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.

However, the Pats missed out on native New Englander Matt Shaughnessy, who re-signed with Arizona.

They may also end up losing wideout Julian Edelman, whom the Browns are reportedly hot for after having lost Eric Decker to the Jets.


While the Broncos are pretty happy to have ended up with DeMarcus Ware and T.J. Ward, their original plan may have centered around Everson Griffen and Jairus Byrd.

As for Denver's next moves, Mike Klis reports that they're indeed interested in former Baltimore linebacker Daryl Smith, who played under Jack Del Rio in Jacksonville.

Additionally, Klis says the Broncos may sign a veteran center and have Manny Ramirez shift back over to guard, but are unlikely to sign a veteran running back anytime soon.

Darren Sproles, the back we'd had in mind, is off to Philly, with the Saints having gotten a fifth-round pick in return for their multi-dimensional mighty mite. Not a bad landing spot for Sproles, who figures to be well utilized by Chip Kelly.


While Denver has undoubtedly improved itself significantly, the other AFCW teams have had a strange start to free agency.

San Diego has done little more than re-sign its own (not that there's anything wrong with that), while Kansas City hasn't managed to do even that much.

Oakland is back to its puzzling ways, letting Jared Veldheer walk, overpaying Rodger Saffold, and then changing its mind on Saffold, who's now headed back to St. Louis.

Other Moves

The Jets added former Seattle T Breno Giacomini; Philly added Miami corner Nolan Carroll; Tampa Bay added former Cincy T Anthony Collins.

Jacksonville added two defensive linemen in former Seattle DE Chris Clemons and former Pittsburgh DT Ziggy Hood.

Detroit added former Chargers and Dolphins DT Vaughn Martin and is expected to sign Baltimore safety James Ihedigbo.

Carolina has reportedly made a modest offer to former Giants wideout Hakeem Nicks.

Analysis

Bill Barnwell says the Broncos would have been better off with Darrelle Revis at $12M than Aqib Talib at whatever his deal is really worth (we still don't know). Obviously, he's probably right, but the fact is that Denver didn't know whether it could land Revis, and missing out on both players would have been a serious problem.

Otherwise, Barnwell thinks Denver got Ware on the relative cheap, and wonders if they could end up bringing back Champ Bailey and Shaun Phillips at deep discounts.

Chris Burke thinks Denver's big signings have freed them to draft the best player available at #31, although he thinks they may use that pick to replace Decker.

Doug Farrar says signing Darrelle Revis was a no-brainer for New England, even if he wasn't as good in 2013. But Sam Monson says Revis was misused in Tampa Bay, and calls him a bargain at $12M.

Surprisingly, Greg Bedard says there are facets of Talib's play that Revis cannot match; Andrew Brandt thinks Denver paid Talib a premium in part so they could stick it to the Pats.

Gordon McGuinness calls Robert Ayers one of the remaining possible bargain signings, while suggesting WR Jerricho Cotchery as a potential target for Denver.


In a programming note, I just wanted to make sure everyone got to Ted's column from yesterday, which got caught amidst a pile of news, including the Ware signing.

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

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