Freeney’s wait pays off Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! He didn't get what he'd originally been seeking, of course, but Dwight Freeney fared pretty well for himself by waiting out the free-agent market.

It was reported in March and April that Freeney was seeking as much as $6M or even $8.5M per year, or at least the $8.5M over two years that Osi Umenyiora had gotten from Atlanta.

By allowing the market to come to him - in the form of San Diego losing pass rusher Melvin Ingram to a torn ACL - Freeney ended up with $4.75M in guarantees for 2013 in a two-year deal worth $8.75M. Another $4.6M is available in incentives, tied to his sack numbers and characterized as "realistic" based upon what he's done in the past.

The max value of the contract is $13.35M over two seasons, which is far beyond the $1M salary (plus $2M in sack-based incentives) Denver gave former Chargers pass rusher Shaun Phillips.

It's not an apples-to-apples comparison, but for two situational pass rushers with nearly identical sack production over the past three years (23.5 sacks for Freeney, 24 for Phillips), the Broncos look to have gotten far better value than did the Chargers, who were shoved into a desperate situation by the injury to Ingram.

And of course, these players, like any others, must be measured by more than sacks alone - so do take that with a grain of salt.


It's intellectually lazy to evaluate whether the Broncos should sign Charles Woodson based upon his age, unless there's a younger and better player currently on the roster who can cover tight ends. Just like with the additions of Brandon Stokley, Keith Brooking, and Dan Koppen in 2012, signing Wooden wouldn't require a large cash or cap outlay, and it wouldn't impact the team's long-term plan. We've seen both Dan Mohrmann and now Mark Kiszla say the Broncos should go younger, but to whom are they referring?

Do they know better than everyone else that Kayvon Webster can cover tight ends? Or, is there someone else out there whom the Broncos should sign? As everyone has noted a zillion times over the years, and as the Broncos are obviously aware, the team has struggled to cover tight ends. They are looking to do something about it, and it's one thing to just criticize how they're doing so, and it's another to offer an alternative.

Based upon John Fox's track record, Andrew Mason doesn't see Montee Ball getting as many as half of the Broncos' carries in 2013.

The Broncos have loads of candidates for their #4 wideout and starting middle linebacker, but are any of them good enough for a SB contender? We'll see...


Chargers third-round wideout Keenan Allen recently tweeted a photo of himself wearing a Raiders cap. LOL.

With Rob Gronkowski currently dealing with a battery of injuries, Mike Florio reminds us that health concerns had Gronk completely off the draft boards of some teams in 2010, when the Pats used a second-rounder on him. But even if his career were to end today, the 38 touchdowns that New England got out of him were worth the pick and the ~$17M they've paid/guaranteed him.

In his Sunday column, Dan Pompei notes that the Seahawks, Jaguars, and Eagles are among the teams currently using GPS and heart monitors during practice to measure their players' biomechanics and recoveries.

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

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