Is Denver’s 2013 cap space already eroding?

Good Morning, Broncos fans! For the past three weeks, we've been citing a report from John Clayton that Denver will enter the 2013 league year with $18.5M of cap room.

However, it's unclear whether that figure accounts for performance escalators that were triggered during the 2012 season. Our guess is that it doesn't, but we should all hope it does.

If not, then Denver's cap room is quite a bit smaller, as known incentives would already lop off $2.011M, and there are likely more we don't yet know about.

Thanks to incentives reported by Shutdown Corner, Champ Bailey (+$500K to $9.5M)1, Jacob Tamme (+$125K to $2.625M), Eric Decker and J.D. Walton (+$693K to $1.323M), have all earned raises for 2013.

It's a pretty good bet that Demaryius Thomas also earned a significant pay raise, as he had for 2012, and there's also the possibility that Zane Beadles and Chris Harris did as well.

If these incentives were not factored into Clayton's $18.5M figure, then the Broncos may currently have just $15M of cap space with which to sign draft choices and re-sign Ryan Clady and a slew of other players that includes unrestricted free agents Brandon Stokley, David Bruton, Kevin Vickerson, and Justin Bannan, and restricted free agents Tony Carter, Britton Colquitt, Chris Clark, and Mitch Unrein.

These factors should underscore our assertion that there are no big signings in Denver's near-term future, except for bringing back Clady.

Obviously, that will depend in part upon whether these performance raises are baked into Clayton's $18.5M figure. We'll keep you posted.

Broncos

Von Miller says the shoulder injury that kept him out of the Pro Bowl has bothered him since his regular season debut of 2011, but won't require surgery; Von is in New Orleans on behalf of Gatorade, and how much brominated vegetable oil have these players been pumping into their bodies over the years?

Brandon Stokley reiterated that he'd like to return for another year, and that he expects the Denver offense to make another leap thanks to everyone's increasing familiarity with each other.

Jeff Legwold says the team still has high hopes for Ben Garland, and that Unrein's role may continue to increase with time.

According to Mike Klis, the league is likely to formally invite (whatever that mean$) the city of Denver to bid on hosting a Super Bowl in 2018, 2019, or 2020.

Via BTV, here's John Fox mic'd up during the Pro Bowl; Von and Champ will join a USO tour in Afghanistan in March.

News

Word out of St. Louis is that it was Rob Ryan's decision that he wouldn't end up running the Rams defense.

After a career of hard, vicious, and often dirty hits, Rodney Harrison now says he's "scared to death" of the health issues which may be in his future, and he says he never heard anyone associated with the league use the word "concussion" during the first five or six years he played.

Meanwhile, retired quarterbacks Ray Lucas and Sean Salisbury admit they both have experienced serious physical and emotional pain in retirement, and together they participate in peer-group therapy which Lucas says has prevented several ex-players from committing suicide.

There was, of course, another sharp turn in the Te'o story, as Ronaiah Tuiasosopo admitted to being the voice of Lennay Kekua (rather than a female cousin, as had been reported last week) and essentially told Dr. Phil that he was/is in love with Manti.

Super Bowl

San Francisco CB Chris Culliver didn't react too well to news that former Niner Kwame Harris is gay, but the team quickly laid the smack down with a statement condemning his comments. Culliver then issued a statement of apology, one clearly crafted by the team or his agent. One has to wonder how Culliver feels about gay fans of his team. For his part, Harris says he didn't appreciate Culliver's "vitriol and hate."

Ed Reed has plenty to say about the long-term health issues associated with playing in the NFL, and his is a nuanced and well considered view, as would figure coming from him.

Randy Moss doubled down on his delusional claim that he's better than Jerry Rice; naturally, Chase Stuart, Mike Tanier, and Jason Lisk disagree.

KSK captionizes Media Day; Drew Magary lays out the many reasons to despise Ray Lewis.

Analysis

Chris Brown can see Joe Flacco again going deep on Sunday with great success; Bucky Brooks details Jim Caldwell's impact on the Ravens offense; Matt Bowen explains how the Ravens have been disguising their defensive pressure.

Sam Monson studies the dynamic play of Colin Kaepernick and debates Sunday's outcome with his colleague Ben Stockwell.

Bill Barnwell discusses the sustained greatness of Ozzie Newsome as a personnel man; Chase Stuart considers where the talent of each team has come from; Nathan Jahnke shares notes on the two teams.

Doug Farrar figures that Cleveland, Kansas City, and Philly are all prime potential destinations for Alex Smith in 2013.

Meanwhile, here are some big names who figure to be likely cap casualties between Sunday and the start of the 2013 league year on March 12.

If anyone is still entertaining the silly notion of Denver acquiring Darrelle Revis (including John Elway, if he did/is), they should consider that PFF's data says Champ Bailey and Chris Harris were the best corner duo in the entire league.

1 Correction: Bailey's raise was originally listed as being for only $50K to $950K, which is obviously off by a factor of 10

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

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