Olsen, David Harris, Prater, Maualuga are staying put

Good Afternoon, Broncos fans! The NFL transaction wire remains busy ahead of Saturday's opening of the legal tampering period and Tuesday's calendar flip to the 2015 league year.

Kansas City continues to work toward getting under the salary cap, cutting defensive tackle Vance Walker but re-signing linebacker Josh Mauga. They may even find a way to hang onto Tamba Hali, who says he's working on a restructure of the contract that calls for him to count for nearly $12M against the cap.

Meanwhile, Oakland is gearing up to make a run at Ndamukong Suh but lost Maurice Jones-Drew to retirement. They've also announced a one-year renewal of their lease at O.co Coliseum.

Despite the Raiders' mammoth amount of cap space, the Dolphins are said to be "confident" they'll land Suh, who's also expected to draw interest from Chicago, Detriot, Jacksonville, and Tennessee. Jason Fitzgerald explains how Miami might construct an offer that Oakland won't compete with.

Chicago's housecleaning won't end with the trade of the other Brandon Marshall. They apparently still haven't committed to Jay Cutler as their QB for 2015, and won't be re-signing longtime linebacker Lance Briggs.

As for other ex-Broncos, Matt Prater is again an overpaid kicker, this time by Detroit at $9M over three years. Connor Barth, meanwhile, will make just $745K in 2015, although he'll need help kicking off or potentially be beaten out by Brandon McManus altogether.

Other Moves

Carolina extended TE Greg Olsen for $22.5M over three years and added tackle Michael Oher.

Another pass-catching tight end, Niles Paul, re-signed with Washington.

The Jets kept linebacker David Harris from following Rex Ryan to Buffalo, signing him to a deal much like Olsen's.

Cincy gave LB Rey Maualuga a new three-year deal.

San Francisco added wideout Jerome Simpson, best known for his big weed bust and DWI arrest. It's an extra special signing, one that Jed York can't quite square with his prior claims about winning with class.

Analysis

Old friend Nate Jackson thinks the NFL should lift its ban on marijuana, and given what we know about the sport's long-term effects, one must perform some serious mental gymnastics to take the other side of that argument.

Joel Corry thinks Julius Thomas could land around $25M in guarantees on the open market (might he find that in Seattle?), while he sees Rodney Hudson going for $7.5M/year.

Don't tell this to the people rushing to shove him out the door, but PFF isn't buying the notion that Julius is still an atrocious blocker (emphasis ours):

He cut down on his number of -1.0 graded run blocks from 22 in 2013 to just seven a year ago with vast improvements in technique. It’s also worth noting that it didn’t come as the result of a Grahamesque switch to mostly wide receiver. He still spent 493 of his 715 snaps inline last season. At his size he’ll never be a crushing blocker you can trust to handle a defensive end on every play, but is willing and capable still provides value with his receiving skills.

A year later, Bill Barnwell still thinks the Broncos were among the winners of the 2014 offseason.

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

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