Gay players to have coming out party? Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! There's been a lot of handwringing over the possibility of a current NFL player coming out as gay, mostly (of course) from those on the wrong side of history.

It's been suggested that a gay player will be a distraction - within locker rooms, on the field, and in the media, with an outed player drawing 24/7 coverage that would rival or even surpass that given Peyton Manning's predecessor in Denver.

Perhaps one openly gay player would be a distraction to an extent. But what if there were four such players, and they all uncloseted themselves simultaneously? Then, the glare of the spotlight would be a shared one. Says Brendon Ayanbadejo, recently released by the Ravens:

I think it will happen sooner than you think. We're in talks with a handful of players who are considering it. There are up to four players being talked to right now and they're trying to be organized so they can come out on the same day together. It would make a major splash and take the pressure off one guy. It would be a monumental day if a handful or a few guys come out.

Of course, there would be backlash. If they could share the backlash, it would be more positive. It's cool. It's exciting. We're in talks with a few guys who are considering it. The NFL and organizations are already being proactive and open if a player does it and if something negative happens. We'll see what happens.

I had a great talk with [NFL vice president of player engagement] Troy Vincent. The NFL wants to be proactive about what's going on with players and some of the remarks and incidents that have been happening with the LGBT community. The NFL wants me to talk to the rookie class and they are talking about potentially having talks with all the guys about LGBT sensitivity. I think all the major sports groups need to be productive and take a stance.

Everyone has a relative or friend that's in the LGBT community, whether it's Paul Tagliabue's son or people in the Ravens organization who have relatives in the LGBT community. I gave Troy my suggestions.

As noted by Deadspin, the coverage of such an event will obviously be something to behold. But as USA Today's Chris Chase notes, it's a brilliant idea, one which figures to spread the attention across the league and to several locker rooms, and to remind (or inform) people that gay athletes represent a larger contingent than is typically assumed.

Obviously, we here at IAOFM are all for NFL players helping lead the way in fighting homophobia and supporting marriage equality, and applaud the efforts of Ayanbadejo, Chris Kluwe, Scott Fujita toward that end.

Broncos

Jeffri Chadiha says teams are relying more heavily on prospect interviews these days for their evaluations, with the Broncos' selection of the Ultimate Self-Promoter™ standing as a prime example of how that can go wrong.

Khaled Elsayed looks back at Denver's 2008-10 drafts, and of course, sees a lot of wasted draft choices.

Andrew Mason discusses the Broncos' draft options at wide receiver.

News

A group of former FCC commissioners sent a letter to Washington owner Daniel Snyder, suggesting that using the "unequivocal racial slur" that is his team's name amounts to a violation of broadcasting decency rules.

36-year-old safety Charles Woodson says he hasn't heard from very many teams, and he thinks his age is the number-one factor in that. However, it's unknown how much compensation he's seeking...

Oakland finally waived spectacular 2010 draft bust Rolando McClain, who figures to go unclaimed, given his $4.05M salary for 2013.

San Diego hosted Indy NT Antonio Johnson; Cincy hosted Browns S Usama Young, whose former teammate WR Mohamed Massaquoi visited with Houston.

Yahoo! might make a play for the right to broadcast live NFL games on mobile devices, currently held by Verizon.

Draft

Jason Fitzgerald studies the value of draft picks relative to the salary cap, concluding that stockpiling choices in the third, fourth, and fifth rounds yields the best chances at success.

Doug Farrar evaluates USC QB Matt Barkley, who he says would have been a better prospect in the NFL of ten years ago.

Farrar and Greg Cosell discuss the top defensive tackle prospects in their latest podcast.

Mike Mayock has updated his list of the top five prospects at each position.

In his do-over of the 2011 Draft, Bucky Brooks has Denver still taking Von Miller at #2, with J.J. Watt slipping all the way to Dallas at #9.

Elsayed also revisits the 2008-10 drafts of the Lions.

Analysis

Chase Stuart sees plenty of high level parity in the NFC, but not necessarily any teams as good as Denver or New England.

ESPN Mag's David Fleming says the importance of left tackles has declined in recent years, a point which Ted had discussed at least as far back as last May

Andy Benoit finds a laughable lack of talent on the LOLJets offense, plus gigantic holes at outside linebacker and safety.

Scott Kacsmar studies the heights of NFL quarterbacks past and present, finding very weak correlations between stature and statistical success. There have been no successful QBs who stood 6-7, as Brock Osweiler does, but Joe Flacco and Josh Freeman each measure in at 6-6.

Don Banks ranks the eleven veteran backup QBs who have found new teams so far this offseason.

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

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