The Lard

A comprehensive daily examination of NFL happenings and analysis

Schaub, Mays to be reunited in AFCW

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Poor, poor Matt Schaub.

A year ago, some dummies were either predicting he'd lead his Texans to SB 48, or calling him an elite quarterback.

Four pick-sixes (in consecutive weeks) later, and he'd been benched for the undrafted Case Keenum.

Houston lost its last 14 games of the season after a 2-0 start, and now holds the #1 pick in the draft.

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Woodson back to Raiders

Good Afternoon, Broncos fans! We're a bit squeezed for time today, so we'll open with an excerpt of Andy Benoit's thoughts on the T.J. Ward signing:

Ward is on track to be an upper-echelon man-to-man safety...Ward will also shore up the run defense, especially in nickel; the Broncos have spent the past two years toying with different personnel groupings in hopes of finding one that can actually corral a ballcarrier. And he can moonlight at free safety, which creates an insurance policy behind the talented but unreliable Rahim Moore.

As always, be sure to check out the rest of Benoit's analysis.

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Pats reportedly interested in DeSean Jackson

Good Morning, Broncos fans! According to Jeff Legwold, the team did not make an offer to Trindon Holliday prior to his having signed with the Giants.

This is no surprise, given their decision to non-tender him as a restricted free agent - doing so would have only provided a guarantee for injury, and Holliday could have been cut at the end of camp with no cap consequences.

Emmanuel Sanders returned a few punts and kicks during his time in Pittsburgh, and racked up some decent averages, but it remains to be seen whether the team would be willing to put his health at such risk.

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Sanders’ agent responds to allegations

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Through a statement released by his publicist, the agent for Emmanuel Sanders has responded to accusations that he reneged on an agreement with the Chiefs.

The agent, Steve Weinberg, says that he and Sanders left Arrowhead on Saturday without an agreement, and were immediately "bombarded" with messages from teams interested in signing the player.

According to Weinberg, calls came in from Tampa Bay and Denver, all while the two were on their way to the airport to visit the Niners.

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Jets, Giants battling over DRC

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Disappointed contract and caponomics talk today in Peter King's latest MMQB column.

Instead of discussing the realities of overreported guarantees and bonuses, as much of the football media have chosen to do, King prattles on about how free agency is finally working, and that the so-called middle class players have reaped the rewards of this year's rising cap.

It could just be that PK doesn't know what he's talking about, as evidenced by what he wrote about Wes Welker's contract:

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Don’t consider the Sanders deal done until it’s done

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Expectations remain that Denver will host wideout Emmanuel Sanders at Dove Valley today and sign him to a contract.

Mike Klis reports that Sanders will take a physical today and sign a three-year deal, and that he was atop Denver's wish list at the position all along.

But several teams, including the Chiefs, are said to be quite upset with how the two sides have reached that juncture.

According to multiple reports, agent Steve Weinberg came to a verbal agreement with Kansas City for Sanders' services, and then shopped the deal around to Tampa Bay and Denver, and perhaps San Francisco as well.

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Is it a new day for NFL contract reporting?

Good Morning, Broncos fans! There appears to be something of a sea change coming with how contracts are reported by the football media.

We lauded Mike Klis yesterday for having provided full details on Denver's three big (but not as big as first reported) contracts from this week.

Jason La Canfora also did some great work to this effect on Friday, explaining that NFL contracts just aren't what they're touted to be, and sharing details on each of the week's biggest deals.

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Watching Wilfork and Pats part ways should be interesting

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Wait, did we say the rest of the AFCW was completely stagnant in free agency?

So much for that, as there was a lot of action in Oakland and San Diego on Thursday.

The Raiders made the biggest moves, adding former Giants DE Justin Tuck and ex-Steelers LB LaMarr Woodley.

They also addressed their drama from earlier in the week, claiming that a torn shoulder labrum caused Rodger Saffold to fail his physical.

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Broncos get better, rest of the West stays the same

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The very biggest moves of free agency have already occurred - in Denver and elsewhere.

Of course, several significant names remain available, including Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie - who misread his value to the Broncos - and his cousin Antonio, whom the Jets may need to re-sign after having lost out on bringing back Darrelle Revis.

New England is far from done, including at corner - they're hosting former Broncos and Seahawks cover man Brandon Browner, who is also scheduled to visit Washington.

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Why so surprised by Talib’s deal?

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Denver's addition of Aqib Talib has already drummed up some dramatic reactions.

There's talk of injuries, off-field concerns, and of course, that contract.

Regarding the first two, he's either going to play or he isn't, and he'll stay out of trouble or he won't.

Obviously, it would be foolish for anyone to make any predictions or grand proclamations, either way.

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