Good Morning, Broncos fans! For the sake of my own sanity, I'm going to restrict this to analysis and Broncos-centric news, and will follow up later with the day-long news/rumor thread. I hope the division-by-division, team-by-team format read well, because it sure was easier to write than the time-stamped and -ordered format I've used in the past.
Anyway, let's get to it, starting with a recap of what did and didn't happen yesterday for Denver.
The team has agreed to terms with Louis Vasquez (four years, $23.5M, $13M guaranteed) and Kevin Vickerson (two years, $4M-5M). Neither contract is official, so you never know, but we'll assume for now that they're done deals.
There doesn't appear to be any further news on Terrance Knighton. We've figured all along that he would be reuniting with Jack Del Rio in Denver, but there's no deal, as of this writing.
Peyton Manning passed his physical, and his 2013 and 2014 salaries ($20M each) are now guaranteed. The 2014 guarantee goes away in the event of a reaggravation of his neck injury.
NFLN suggested throughout much of last night that Elvis Dumervil is likely to stick around, but it sure doesn't read that way if you what his agent has to say.
Rashard Mendenhall will visit, and Mike Florio said last night that Denver was the favorite to sign him.
While that didn't get any of us particularly excited, the details being filled in by Mike Klis are quite favorable. As Klis reports, Mendenhall is apparently looking for a one-year, show-me type of contract, which calls the Tracy Porter deal to mind (one year, $4M).
Obviously, we'll have to hope that a Mendenhall signing turns out better for both sides than the Porter acquisition did, but the point is that Denver's not looking at a big commitment, in either cash, cap, or time. Again, we'll wait to see the final details before celebrating the job done by John Elway & Company. Perhaps Arizona starts bidding up Mendenhall's price, or other teams get involved. Who knows...
Denver is also scheduled to host Eagles corner Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (originally of the Cardinals) and Cardinals linebacker Stewart Bradley (originally of the Eagles). The two were never teammates, as Bradley left Philly to sign with Arizona on the same day (July 29, 2011) that the Cards traded DRC to the Eagles. Two ships passing in the night, or the afternoon, as it were.
Bradley saw just 39 snaps on defense in 2012, presumably because he wasn't very good in 2011 (235 snaps, -6.0 PFF grade). He had started 28 games for the Eagles in 2008 and 2010, but his play (2010: 698 snaps, -9.7 grade; 2008: 1,228 snaps, -13.0 grade) didn't exactly show him deserving of what he actually got paid ($10M over two years).
Rodgers-Cromartie didn't grade out any better in 2012 (-7.1), but at least he played a lot - 1,020 snaps. In 2011, he graded out at -5.2 across just 487 snaps, which is rather brutal. In 2010, he was a -13.4 over 1,130 snaps, and we have to go back to 2009 to possibly understand why the Eagles wanted him in the Kevin Kolb deal. That year, he was a +16.8 in 1,074 snaps, while as a rookie in 2008, he posted a -1.8 grade over 1,079 plays.
Of course, plugging either one of these guys into what was a terrific defense in 2012 should produce better individual results, but we'll see, right?
Jeff Legwold hits up the Rolodex to learn that Champ Bailey is still really good, and Chris Harris is underrated. If this is news to you, welcome to IAOFM, and we're glad to have you.
Andrew Mason goes over the team's veteran free agent options for cornerback.
Perhaps you've blocked this memory, but Mitch Berger was an incredibly shitty punter for the Broncos in 2009. Now, he's on Millionaire Matchmaker.
Shutdown Corner goes over the day's most active and least active teams; Mike Tanier reacts to the biggest moves to this point; Don Banks says the Ravens and Vikings were gutted yesterday.
Bill Barnwell analyzes the Harvin and Boldin trades, while Jason from OTC gets into the real value of Harvin's contract.
Steve Palazzolo discusses what's left in the tank for ex-Raiders Darrius Heyward-Bey and Michael Huff, while Jim at OTC surveys the damage of their bloated contracts.
Banks reminds us that much of Denver's talent actually arrived before Elway & Co. took over; Jason Cole lists his 20 best FA signings from the first 20 years of free agency.
As Chase Stuart details, big free agent signings have not immediately preceded SB titles, at least not in recent years.
The always excellent Patrick Hruby gets to the bottom of how much it might cost Dan Snyder to change the blatantly racist name of his football franchise:
In other words: the Washington Redskins are perfectly happy to keep on kicking symbolic sand in the face of an ethnic group that has been hunted and herded into social, cultural and geographic exile, so long as there's a few extra bucks to be made on the back end.
Shockingly, and unfortunately for all of us, Guy Fieri and Jay Glazer are not actually the same person.
If you're a tweeter, here are some NFL reporter frauds worth blocking. Here's another guy, who is masquerading as a Broncos "insider" by repackaging info as his own all day, and passing along incorrect info at times. He had tricked me the other day into thinking D.J. Williams had a roster bonus due, but that was utter bullshit. When I politely asked him for a link, he not only failed to respond, but unfollowed me (don't care about losing a follower; it says a lot about his trustworthiness). Unless you like blatant misinformation sprinkled into unattributed news stolen from real sources, I recommend you block his ass.
While Berger doesn't rank highly on the list of Favorite One-Time Eagles Who Later Became Broncos, Brian Dawkins does. And this is just another reason why:
via Shutdown Corner
Granted, the dude's reaction was a little more subdued than, say, mine would have been. But still, really awesome, especialy on the part of Dawkins.