Good Morning, Broncos fans! In a surprising development, Mike Klis reports that Denver plans to tender running back Lance Ball and reserve tackle Chris Clark at the Right of First Refusal level, which will provide them with non-guaranteed one-year deals at $1.323M each.
With Ball and Clark qualifying as restricted free agents, the team has until Tuesday at 4pm ET (when the league calendar flips, and free agency and trades officially kick off) to offer them contracts; Denver has already said it won't tender fullback Chris Gronkowski, whose role in 2012 was almost entirely dedicated to special teams.
Ball and Clark will be free to negotiate with other teams, but the Broncos would have an opportunity to match any offer sheet. If either player is unexpectedly signed away, Denver would receive no draft choice compensation.
As Klis has been reporting for weeks now, the team will tender Britton Colquitt at the second-round level, which will give the punter a one-year deal at $2.023M and provide the team the protection of a second-round pick in the 2013 Draft as compensation for potentially losing him. Like with Ball and Clark, Denver would have a chance to match any offer sheet.
According to Klis, the Broncos are hoping to re-sign both DT Kevin Vickerson and S David Bruton prior to the start of free agency. Assuming that Vickerson realizes he's more valuable to Denver than to most teams, given the requirements of his position within Jack Del Rio's defense, we're guessing he'll be back.
With Bruton, Denver's most important special teamer, one has to figure the only way he leaves is if he's given a chance to start somewhere, but stranger things have happened, as we were telling our good friends Niko Koutouvides and Joe Mays.
Mark Kiszla thinks it's in Elvis Dumervil's best interests to accept a pay cut to stay in Denver, but of course, that's provided their offer to him isn't a flat-out insult. Notice that there are no reports of just how much of a haircut the Broncos are asking him to swallow, which could very well mean it's an outlandish figure that the team doesn't actually think Elvis would go for. As an example, the team may be shooting for the moon, and demanding he halve his 2013 salary to just $6M, and if that's the case, we wouldn't for an instant blame Elvis for walking. We'll be equally interested to see what actually happens, and how it's portrayed by the two sides.
Jeff Legwold figures that Champ Bailey is another candidate to have his contract restructured, should the Broncos seek to reduce its salary or cap expenditures further.
Peyton Manning chronicled his USO trip, which included his first time throwing passes while flying (aboard a C-17).
The CFO of DirecTV suggests the company could go the non-exclusive route with Sunday Ticket after 2014, or even drop the service altogether. If that happens, cable providers will obviously be waiting with open arms and checkbooks.
Miami is reportedly interested in signing WR Mike Wallace away from Pittsburgh, and is less keen on Green Bay's Greg Jennings, despite his connection to Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin. Pete Prisco hits up the game tape to explain why Wallace is the better catch.
Now that the Niners and Falcons have expressed that they're not interested in Darrelle Revis or his $16M/year price tag, the corner is putting out word that he'd like to stay in New Jersey. Revis's ACL injury has Jeffri Chadiha thinking he should worry more about whether he'll be his old self, rather than where he'll be playing, or how much he'll be making in 2013.
As they attempt to upgrade their defense, Cleveland is reportedly plans to pursue Ravens LB Paul Kruger, Lions DE Cliff Avril, Raiders DT Desmond Bryant, and Cards LB Quentin Groves.
Oft-concussed former Colts WR (and logical free agent target for the Broncos) Austin Collie says he's received a clean bill of health from independent neurologists.
The state of North Carolina won't be giving welfare queen Jerry Richardson any money toward his stadium upgrades, although it appears the city of Charlotte will be. Meanwhile, Miami residents will get a chance to vote on whether to give Dolphins owner Stephen Ross a handout to spruce up his place.
Gil Brandt lists the prospects he expects to become Pro Bowlers and checks in on the pro days at Mississippi State, UMass, Kent State, North Texas, and Wisconsin, where Montee Ball improved upon his 40 time from combine.
Former NFL quarterback Jeff Blake got to throw to his son Emory at Auburn's pro day on Tuesday.
Pat Kirwan compartmentalizes defensive line prospects by their scheme fits.
Mike Tanier has Denver going with Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson at #28 in his mock draft.
Greg Cosell is anxious to see whether Chip Kelly's running concepts and passing schemes will be able to compensate for crappy quarterback mechanics at the pro level.
Bill Barnwell presents the case for Reggie Bush's attractiveness as a free agent and says his production to this point mirrors the first part of Tiki Barber's career.
In case anyone is still mad that he was traded, perhaps buying Jay Cutler and his famous-for-being-famous fiancee something off their wedding registry would be a constructive way to channel that intensity.