NFL looking to $tretch offseason Lard

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Like any great business, the NFL is always looking for ways to increase its revenues.

Some ideas, like lengthening the regular season while hypocritically claiming to prioritize player safety, are insulting to the sensibilities of players and fans alike, and draw heaps of criticism. Rule changes, such as eliminating the challenge flag infraction that screwed over the Lions on Thanksgiving, are often at the other end of the spectrum, and are welcomed with open arms.

At first glance, the league's latest significant proposal would appear to be somewhere in the middle, and only upsetting to those who bristle at any and all change.

According to Adam Schefter, the NFL wants to stretch out its offseason calendar a bit, by pushing each event back by a couple or few weeks.

The national scouting combine, which started on Wednesday, would shift to early March, with regional combines preceding it and featuring competitions for prospects to earn their way to Indy.

Hmm, actually, this part seems pretty dumb. We're extrapolating a bit, but there must be some sort of reality TV angle here, with the NFLN talking heads discussing (for hours on end) which snubbed prospects have the best chances of gaining entrance to the big underwear contest.

As happy as we all are that the Broncos defense was bolstered in 2012 by players in Chris Harris and Tony Carter who were overlooked for the combine when they were draft eligible, their stories are not nationally compelling ones.

Who wants to listen to Mike Mayock talk about the 335th-ranked prospect, who is clearly the 325th-best player, and therefore deserves an invite to Indy?

Free agency, which begins on March 12 this year, would apparently be pushed back three or four weeks into early April, perhaps so that it doesn't clash with the college basketball conference tourneys and the big dance, which runs this year from March 19 to April 8.

The draft, which this year will take place April 25-27, would be shifted a week or two into early May, a move that would potentially compress the down time between minicamps and training camp, which is traditionally the biggest dead zone of the NFL offseason.

Apparently, the league also wants to have all teams kick off training camp on the same day, perhaps so they can brand that date as Sort of Back to Football.

This part would appear a bit less sensible for coverage, though, as having teams stagger their camp openings allows the networks to spend far too much time discussing whether Tim Tebow will be 3A or 3B on the quarterback depth chart.

Obviously, there's something we're missing here, because the NFL wouldn't be pushing such a move unless it meant another revenue boost.

Our guess is that player agents will find something to complain about here - probably the delay of free agency - but it's hard to imagine anyone will raise enough of a beef for these changes not to happen.

Broncos

Videos: John Fox takes his turn at the podium in Indy; Broncos TV wraps up the day's activities.

Running back Knowshon Moreno had stem cells arthroscopically inserted into his injured knee, and is rehabbing along with four-fifths of Denver's starting offensive line. Jeff Legwold continues to think both areas are prime draft targets for the Broncos.

Fox says Quinton Carter's own recovery is going well, he's confident Nate Irving is ready to assume a larger role in the defense, and of course, that he has no regrets about playing Foxball against Baltimore. Here's a partial transcript of his comments on Denver's younger players.

Andrew Mason offers tips on what to pay attention to at combine, and says there's plenty to be gleaned from a team's brief interviews with prospects.

News

The new combine test will measure a player's situational awareness and stress management, and resembles exams currently given to firefighters.

Longtime Ravens and Vikings center Matt Birk is expected to retire; the Lions and WR Nate Burleson agreed to a restructured deal.

Obviously, the Niners claim they're not going to release Alex Smith, since they want to maintain his trade value.

San Diego hasn't necessarily given up on LT Jared Gaither just yet.

The Ultimate Teammate™ backed away from his commitment to speak at a Dallas hate church, but according to the despicable human being who pastors it, Timmy will be back with the furor dies down. The move drew criticism and praise from exactly where you'd expect it, and you can probably figure out how we see it.

If we're to assume Timmy just didn't know about the vile often spewed by Robert Jeffress, then he apparently doesn't know how to use the internet, and that flies in the face of just how media savvy and intelligent we've been told Teebs is, by the same people who are probably giving him a pass now. Obviously, Gregg Doyel isn't buying that lame pitch.

Analysis

Pat Kirwan figures that four cornerbacks will emerge from combine with first-round grades.

As draft season heats up, here's Chase Stuart's list of writers and tweeters to follow for analysis.

John Clayton believes the LOLJets when they say they're not trading Darrelle Revis, but Clark Judge isn't buying it.

Doug Farrar says the read-option is here to stay, but not as a primary offensive scheme.

While it's indeed chuckle-worthy that Mike Tannenbaum and Scott Pioli were fired for terrible personnel decisions and are already being paid to discuss personnel decisions, there's obviously value to be added in that these men can provide insight into how and why things are happening, insight that other studio analysts simply cannot offer.

Newly discovered physicist Jose Canseco and Science Guy Bill Nye had a brief dustup over Jose's gravitational theories, but like all good scholars, they quickly patched things up.

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

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