NFL may profile tattooed players Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! There's an inordinate number of links to get to today, so we're splitting them in two, starting with newsy items.

There's some troubling speculation that the NFL may start having law enforcement types scour the tattoos of draft prospects, in search of gang signs.

The inspiration for this harebrained and invasive idea, of course, is the Aaron Hernandez case. And yet, when Hernandez's tattoos were examined after he was charged in the slaying of Odin Lloyd, no gang affiliations were found.

So, if examining Hernandez's tattoos prior to the 2010 Draft would not have turned up any gang ties, why does his cautionary tale inspire such a plan?

Our guess is that, as usual, it all comes back to money.

Former Broncos GM Ted Sundquist recently told Paul Klee that teams are left to their own devices when it comes to checking the backgrounds of prospects, and that they only dig further than phonecalls to coaches when "red flags" pop up.

Checking tattoos at the Combine wouldn't be expensive to the league, because getting the prospects to Indianapolis is a sunk cost.

Instead of selectively profiling inked athletes, the owners should pony up and have extensive background checks performed on every player who's likely to be drafted or signed.

Anything short of that, and claims that the league truly cares about having better people on its payrolls is mere lip service.

Of course, we all know that teams will still ultimately chase talent over anything, and all it takes is one organization (like the Bengals or Raiders) to take on a character risk, and in the parlance of the Ginger Hammer, sully the "shield." 

Broncos

You haven't seen us sweating the status of Sly Williams, because under the current CBA, it just never figures to be a proble. To that end, Mike Klis says the team expects to have a deal with their first-rounder by tonight.

Mike Florio hears that Joe Mays' one-game suspension from last year may have cost him the $500K in guarantees he'd been due for 2013. If that's the case, then his release will have saved Denver $4M in cap space for each of the 2013 (instead of $3.5M) and 2014 seasons, while leaving a $166,667 dead money hit on each year's cap.

This isn't really news, but Florio reminds us that in essence, Ryan Clady's new deal is really just a handful of one-year deals.

Injuries/Transactions

Kansas City lost fifth-round corner Sanders Commings for several weeks with a broken collarbone; Oakland dumped LB Travis Goethel and KR/CB Coye Francies.

Tampa Bay extended WR Mike Williams through 2018, signed former Broncos/Browns/Chiefs glory boy diva RB Peyton Hillis, and worked out DT Tommie Harris and TE Visanthe Shiancoe.

The Jets signed kicker Billy Cundiff and cut kicker Brett Maher; Buffalo cut DE Mark AndersonSan Francisco re-signed CB Lowell Rose after their trade for Eric Wright fell through; Arizona waived RB William PowellSeattle added TE Michael PalmerGreen Bay waived QB Matt BrownNew Orleans added S Akwasi Owusu-Ansah and waived CB Ryan Steed; Carolina met with lineman Travelle Wharton, recently of Cincy.

Cowboys DE Anthony Spencer is expected to miss 2-4 weeks after knee surgery; the team is reportedly interested in DT Amobi Okoye.

Players headed to their teams' preseason PUP lists include Jets WR Santonio HolmesColts WR Ahmad BradshawSaints defenders Roman Harper and Victor Butler, and Jacksonville WR Justin Blackmon and CB Johnathan Cyprien.

News

Massachusetts prosecutors are making a case to a grand jury that Aaron Hernandez be charged in the 2012 Boston drive-by double murder which he's been linked to.

While on his way to report to camp, Titans LB Jonathan Willard pulled a family out of a burning car.

HOFers Darrell Green and Art Monk say the blatantly racist name of the team they played for should probably be changed, being that it's blatantly racist.

Bengals owner Mike Brown claims that links between concussions and longterm health effects are mere "speculation," and tell me again why players should take the "responsibility" for choosing to play football (actually, please don't)? What an epic asshole.

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

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