Broncos assign numbers to new players

The Broncos announced the jersey numbers for this offseason's acquisitions, including veteran free agents, draft choices, and undrafted rookies.

Chances are, there will be more changes as players are cut throughout the summer. But it's May 8, so this is the riveting stuff we get to discuss.

Some observations, in numerical order:

  • The numbers of the competitors from the 2011 QB competition have all been redistributed after a year's hiatus - Ryan Katz has Kyle Orton's #8, Ryan Doerr (who's listed as a kicker, not a punter!) got Brady Quinn's #9, and Tavarres King gets Tim Tebow's #15.
  • Of course, Tebow's #15 jersey was tops in the NFL in sales for some time, meaning there are tons of fans stuck with those useless shirts. Here's suggesting the Broncos do the right thing and sell name plates with "KING" on them, to help fans recoup their investments. Besides, it's not like they were going to be flocking for Tavarres King jerseys, so selling name plates shouldn't make too big of a dent on sales.
  • Let's hope King can be as productive for Denver as was another mid-round wide receiver to wear #15 - Brandon Marshall - without the drama, of course. Ring of Famer Jim Turner also wore 15 for Denver.
  • Then again, as pointed out by our friend Ryan Hansen, King's number at Georgia was 12, which Andre Caldwell inherited from Matt Willis. If/when Caldwell is cut, King would figure to take his college number. #12 has been worn by Ring of Famer Charley Johnson, Gus Frerotte, Chris Miller, and Shawn Moore, he of the alternating series with Tommy Maddox.
  • Brock Osweiler takes #17 from Caldwell; that number has also been worn in Denver by Steve DeBerg, Hugh Millen, Jarious Jackson, numb-handed WR Darius Watts (Thanks, Shanny), and Millionaire Matchmaker star Mitch Berger.
  • Eddie Royal's #19 has been given to WR Lamar Thomas.
  • Jacob Hester takes #22 from Tracy Porter; it had been worn previously by notable Broncos Peyton Hillis, Domonique Foxworth, Quentin Griffin, Olandis Gary, two-time SB champ Vaughn Hebron, Glyn Milburn, Alton Montgomery, Tony Lilly, and Fran Lynch.
  • With #36, Kayvon Webster follows a trio of mediocre-at-best Broncos - Rafael Bush, Josh Barrett, and Frank Robinson. But prior to those three, two excellent Broncos cornerbacks wore 36 - Mark Haynes and Ring of Famer Billy Thompson.
  • Montee Ball is the third notable Broncos running back to don #38, following Mike Anderson and Reggie Rivers.
  • Let's all hope Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie represents #45 better than Roc Alexander did.
  • Lerentee McCray currently has John Lynch's #47, but if he makes the team, figure he'll end up with a number in the fifties.
  • How did Romney Fuga not end up with #47, especially given that his father was named after Mitt's first cousin, once removed?
  • Stewart Bradley got the #55 jersey that had been worn by D.J. Williams for eight years (D.J. wore 52 as a rookie). Prior to Williams, 55 had been worn by Keith Burns, Rick Dennison, and Pete Duranko.
  • Manny Ramirez takes #66, which had previously been worn by Lonie Paxton. Most notably, Tom Nalen wore #66.
  • Quant Smith gets soixante-neuf, which was most famously worn in Denver by Mark Schlereth.
  • Vinston Painter's #77 was worn previously by Denver legends Karl Mecklenburg and Lyle Alzado, and two-time SB champ Tony Jones.
  • Gary Mason got #79, worn for 13 years in Denver by defensive end and former longtime coach Barney Chavous.
  • Considering how tentative the early part of his career was, it's surprising to learn that Wes Welker has always had his #83.
  • Shaun Phillips wore #95 in San Diego, but Derek Wolfe has that jersey in Denver. Instead, Phillips will take #90, worn previously by Ron Holmes, Dan Williams, and two-time SB winner Neil Smith.
  • Sly Williams takes over the #92 jersey that Elvis Dumervil wore so well, like Bert Berry before Elvis.
  • Terrance Knighton wore #96 in Jacksonville, but that's occupied by Mitch Unrein, so he'll instead wear #94, which Ty Warren did very little in for Denver. 94 was also worn by Leon Lett (!), epic draft bust Jarvis Moss, and two-time SB winner Keith Traylor.

Updated 4:25pm ET to include veteran switches

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM