Broncos looking at Gronk-free 2013 Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Denver currently has four players set to become restricted free agents, while two others are exclusive rights free agents who are stuck at the league minimum.

The latter two are Tony Carter and Mitch Unrein, who will definitely be back with Denver, at salaries we believe will be $715K and $480K, respectively, provided our reading of their accrued seasons is correct.

As for the restricted free agents, Mike Klis speculates the team will use a second-round tender on Britton Colquitt, which would be worth a $2.023M salary and a massive raise for the punter (he made $540K in 2012), and compensation of a second-round pick from any team that tries to sign him away, provided Denver opts not to match.

Klis reports the team will likely let fullback Chris Gronkowski walk; Chris was acquired from Indy a year ago in exchange for reserve corner and kick returner Cassius Vaughn. Try not to be confused, but Chris's brother Dan had been acquired by Denver in exchange for reserve corner and draft bust Alphonso Smith; Dan is currently on the Browns.

Meanwhile, Klis says it's unclear whether the team will choose to tender running back Lance Ball and tackle Chris Clark at the lowest level, as that carries a hefty $1.323M value. For those still wondering how Matthew Willis ended up with a $1.26M salary in 2012, there's your answer.

We'll eventually follow up with a more detailed explanation of the rules of restricted free agency; Denver has until 4pm ET on Monday, March 4 to offer tenders to these six players.


Jeff Legwold continues to report that the Broncos are considering a move inside for RT Orlando Franklin, and he says the team formally met with Virginia tackle Oday Aboushi in Indy.

The team also met with USC safety T.J. McDonald at the Senior Bowl and will reconvene with him at the combine, and they plan to meet with defensive backs Will Davis of Utah State, Desmond Trufant from Washington, and William & Mary's B.W. Webb, and Notre Dame LB Manti Te'o.

Chris Hall discusses Peyton Manning and the Broncos' options at #28 with former Colts and Bills GM Bill Polian.


Jacksonville GM Dave Caldwell says his team isn't involved in the Alex Smith trade talks. In line with what we've suggested in the past, Jason La Canfora expects Smith to bring back a third- or fourth-round pick.

According to Clark Judge, the Eagles and Chip Kelly don't see Nick Foles as their QB of the future, but he's also not likely to end up in KC. This is kind of odd, given that reports were that the Eagles didn't want to trade Foles, but that the Chiefs were interested in deadling for him. Meanwhile, Judge says the team is fond of WVU's Geno Smith and NC State's Mike Glennon.

Raiders DT and impending free agent Desmond Bryant was arrested on a charge of criminal mischief in Miami over the weekend.

Buffalo will not tender WR David Nelson, who will instead become an unrestricted free agent.

Although Green Bay and Greg Jennings have long been expected to part ways, the team is apparently considering using its franchise tag to keep the wideout.

The cap-strapped LOLJets are looking to rework the contract of WR Santonio Holmes.

Former Chiefs WR Steve Breaston met with the Steelers, will talk with the Browns, and has also gotten interest from the Cowboys, Lions, and Titans.

Philly is reportedly interested in Dolphins corner Sean Smith, provided that Miami doesn't use its franchise tag on him.

The Jets, Vikings, and Dolphins are apparently candidates to sign Miami backup QB Matt Moore, who is apparently seeking a ridiculous contract for someone who will at best be competing for a job.

Combine, et cetera

Utah DT Star Lotulelei will not participate today after the discovery of a heart condition that will require further examination.

Texas WR Marquise Goodwin ran an eye-popping 4.27-second forty, while Auburn RB Onterio McCalebb, West Virginia WR Tavon Austin and Texas A&M WR Ryan Swope tied for second fastest at 4.34 seconds.

Pat Kirwan saw several Rob Gronkowski-like tight end prospects in Indy; Doug Farrar shares his thoughts on the QB prospects who threw in Indy; John Clayton says there were lots of fast wide receivers and slow running backs on display.

Former personnel execs Polian, Kirwan, and Scott Pioli all have a strong dislike for the NFL's proposal to compress free agency and push it closer to the draft.

Chase Stuart continues his study of whether draft order or rookie performance is a better indicator of a running back's future success, viewed often through the prism of Mike Shanahan's backs in Denver and Washington.

Mike Tanier presents some Oscar-inspired combine awards, while Sarah Sprague presents prizes to players already in the NFL.

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

The Lard