The Lard

A comprehensive daily examination of NFL happenings and analysis

Elway expected to start extension talks with Fox

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The Dolphins have made their first significant moves in response to the Wells Report.

On Wednesday, Miami fired offensive line coach Jim Turner and longtime head trainer Kevin O'Neill.

According to the scathing report, Turner was a central figure in the bullying of Jonathan Martin, while O'Neill appeared to have condoned racial harrassment of one of his assistants.

As for the offensive linemen involved, Richie Incognito and John Jerry are pending UFAs and not expected back with the team, while it's been reported that Mike Pouncey likely faces a suspension.

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Put yourself in Decker’s shoes

Good Afternoon, Broncos fans! Make no mistake about it, folks - the 2014 free agency process has already begun.

The pre-FA tampering period may not start until two weeks from Saturday, with free agency itself not officially opening until the following Tuesday.

But as team officials and player agents gather in Indy for start of the combine today, plenty of conversations are taking place, setting up the biggest moves of the 2014 league year.

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Rumor is a rumor is a rumor is a rumor

Good Morning, Broncos fans! As you might have noticed, we set up a free agency rumor tracker last night, once word came that Denver is interested in Louis Delmas.

As always, there figures to be an endless supply of Broncos-related rumors over the coming weeks, with free agency and the 2014 league year set to begin just three weeks from today (at 4pm ET).

We'll do our best to sift through it all, but of course, the trick will be in trying to separate legitimate rumors (oxymoron?) from pure speculation.

Of course, this is a hopelessly impossible task, as there's no real way of knowing which reports have any truth behind them.

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Women and gays playing football? Tough times to be a neanderthal…

Good Morning, Broncos fans! So, what will be long-term results of the Wells Report and the coming out of Michael Sam?

According to Peter King, the Commish has met with more than 30 players over the past two months, seeking input for how to turn NFL locker rooms into more tolerant and professional environments.

Surely, this news will prompt many responses about the league turning soft, or about so-called political correctness (a term that happens to be used only by racists, sexists, bigots, and homophobes).

We have another term for what's about to happen: the NFL is going to do a better job of ensuring players aren't complete assholes to one another, which is a rather noble pursuit.

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Here comes the real offseason

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The offseason is going to start ramping up a bit this week.

Starting on Monday, teams will have two weeks - until 4pm ET on Monday, March 3, to apply their franchise tags to pending unrestricted free agents.

Denver has done so for two straight years - first with Matt Prater in 2012, and again with Ryan Clady in 2013.

There's no chance they make it a threepeat, given their pending UFAs and the likely tag values.

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Some good news from the NFL would be quite welcome right about now

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Just as soon as we thought the Wells Report would provide the ugliest NFL news in some time, the Darren Sharper story got much, much worse.

The former Packers/Vikings/Saints star safety and recent NFLN analyst has been charged with drugging and raping two women in Los Angeles, and is being investigated in five other sexual assaults in four states.

In total, Sharper is currently alleged to have drugged 11 women with Ambien and morphine, and allegedly raped seven of them.

Honestly, there's not much to say at this point, except that it appears Sharper is a vile, predatory monster.

Continue reading "Some good news from the NFL would be quite welcome right about now"

Montee wants to be toting the rock ‘every time’

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Obviously, there's a lot to dig through in the Wells Report, and the folks over at Deadspin are doing the heavy lifting.

Here's one particularly telling passage:

Approximately one week after Martin left the team, on November 3, 2013, Incognito wrote nearly identical text messages to Pouncey and another lineman: "They're going to suspend me Please destroy the fine book first thing in the morning."

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Bully is as bully does

Good Morning, Broncos fans! At some point, we have to start feeling badly for Browns fans right?

Granted, they surely don't want any pity from Broncos Land, but this is just getting so ridiculous.

According to Mike Freeman, one of Jimmy Haslam's recent moves was to try and hire the 72-year-old Bill Parcells to take over his laughingstock franchise.

Meanwhile, the Plain Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot reports that clashes between CEO Joe Banner and GM Mike Lombardi are what prompted Haslam to fire them both.

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Cleveland, rocked again

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The story out of Cleveland - where owner Jimmy Haslam turned over his organization yet again - gets stranger by the hour.

According to Peter King, the Browns' embarrassing recent coaching search had a lot to do with why Haslam pulled the plug on CEO Joe Banner and GM Mike Lombardi.

King reports that Lombardi made two strong pushes to hire Josh McDaniels, while Banner strongly disapproved of Haslam's interest in noted dickhead Greg Schiano.

Apparently, Bill Belichick and Urban Meyer offered glowing recommendations for Schiano to Haslam.

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Pot Roast reportedly seeking more gravy

Good Morning, Broncos fans! We were expecting a slow news week, but another bombshell has hit today, this one out of Cleveland.

In a stunning turn, owner Jimmy Haslam has announced that he's already dumping CEO Joe Banner and GM Mike Lombardi, with assistant GM Ray Farmer being promoted to take over football operations.

Haslam had first hired Banner in October of 2012, with Lombardi joining on a few months later.

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