Rice, Forte get their scratch; others told to go scratch Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The deadline for teams to sign their franchise players to long-term deals was yesterday afternoon, and a few contracts got done just under the gun.

Baltimore did what they absolutely had to do, by signing running back Ray Rice to a five-year deal which includes $24M in guarantees and a total value of $35M. Incentives can potentially lift that number to $40M. Likewise, the Bears finally rewarded their runner/receiver, giving Matt Forte more than $17M in guarantees as part of a four-year, $32M deal.

But what about value? The numbers say Baltimore paid about market value for Rice, while Forte got more than he is worth. And now that these guys are under contract, what about trading them for a bounty of draft choices? Obviously that would never happen, but as always, great food for thought from Burke.

Jacksonville also locked up their tagged player, as kicker Josh Scobee agreed to a four-year deal with $4.75M in guarantees and a total value around $14M. Those figures are both higher than those given Matt Prater by the Broncos ($4.25M, $13M).

Just as notable as those three contracts are the deals that did not get done: KC WR Dwayne Bowe, NE WR Wes Welker (sucks for him, but that's just the Patriot Way), Niners S Dashon Goldson, and Lions DE Cliff Avril, who reportedly turned down a three-year deal with $20M guaranteed and now says he won't show for the start of training camp.

Here's a list of all the players who were tagged this year, plus Will Brinson's take on the day's developments.

Meanwhile, Jets CB Darrelle Revis is still under his "band-aid" contract, and Chris Mortensen expects him to hold out. Ravens S Ed Reed is also pondering a holdout, although he's not saying much about the topic.

Mike Silver figures Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew was made even more unhappy by the Rice and Forte deals, but the new CBA rules mean a holdout would likely not help his cause.

RG3 was not present for rookie workouts, but Washington's camp does not begin until next Wednesday, and he is expected to have a deal by then.


In recapping the Dumervil case and the Broncos' current legal troubles, Mike Klis notes that the civil suit against Demaryius Thomas alleges the WR served the alleged victim a date-rape drug.

Mark Kiszla finds it hard to believe the details in the police report for Elvis's arrest, but he still figures professional athletes can make better, if imperfect, choices.

Over at the official site, Tyler Everett checks in on Lance Ball and provides an overview of Ball's fellow running backs.

Former UK Wildcats Wesley Woodyard and Jacob Tamme are both in the news for their charity work back in Kentucky.

John Elway expanded his latest car sales empire with the purchase of a big Chevy dealership.


Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch was arrested over the weekend under suspicion of DUI in the Oakland area, because what's an offseason day without news of another NFL arrest? You know what, let's make it two: Cowboys WR Dez Bryant turned himself in on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge in Texas after he reportedly shoved his mother during an argument with his half brother.

Cleveland gave supplemental pick WR Josh Gordon $3.8M in guarantees as part of a four-year contract worth $5.3M.

Cowboys S Gerald Sensabaugh had his knee scoped and may miss the start of camp while he's recovering.

Well, this is a strange one. The Chargers are leaving it up to their fans to decide which one of old friend WR Anthony Miller, RB Natrone Means, and P Darren Bennett is elected to the team's HOF. And what will happen with the two guys who don't get chosen? You stay classy, San Diego.

In his forthcoming memoir, Michael Vick says that during his dogfighting days, he was more studious with dogs than with football.

The Packers are in the process of adding 6,700 seats to Lambeau Field.


Pats TE Rob Gronkowksi says he'd be cool with having a gay teammate, because he's a cool guy.

Matt Waldman is puzzled by all the hand-wringing and moralizing over players smoking weed when Americans admit to much more dangerous activities everyday.

Mike Lombardi expects the Drew Brees contract to help younger QBs gain more pay for themselves.

Khaled Elsayed reminds us that tracking hurries tells a more complete story than does counting sacks, and he previews some camp battles expected in the AFCE.

Chase Stuart says that with QBs the caliber of Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and Tom Brady, the old statistical reality that teams which throw the most tend to lose is no longer true. Plus, he considers the wackiness of the Coach of the Year award.


Bears WR Earl Bennett (and Vanderbilt teammate of Jay Cutler) says Forte is the league's best RB, and J-Cutty its best QB. To clarify, he said that yes, Jay is better than Aaron Rodgers. BTW, Cutler obviously did not provide the worst rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" at Wrigley, probably just the most disinterested - as one might expect.

Drew Magary explains why the Raiders will suck this year, and he laughs at Oakland fans and their projected image of toughness.

Here he is, folks: the living, breathing Tommy From Quinzee has finally been found. And with PK still on vacation, Christmas Ape digs up another awful, self-referencing MMQB to destroy.

In expected, yet still tragic news, three more Sandusky accusers have stepped forward. Those delusional Paternos are going to commission their own "non-biased" investigation of their late patriarch's role in the Sandusky horrors. Gee, what do you think they'll come up with? Since you're surely wondering, nobody is guarding the statue of Paterno at Happy Valley, and the area where students camp out for tickets is being renamed from Paternoville to Nittanyville.

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

The Lard