Never forget the influence of chance Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Denver may have dodged a bullet during free agency when they were outbid by Tennessee for the services of guard Andy Levitre, who is still recovering from a knee scope performed earlier in the offseason.

It may end up being no big deal, as Levitre himself suggests, but even still, this should enforce the notion that luck impacts football not just on the field, but on the transaction wire as well.

We can safely assume that ending up with Louis Vasquez on a $23.5M deal (while the Titans gave Levitre one for $46.8M) was a financial call, because there's no way the Broncos would have engaged in a bidding war for a player with known physical questions, right?

Considering how quickly he was signed and what he was paid, it's doubtful that the medical staffs for either Denver or Tennessee expected Levitre to be out of action through OTAs.

Given everything we know now, if Vasquez turns out the better signing - whether for reasons of health or performance - we should all exercise caution before crediting John Elway & Co. with having made the smart decision. Indeed, one could spin this as Denver being only lukewarm on Levitre, but that wouldn't seem to match Lindsay Jones's portrayal of the negotiation.

Such is the case with all personnel decisions known (or believed) to have been close calls, such as the Broncos reportedly having wanted to draft Arthur Brown at #58, only to watch Baltimore move up to #56 and snag him.

Was Montee Ball really the guy they'd hoped to draft there?

Had they already intended to give Nate Irving a shot at the starting Mike gig prior to the draft, or only after (possibly) having missed out on Brown?

We may never know.

Sometimes, however, we do know.

There is absolutely no question that the Broncos preferred Elvis Dumervil to Shaun Phillips, and Charles Woodson to Quentin Jammer.

However Levitre (and his knee), Vasquez, Ball, Brown, Dumervil, Phillips, Woodson, and Jammer fare with their respective teams, and when (and how) Denver's 2013 season ends, let's all keep in mind that each choice by the front office wasn't entirely within their control, and that luck (ie. fax trouble, the impact of grown men in costumes) is always a factor.


Likewise, Tom Krasovic says Phillips preferred staying in San Diego over coming to Denver, just like Jammer did.

According to Jeff Legwold, Willis McGahee pushed the coaching staff hard to activate him for the divisional game against Baltimore. Can you imagine what's been going through Willis's mind for the past several months, knowing that he may have been the difference? However, if that's the case, then it conflicts with every prior report about McGahee's eligibility, including Legwold's own.

Willis will not be at Dove Valley for this last week of OTAs, but he is expected back for the mandatory minicamp which runs from next Tuesday through Thursday.

Akshay Anand expects Wes Welker's red-zone numbers to decline a bit for being teamed with Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas, who were prolific there in 2012.

2011 Draft

In his MMQB column, Peter King reminds us that Oakland was hot for Colin Kaepernick prior to a during the 2011 Draft, but ultimately balked at New England's asking price for the #33 pick. Instead, San Francisco moved up in a trade with Denver to take Kaepernick.

Out of that trade, the Broncos essentially got Rahim Moore, Quinton Carter, Julius Thomas, and Virgil Green.

Back to the Raiders, PK thinks the firing of their PR director is an ominous development for GM Reggie McKenzie, who had hired the guy.


Eagles wideout DeSean Jackson has dropped Drew Rosenhaus as his agent, and is reportedly looking to join Jay-Z's Roc Nation.

Mike McCoy admits the Broncos were "trying to do too much" with Tim Tebow prior to going read-option, which we'll take to mean running a conventional offense that required reading pass coverages.

The Hall of Fame unveiled a $27M renovation over the weekend to rave reviews.

Jets CB Antonio Cromartie has made some remarkably positive changes to his life, and for that, he deserves heaps of praise.

Giants WR Victor Cruz is looking to join Decker in the ranks of current NFL wideouts with reality TV shows.

Our thoughts are with Bills HOF QB Jim Kelly, who is set to have surgery on Friday to remove a malignant tumor in his jaw.


From the terrific Chase Stuart, a particularly terrific breakdown of how and when interceptions tend to come, relative to score, time, and depth/direction of throw. Bookmark this one, folks.

Mike Tanier goes into great depth on the myriad changes made to the Steelers' running game this offseason, and he thinks there's still a niche for slower football coverage ala the now defunct PFW, if in a different form.

Donovan McNabb thinks RG3 needs to spend more time rehabbing, and less time talking, which sure does seem like some odd, unsolicited advice.

Pat Kirwan apparently forgot about Vernon Fox, Jamie Winborn, Nate Webster, Marquand Manuel, Dre' Bly, Boss Bailey, Josh Bell, Marlon McCree, Dewayne Robertson, Calvin Lowry, Roderick Rogers (all of whom started games on defense for the 2008 Broncos), and Bob Slowik, when ranking the firing of Mike Shanahan among the ten worst in NFL history.

FOX Sports has hired SNY reporter Kevin Burkhardt to call NFL games, with old friend John Lynch as his analyst. As a Mets fan, I can tell you that Burkhardt is a terrific TV guy, but I have no clue how that will translate to NFL play-by-play.

Updated 3:13pm ET - McGahee was not eligible to return until the AFC title game; originally, we passed along Jeff Legwold's claim that McGahee lobbied to be activated for the Baltimore game.

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

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