Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Thursday was the lull after the storm at Dove Valley, as new players were shuffled in and introduced.
But it may also be the calm between storms, as a 4pm ET deadline regarding the contract impasse with Elvis Dumervil looms over Dove Valley.
As we suggested yesterday, and Mike Klis later confirmed, the Broncos are currently up against the salary cap following their hyperactive start to free agency. They're not done adding players though, and any new acquisition must wait until the team frees some more cap space.
That doesn't preclude the Broncos from announcing an agreement with another free agent before Dumervil's situation is resolved, though, as a player doesn't hit the cap until his contract is filed with the league.
Whether Elvis accepts a pay cut or is released, Denver will have the freedom to make multiple veteran signings, while the likely releases of Joe Mays and Chris Kuper would eventually provide even more maneuverability.
The pressure on Dumervil is mounting, between the underwhelming contracts signed by Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett in Seattle, the stern public words of John Elway, and the ticking clock. In that last linked piece, Mark Kiszla essentially says the Broncos are looking to cut Elvis's salary from $12M to the $7.5M-8M range, which is a slightly less drastic cut than we'd been expecting.
It's hard to imagine he'll get much more than that on the open market, but after the very public nature of the negotiation, pride may end up playing a large role in Elvis's decision. The bleed-orange-and-blue crowd wants to accept the pay cut on Dumervil's behalf, but it's important to realize that Elvis has been called out by his boss as being significantly overpaid, and that's an embarrassing episode for anyone, no less a 29-year-old professional athlete.
If the answer is no, then Klis says Denver will probably turn to Indy's Dwight Freeney, or perhaps use the cap room to mark a safety and running back off the shopping list. Several attractive ones remain on the market - including Charles Woodson, Louis Delmas, Ahmad Bradshaw (Klis says the team has discussed Atlanta's Michael Turner) - so the Broncos wouldn't need to dig deeply, or to settle on talent.
Either way, today will be an active day at Dove Valley on some level (If Elvis stays, get ready for Elway to say it feels like they've added a great pass rusher at market value, or something like that). As always, we'll keep you posted.
Wes Welker (video, BTV interview), Louis Vasquez (video, BTV interview), and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (video, BTV interview) are introduced at Dove Valley yesterday; John Fox discusses the acquisitions (video).
Jeff Legwold claims the Broncos might consider starting Vasquez and Kuper at guard, with Zane Beadles SOL. We're not buying it.
Here are the Broncos' Performance Based Pool payouts, which neither surprise in their breakdown, nor count against the salary cap.
John Lynch loves Elway's aggressiveness in free agency, and he calls the Welker deal a bargain.
Welker claims it was him pitching John Elway, not the other way around, and says the hardest part of leaving New England is separating from BFF Tom Brady. He sure didn't look the part of uncoverable matchup nightmare in streetclothes, but try telling that to the nickel corners he embarrasses weekly.
Jason Cole hits up every "Manning's a playoff loser" line he can think of while interpreting the acquisition of Welker, who will become the fourth player to have caught a pass from both Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.
Not all Pats fans were sad to see Wes leave.
New York's AG is pushing the Ginger Hammer to take a stand against teams asking players about their sexual orientation.
Phillip Anschutz has taken AEG off the sales block, but Sam Farmer doesn't think it helps his chances of bringing an NFL team back to Los Angeles.
Doug Farrar and Greg Cosell consider the yuktastic possibility of Buttfumble and Kevin Kolb competing for a starting gig in New Jersey, but what about the Ultimate Teammate™, whose 2013 salary was already paid as an advance by Denver (the LOLJets reimbursed the Broncos half of it)?
Cosell discusses the defensive fronts we see in today's NFL, and the history behind them.
Ashley Fox thinks the Dolphins, following their extensive foray into free agency, resemble the Dream Team Eagles, and sees Mike Wallace as their version of Nnamdi Asomugha.
If any IAOFM readers are college students in search of the coolest internship imaginable (well, within reason), an NFL team is looking for researchers.
This handy flowchart should clear up any confused feelings regarding free agent signings and whiffs.