Ray Lewis to render ESPN an even more painful watch Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Apparently, 2012 free agency for the Broncos consisted of signing Peyton Manning and a bunch of cheap veterans. And apparently, there's nothing in between.

At least, that's Jeff Legwold's version of things, and his argument against the team going after any of the more familiar names to have hit the market recently. The big names are more costly than the minimum, and the Broncos should avoid those guys.

Now, we can come up with a slew of reasons for and against signing someone like Charles Woodson or Richard Seymour, but that's not going to be one of them.

The biggest problem we see here is ignoring Denver's important signings of Mike Adams, Joel Dreessen, and Jacob Tamme. No, their signings weren't as splashy as nabbing Neil Smith and Alfred Williams were, or as adding Woodson or Seymour might be. But all signed for much more than veteran minimum salaries, and stand as a fine reminder that free agency isn't just about huge names and deep bargains.

Broncos

Mike Klis thinks Peyton Manning was probably just checking in on a friend, rather than actually trying to recruit Dwight Freeney to Denver.

Congratulations to our friend Andrew Mason, who will again be writing for the official site, starting at the combine.

Times-Call writer Brian Howell has a new book out, titled 100 Things Broncos Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die.

Obviously, taking the under on Denver in 2012 was a losing bet for Bill Barnwell. Sucker.

News

Among the rules changes being considered by the competition committee are an elimination of all hits delivered with the crown of the helmet, and a fix of that stupid replay flag rule that screwed the Lions over on Thanksgiving.

Tony Romo and the Cowboys are working on a potential three- or four-year contract extension.

The LOLJets are going to try to shop the Ultimate Teammate™ and his 2.6M salary (LOL) at the combine, but last we checked, NFL teams can't trade with the Arena League.

San Diego claimed CB Johnny Patrick off waivers from New Orleans, who had made him their third-round pick only two years ago.

As expected, Ray Lewis is joining ESPN as an analyst; NFLN will have more than 60 hours of coverage from the combine starting at 9am ET today; former Chiefs GM Scott Pioli will be working with SiriusXM and NFLN this year, starting this week at the combine.

Josh Brent was apparently driving between 110 and 134 mph prior to the drunk crash that killed his teammate Jerry Brown.

Combine

One of the more interesting developments of this year's combine will be the growing contingent of foreign-born prospects.

An NFL scout tells Jarrett Bell that Manti Te'o's not near the prospect everyone says he is, and that's before getting to the whole fake girlfriend thing.

Old friend Trevor Pryce has a few entertaining ideas to liven up the combine and perhaps make it more useful, including 400m footraces, hoops, and wrestling.

Analysis

We know the Raiders have some major cap issues, but they're going to have to do a lot more than just release Tommy Kelly, Darrius Heyward-Bey, and Rolando McClain to get under it in time to avoid penalty.

Say, remember when the world was calling Nnamdi Asomugha a better cover corner than Champ Bailey? Not so much, anymore.

Nathan Jahnke discusses the top linebackers available in free agency, but remember that Klis says the Broncos plan to find a starting Mike in-house.

Old friend Mike Bell is the only player to have signed a restricted offer sheet in the past four years; Mike Garafolo thinks that facet of restricted free agency might finally become a factor again this offseason.

Chase Stuart provides a fascinating look at the impact of rookie QBs since 1990, highlighting the remarkable performances of Russell Wilson, RG3, and Cam Newton.

Mike Tanier lists his top five wide receivers in LOLJets history, which is sort of like describing one's favorite surgeries to undergo.

Benjamin Hochman wants to give the UT™ the benefit of the doubt regarding his decision to speak at a hate-spewing church, but how do people flip from saying how smart and media savvy the kid is, to suddenly calling him a puppet of his family? Well isn't that conveeeeeenient?

Chris Brown has compiled a list of football coaching books and videos he considers indispensable.

Miscellany

The artist who Peytonized NFL logos last year is back with some Brit-influenced logos in expectation of a London franchise.

Rob Neyer shares his thoughts on the racist name of Washington's football team and comes up with some potential replacements for the Cleveland Indians name, including...the Broncos. Hahaha. Poor Cleveland.

The Brooklyn Nets PR department has an awesome Twitter feed which should be an example for all pro sports teams.

Wright Thompson wrote a terrific profile for ESPN of Michael Jordan as he approached his 50th birthday.


via SoB

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

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