Fortunately for Denver - and unfortunately for Tony Carter - the Broncos' surprise starting nickel corner has been ruled an exclusive-rights free agent by the league.
We've written twice about the Broncos' pending free agents, and each time noted that Carter was due for a big raise via unrestricted free agency. This was for two reasons: Rotoworld said Carter would be unrestricted, while the team's official site and NFL.com have maintained Carter was playing in his fourth NFL season in 2012.
Turns out we, and Rotoworld, were wrong; Rotoworld has also made the correction.
Obviously we're not happy about having our facts incorrect, but thrilled that Carter's not going anywhere. As it is, Carter will likely be paid the $715K league minimum for a player of his service time, after making $615K in 2012. He should become an unrestricted free agent a year from now.
Mitch Unrein is also an ERFA and figures to be paid $630K, while Lance Ball, Chris Clark, Britton Colquitt, and Chris Gronkowski are restricted free agents and would need to be tendered to stick around.