The Lard

A comprehensive daily examination of NFL happenings and analysis

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"

The Daily Lard 7-27-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! As far as defensive tackles go, Mike Klis says the Broncos are going after Seattle's Brandon Mebane and Tony McDaniel of Miami. Denver is apparently interested in Cullen Jenkins, but he may prove too expensive, and the Saints' Remi Ayodele is a natural fit due to his familiarity with Dennis Allen, although no word on whether Denver has contacted him. Plus, Legwold says the Broncos are in on Aubrayo Franklin and Derek Landri.

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 7-27-11"

The Daily Lard 7-26-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! That was quite a busy night, and I won't recap everything here that we already covered a few hours ago - if you missed any of the signings or TJ's late-night UDFA Edition Gut Reactions, just head back to the earlier entries. The biggest news of the morning, if not a surprise, is Mike Klis' report that the Broncos are in fact putting Kyle Orton on the trading block. However, Klis also interestingly writes that if the FO doesn't find an offer to its liking, he thinks Orton will remain the starter in Denver.

Worth repeating here for clarity's sake, Brandon Browning was originally reported as having agreed to terms with the Broncos, but it appears he has ended up with the Rams. Plus, as IAOFM reader Snaggins astutely pointed out, "dead money" from contracts terminated before March 11, 2011 will not count against the salary cap in 2011. I will have more thoughts on this development later on, but this has major implications for the Broncos and puts the release of Justin Bannan in a new perspective.

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 7-26-11"

The Daily Lard 7-25-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Expectations remain that the NFLPA's executive committee and 32 player reps will vote to approve the CBA, although a pair of emails from Drew Brees to his Saints teammates details a shorter and more chaotic timeline than was reported yesterday. According to Brees, free agency may begin on Tuesday at noon for all parties - meaning no exclusive negotiating period for teams to retain their own UFAs, and with both veterans and undrafted rookies able to sign contracts at that point. Brees also wrote that some teams may aim to open training camps by Thursday, with players reporting the day before to check in and possibly receive their physicals.

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 7-25-11"

The Daily Lard 7-24-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Adam Schefter is reporting that the players and owners have come to an agreement on all remaining issues, and the NFLPA is planning a major press conference tomorrow. The NFLPA's executive committee reportedly plans to vote on the deal tomorrow, with the 32 team reps to then vote on whether to recommend the deal to the players, who would report to camps on Wednesday and vote whether to recertify and ratify the CBA. Once the NFLPA has enough votes to recertify, teams would be able to renegotiate existing deals and negotiate with their own free agents starting on Wednesday, although no contracts would be signed until Saturday, July 30 at 2PM ET.

The owners have apparently relented on the Friday deadline to negotiate the issues that must be collectively bargained (and thus must wait until the union recertifies) such as player discipline, benefits and safety. According to Schefter, De Smith has promised the Commish that the NFLPA would work to settle those issues before the first scheduled preseason games, and apparently Smith has taken over much of the workload from Jeffrey Kessler as a show of good faith to the owners, who are mistrustful of Kessler.

Really, was that all so bad? Haha just kidding. Obviously, we're excited to be able to move on tomorrow from all this labor stuff and get back to writing about real, actual football. Thanks as always for your readership and support.

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 7-24-11"

The Daily Lard 7-23-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Beacon of hope Chris Mortensen says there's still a possibility of a vote by the NFLPA sometime this weekend, while it's expected that discussions between the lawyers for the two sides will continue. The players are apparently seeking an opt-out clause (with penalties) for both sides after seven years, although it's described as not being a deal-breaker. Obviously with an agreement still unreached, the calendar set out on Thursday by the Commish which provided for teams to negotiate with their own free agents and draftees starting today (and undrafted players tomorrow) has been delayed.

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 7-23-11"

The Daily Lard 7-22-11

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Chris Mortensen continues to report that a player vote may take place today, is now saying a vote today is unlikely (ed. 11:30AM ET) and that the items still in question are the absence of an opt-out clause and the requirement of recertification as a condition to end the lockout. For some reason, there are also differing opinions on the procedure for recertification, as the owners are suggesting the players do so electronically, while the NFLPA reportedly wants the players to each sign cards once they return to their respective team HQs. To reiterate, the items that Roger Goodell and Jeff Pash said last night would not be changing, specifically player conduct policy, have already been discussed but cannot be collectively bargained or agreed to until the union is recertified and the ratified agreement is submitted to Judge Nelson.

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 7-22-11"

The Daily Lard 7-21-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Woody Paige thinks that once Tim Tebow proves his worth in the preseason, the Broncos will be able to land both a veteran player and conditional pick in return for Kyle Orton from either Arizona, Seattle, Miami or Tennessee. He also seems to backtrack from his earlier claim that Josh McDaniels was convinced by the front office to extend Orton's contract last year rather than trade him. Rather, Paige writes that McDaniels himself realized last August that Tebow was not ready to be the starting QB. Plus, he says that the ex-coach traded for Brady Quinn not to be the backup necessarily, but to compete with Orton for the starting gig (before drafting Tebow or even knowing he'd want/be able to acquire him). Finally, Woody writes that starting Orton for one more year would be the best (if impractical) solution to allow Tebow more time to develop, and that Kyle is unwilling to stick around as Tebow's backup.

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 7-21-11"

The Daily Lard 7-20-11

Good Morning, Broncos! Legal teams for the two sides worked yesterday on a settlement document which is expected to be presented before the NFLPA's executive committee and the 32 teams' player reps sometime today. The player reps would then hopefully recommend the settlement to the named plaintiffs in the Brady suit, followed by recertification of the players' union.

The next step would be ratification of the deal tomorrow by the owners, who are meeting in Atlanta. Shortly afterwards, the owners and team executives would be briefed on the details of the agreement including the 2011 NFL calendar, the rookie wage scale and transaction guidelines, in a seminar expected to last into Friday. Meanwhile, the retired players have said they will not stand in the way of a deal, and the agent for Peyton Manning and Drew Brees vehemently disputed reports that the two QBs are making special demands as part of a settlement of the Brady suit.

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 7-20-11"