Dez Bryant appears to be getting smeared ahead of free agency

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Teams have until 4pm ET on Monday to apply their franchise or transition tags to pending unrestricted free agents like Demaryius Thomas.

Dez Bryant, Thomas's fellow 2011 first-rounder, is also likely to be tagged, as the Cowboys have been hesitant to give their star wideout a chunk of guaranteed money. This reluctance has apparently stemmed from his off-field issues, and there's one incident that's caused quite a stir this week.

It's apparently long been rumored within NFL circles that Bryant was involved in a disturbance at a Walmart parking lot in 2011. Local police found no cause to make any arrests, but there are rumors of a video of the incident.

So, if this incident has been rumored for so long, then why is it only now being discussed openly? There's apparently not enough evidence of anything to meet journalistic standards, so no journalists worth their salt had written or spoken about it, until last Friday.

That's when Mike Florio opened his big fat mouth, and now he's even going into the alleged details (we won't link it here), because he's that kind of guy. Florio has even taken to firing back at his critics for calling him out on the hackery.

Clearly a story that shouldn't yet (if ever) have reached the national media, it's now here to stay, thanks to Florio. When it all shakes out, we'll be interested to see whether NBC is willing to punish Florio as they did with Brian Williams...

Broncos

Andrew Mason considers how some of the recently released veterans from around the league might fit in Denver.

Cecil Lammey likes the progress he's seen from Brock Osweiler but expects Denver to add another QB to compete with Zac Dysert.

Mark Kiszla apparently can't make up his mind as to whether Peyton Manning should take a pay cut.

News

Now that Judge Doty ruled for Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy is seeking immediate reinstatement.

Roger Goodell publicly fluffed fraudster Jimmy Haslam, because he's not so much the Commissioner of the NFL, as he is the flunky of the 32 owners.

Miami will release wideout Brian Hartline; Atlanta cut wideout Harry Douglas; Baltimore cut DE Chris Canty.

The Jets reportedly don't want former first-rounder Kyle Wilson back; Cleveland is said to be competing with Buffalo to sign QB Josh McCown.

Analysis

As Patrick Hruby explains, it appears the NFLPA is doing a rather terrible job of enriching its members, and isn't at all interested in an honest election for its next executive director.

Greg Cosell thinks Dallas will have to completely change its offense if it doesn't re-sign RB DeMarco Murray.

David Rappoccio crafts some logos for the next Los Angeles team.

Draft

Bucky Brooks lists his top five draft prospects at each position; Chris Burke lists his favorite prospects from the combine; Burke and Doug Farrar each list their top 40 prospects; Rob Rang updates his big board; Gil Brandt says there's still hope for some of the guys who bombed in Indy.

Mike Tanier profiles CSU-Pueblo quarterback Chris Bonner, who he thinks should get some serious looks from NFL teams this spring.

Considering his size and based upon his 40 time and vertical leap, Kentucky linebacker Bud Dupree would appear the physical star of the combine.

Like Matt Brown, Don Banks has Denver taking Oklahoma DT Jordan Phillips at #28 in his latest mock draft; Todd McShay has them going with FSU DT Eddie Goldman.

Over at the Harvard Sports Analysis Collective, Bill Lotter figured out how to use combine results to predict draft order.


RIP Leonard Nimoy, who passed away at 83

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

The Lard