The Lard

A comprehensive daily examination of NFL happenings and analysis

Kraft’s Welker comments spurred by Amendola regrets?

Good Morning, Broncos fans! At first blush, Jonathan Kraft's comments about New England's last contract talks with Wes Welker read like sour grapes.

Reiterating claims made earlier by his father, the Pats president told the Globe that Welker would have made more money had he stayed in New England.

As Kraft explained, the Patriots turned their attention to Danny Amendola due to Welker's high contract demands.

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Cap increase likely means big paydays for Decker, DRC

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The salary cap jump to $133M is, of course, a great development for teams and players alike.

This is especially so for players like Eric Decker and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who are set to hit free agency in ten days.

In a perfect world, all players would immediately reap the benefits of the increase.

From a team perspective, the change would mean the Broncos could sign two or three more significant players than they previously could have.

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More suitors for D’Qwell step forward

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Right from the get go, it was known that Denver had competition for the services of one D'Qwell Jackson.

We already knew that Jackson was visiting with Tennessee and may meet with Minnesota after his Monday stop at Dove Valley.

It now appears Arizona and Washington may be added to the linebacker's growing travel itinerary.

Jason La Canfora reported on Thursday that seven teams had contacted Jackson following his release by Cleveland.

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At least D’Qwell Jackson is younger than 36

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Derek Wolfe spoke Wednesday about the frightening health scare that eventually ended his 2013 season.

The details are even worse than we'd all previously known.

Wolfe, who just celebrated his 24th birthday on Monday, says he was unconscious for 26 hours after the seizure-like episode he endured on the team bus.

Months later, doctors apparently still don't know what caused Wolfe's spine problems, although they suspect his preseason injury at Seattle has something to do with it.

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Will Broncos reconsider a trip to Revis Island?

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Given the drama of the Dumervil debacle, it's at times easy to forget how busy Denver's 2013 offseason was otherwise.

One of the most interesting rumors involved the Broncos potentially trading for and then signing then-Jets corner Darrelle Revis.

Early on, we thought it was a ridiculous notion, but come March, the story grew some real legs.

Eventually, Revis was dealt to Tampa Bay, where he got a very strange contract - $16M/year in cash and cap, with no guarantees.

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Bart Scott would rather not play football than play for the Browns

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Poor Mike Pettine.

As he's rightly pointed out, he is fortunate to be one of just 32 people currently employed as an NFL head coach.

But even upon his hiring, it was very public news that he wasn't the Browns' first choice.

And a month later, we're still learning about Cleveland's coaching search dalliances.

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Yes, Clowney is a freak

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The Harbaugh/Niners/Browns story continues to evolve.

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam confirmed to USA Today's Jarrett Bell that his team had indeed pursued a trade for Niners head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Haslam did not get into the details of whether compensation was discussed, or of who nixed the deal. Reports had suggested that Cleveland would have sent multiple high draft choices to San Francisco, but that Harbaugh himself had turned down the move.

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A.J. McCarron is the next Tom Brady; just ask him

Good Afternoon, Broncos fans! The big story of the weekend (at least to us) continues to be the rumored trade talks between Cleveland and San Francisco over the rights to Niners coach Jim Harbaugh.

Harbaugh and his current employers laughed off the reports, but their denials are something less than believable.

We may never know what really went on - whether the teams discussed compensation, or if Harbaugh was the one to shut down the negotiations.

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League may penalize on-field use of N-word

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Yesterday's Harbaugh-to-Cleveland bombshell was met with predictable reactions from the involved parties.

Jim Harbaugh, who reportedly turned down a move from San Francisco to John Elway's vacation home, hilariously claimed to "know nothing" about the failed deal.

Niners owner Jed York first enlisted NFL employee Ian Rapoport to tamp down the rumors, and then took to Twitter himself to issue a denial.

However, the Browns did not try to distance themselves from the reports, which is nearly as good as an acknowledgment.

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Even as the cap increases, every million counts

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! It's no secret that Denver has done particularly well in free agency since John Elway took over football ops.

This is true for both bigger ticket signings (Peyton Manning, Louis Vasquez, Wes Welker, Champ Bailey) and smaller ones (Terrance Knighton, Shaun Phillips, Willis McGahee, Brandon Stokley, Wesley Woodyard).

But like anyone else, their track record has been less than perfect (Joe Mays, Drayton Florence, Ty Warren), and along with the benefit of some sharp hindsight, PFF's ranking of the top pending free agent guards highlights a couple of misses from a year ago.

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