Rumor is a rumor is a rumor is a rumor

Good Morning, Broncos fans! As you might have noticed, we set up a free agency rumor tracker last night, once word came that Denver is interested in Louis Delmas.

As always, there figures to be an endless supply of Broncos-related rumors over the coming weeks, with free agency and the 2014 league year set to begin just three weeks from today (at 4pm ET).

We'll do our best to sift through it all, but of course, the trick will be in trying to separate legitimate rumors (oxymoron?) from pure speculation.

Of course, this is a hopelessly impossible task, as there's no real way of knowing which reports have any truth behind them.

Smokescreens come from all directions - from teams, agents, and sometimes even players themselves.

It may be fun to wonder about every available player joining the Broncos, but we'll leave that to the fan boys.

Most readers should know by now that we've never sought access to players or the team, and don't ever profess to have any inside information. Because we don't.

So, this months long exercise will be about applying our best educated guesses to the news that's out there, while taking into consideration the sources and yes, their specific verbiage.

Just a glimpse into our thought process (which will, as with anything, evolve with time):

  • In the case of Delmas, Jason La Canfora wrote, "Atlanta and Denver among the interested teams." There's no ambiguity there - La Canfora writes that the Broncos are interested - so Delmas is on our tracker. Now, JLC could be dead wrong, but we have to work with what we've got.
  • Meanwhile, Clifton Brown (formerly of the Sporting News and the Times) says the Broncos are a "potential suitor" for Ravens linebacker Daryl Smith (h/t AldenBrown). Honestly, this couldn't be written any worse, in terms of clarity. Brown doesn't say whether he's relying upon real information from a source, or his own guesswork. The worst thing we could do is play the telephone game, and write that Denver is interested in Smith. Someone will surely do so, but it won't be us, not until something clearer is reported.

All that said, please email us with any rumors that you happen to see online (we don't always read comments, so email is best). Again, our process will evolve, and perhaps we'll have a page or section devoted to only somewhat unsubstantiated rumors.

Broncos

Happy 70th Birthday to Pat Bowlen, who has turned us all into a bunch of spoiled, entitle brats over his thirtysomething years owning the Broncos. Thanks, Mr. B.

Jeff Legwold says the Broncos may try to upgrade their pass blocking at LG, with Zane Beadles set to become a UFA; he also reports that Ryan Clady is doing well in his recovery from foot surgery, and that moving Orlando Franklin inside is still a consideration.

Joel Corry thinks Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is a likelier franchise tag candidate than Eric Decker, albeit not a likely one.

Rivers McCown sees Decker and Knowshon Moreno walking, with DRC potentially returning, and Peyton Manning and Ryan Clady as potential restructure candidates.

Tom Gower says their secondary is Denver's biggest offseason concern, and we agree.

Brent Sobleski strangely omits safety from his list of needs, with running back somehow ranking higher.

Nathan Jahnke figures the return of Von Miller would take away some snaps for Shaun Phillips, should the Broncos re-sign him.

PFF ranks Knowshon Moreno as their top free agent running back; what would you have said if told that might happen six months ago?

A Vegas casino has the Broncos and Pats at 7-1 to win the SB next year, trailing the Seahawks and Niners.

Josh Katzowitz revisits the Maurice Clarett disaster.

BTV counts down its top ten defensive plays from Denver's 2013 campaign.

News

Obviously, Richie Incognito couldn't stay away from his Twitter machine for long. This time, he's back with a stream of apologies. Dude clearly needs help.

Tight ends Jimmy Graham of New Orleans and Dennis Pitta of Baltimore may file grievances against their teams if they're tendered tight end franchise tags, which are significantly cheaper than those for wide receivers. Robert Mays thinks these players have a legitimate beef, and we think he's right.

Chicago signed DE Austen Lane; Atlanta added T Gabe Carimi.

FWIW, Carolina QB Cam Newton says he doesn't plan to hold out in search of a contract extension.

Colin Kaepernick and Newton foresee no problems in the NFL for Michael Sam as an openly gay player.

Rosterbation

St. Louis corner Cortland Finnegan (aka Kyle Orton's BFF) may be a cap casualty if he doesn't take a hefty pay cut.

Offseason plans for San Diego, the Giants (Mike Tanier, Eric Edholm), Pittsburgh, and Tennesee.

Jason Fitzgerald projects rookie draft pools; Michael Ginnitti does the same for franchise tender values.

Mockery

Johnny Manziel wants everyone to know that he's a full six feet tall, and for some reason thinks Russell Wilson is the preeminent short guy among NFL QBs. Has he heard of Drew Brees?

Incredibly, NFL.com is now sponsoring Nolan Nawrocki's annual pre-draft character assassination pieces, of which there are many this year.

Chris Burke discusses the big combine stories among offensive prospects; Doug Farrar covers defensive prospects.

Mike Mayock ranks his top five prospects at each position; Tony Pauline grades defensive back prospects.

Russ Lande scouts the talented but underwhelming Miami tackle Seantrel Henderson.

Bucky Brooks discusses the best and worst combine performances from each of the past five years.

Analysis

Chase Stuart tweaks DVOA a bit to come up with some early predictions for the 2014 season.

Among his weekly emails, Peter King shares an excellent one on the mess in Miami from Doug Powell, a major in the Army Medical Corps.

Christmas Ape handed off his weekly takedown of PK to a trusty KSK reader.

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

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