason I thought Tim Tebow wasn’t in their plans. . . I think ultimately he is not in their plans.

Continue reading "Evening update 8-3-11"

The Daily Lard 8-3-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! As Andrew Mason points out, Ty Warren has been banged up for much of the past three seasons, even before the hip injury that put him on IR last year. Warren missed three games each in both 2008 and 2009, after having played in 89 of 90 regular season games prior to that. However, Mason also thinks Warren should have more success in Denver than did Jamal Williams, thanks to being five years younger and finding himself part of a deeper rotation at DT.

On the flip side, Denver lost out in its bid to bring back Ryan Harris, who instead signed with the Eagles for less money, and in a not-so-comforting thought, Klis suggests that Chris Clark could actually "push" Orlando Franklin for the starting gig at RT.

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 8-3-11"

The Daily Lard 8-2-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! In an interesting and pleasantly surprising development, Mike Klis says T Ryan Harris is likely to re-sign with the team. Throughout the offseason, it has been almost a foregone conclusion that Harris would leave, perhaps to rejoin Shanny in Washington or head to Houston with Kubes. None of the Broncos' brass ever brought up Harris' name voluntarily when discussing the offensive line this offseason, and they even gave draftee Orlando Franklin his jersey number the other day, so they obviously didn't expect the guy back, either. But bringing Harris back could prove an extremely valuable transaction to the team, perhaps buying Franklin the time to learn his new position gradually, or if Franklin impresses, Harris will instantly become one of the best backup tackles in the league.

Meanwhile, the Broncos will only have to pay new DE Derrick Harvey the $600K minimum, and Brodrick Bunkley will make $685K (the fifth-year minimum has been raised from the $635K figure I cited yesterday). Harvey is expected to back up both Elvis Dumervil and Robert Ayers, while the pick Denver dealt to Philly for Bunkley is a conditional 2013 choice. In other great financial news, Denver is paying new TEs Daniel Fells and Dante Rosario one-year veteran minimum contracts. To make room for Bunkley and Harvey, the Broncos released S Nick Polk, who had signed a futures contract in January, and CB James Rogers, who was signed as an undrafted rookie last week.

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 8-2-11"

The Daily Lard 8-1-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! There's no hotter topic in Dove Valley than the Broncos' tight ends, as Denver is about to have six of them, pending the results of Dante Rosario's physical. Andrew Mason says that rookie Julius Thomas has already been showing rapid progress over the first several days of camp, and that while Virgil Green has also been impressive, it's Thomas who has shown more refinement. Mason figures the signing of Rosario and Daniel Fells could spell trouble for incumbent TEs Richard Quinn and Dan Gronkowski.

Meanwhile, Mike Klis writes that Fells will compete with Quinn for the starting blocking TE job, while Rosario, Gronkowski and perhaps even Thomas will fight to be the starting receiving TE. According to Klis, the Broncos' FO decided to pursue Fells and Rosario only recently - days before the start of training camp.

Plus, Klis says that Ty Warren is expected to decide today where he'll be playing this season.

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 8-1-11"

The Daily Lard 7-31-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Former Patriots DE Ty Warren met with the Broncos last night (apparently it's okay for Denver to now show interest in ex-Pats), and according to Legwold, Denver is close to re-signing Marcus Thomas. Perhaps not a sexy or exciting move as he's not new, but a wise one following Thomas' emergence last year. And judging by the surprisingly small contracts (relative to expectations) being doled out to DTs like Cullen Jenkins and Brandon Mebane, it shouldn't cost the Broncos a whole lot. Just a WAG, but a four-year deal for around $16M would seem fair. We'll see, though.

Willis McGahee's four-year deal with the Broncos is pending the results of his physical.

Mike Klis offers up a terrific piece on the relationship between Shannon Sharpe and his late grandmother; Shay Shay is headed to the HOF next Saturday.

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 7-31-11"

The Daily Lard 7-30-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Mike Klis writes that Kyle Orton requested a trade following last season after correctly sensing the Broncos were leaning toward going with Tim Tebow. He also says the Dolphins and Orton were close to a renegotiated contract on Tuesday night before Miami got cold feet, and that the Broncos never submitted an offer to Miami as far as draft choice compensation goes. Klis writes that talks between the teams heated up again Wednesday but obviously failed, and he says the Broncos will not release Orton since they already paid him a $1.5M roster bonus and owe him $2.879M of his 2011 salary.

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 7-30-11"

The Daily Lard 7-29-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Nothing brewing on the Kyle Orton-to-Miami talk, and Mike Klis says it continues to be a matter of Kyle and the Dolphins trying to work out a new contract. Hopefully Miami GM Jeff Ireland & Co. realize they're dealing with a new reality thanks to the rookie wage scale and eye-popping veteran contracts such as those signed by Kevin Kolb and Eric Weddle, among others.

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 7-29-11"

The Daily Lard 7-28-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Klis says Denver and Miami have been close to a deal for Kyle Orton since Tuesday night, and that Kyle's Denver teammates arrived yesterday expecting him to already have been traded. Now, with no deal imminent (Orton's agent and the Dolphins are apparently still working on a new contract), Orton is due to be at workouts this morning at Dove Valley, and Klis says Kyle will be taking first-team snaps. Hmm. I find this very hard to believe - not that Orton is going to show up, but that the Broncos would let him do more than stand around or risk an injury that would blow up any trade and force them to pay his full salary this year.

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 7-28-11"