Returning Champ Lard 2-23-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Yesterday was a great day for the Broncos and their fans with new of Champ Bailey's re-signing. However, his new deal isn't quite the steal as was originally reported - in addition to the $15 million in guarantees over the contract's first two seasons, $7 million of Bailey's 2013 salary will be protected against injury, and his entire salary will become fully guaranteed five days into the 2013 league year. Champ has essentially been guaranteed $22 million, and unless the team cuts him before sometime in March of 2013, Denver will be locked into paying him $32.5 million over three seasons.

Apparently, this is what happens when a team breaks contract news instead of the normally self-serving player agents doing so - or Champ's representative Jack Reale is the most humble agent in history. With another rep involved and someone like Josina or Pasquarelli reporting, this deal would have hit the wire as having $32.5 million in guarantees. See how that works? An agent would've called it $32.5 million, the team places it at $15 million and the reality is actually $22 million - a number much closer to what I had predicted. (I went to sleep last night feeling both out of touch with NFL finances and ecstatic for the Broncos.)

Back-patting aside, this is still a good deal for Denver - just not as fantabulous as it had seemed last night. It brings back Denver's best player over the past seven seasons (and a key leader), and the Broncos have one less gaping hole to address in their defense this offseason. Plus, if Champ is indeed willing to shift over to safety at some point during this contract (as he had said earlier), the Broncos have some protection on their investment should the player lose a step.


Champ doesn't have the sunniest of outlooks when it comes to the CBA negotiation.

Brain Xanders spoke to the guys on The Drive - here's the podcast. Make no mistake - Xanders did well on the Champ deal. But he says some ridiculous things during this interview, talking about how Champ will be used in John Fox's defense and making something up about Fox's defense being top 10 every year or something...

Gray Caldwell on Champ's signing and presser.

Klis points out that some aging Broncos have some hefty salaries for the upcoming season - Brian Dawkins and Jamal Williams, most notably. Plus, he goes over the team's possible free agents, pending the CBA talks.

Legwold speculates that Denver could have interest in Panthers free agents RB DeAngelo Williams, CB Richard Marshall and LB Thomas Davis. For a good laugh, read the last sentence of Legwold's column.

Denver's top 5 offensive plays of 2010 according to Broncos TV. Plus, Gray Caldwell details each play.

Gregg Rosenthal wonders if Mike Lombardi's story from Monday regarding Tim Tebow is part of a smokescreen from the team that they'll use the #2 pick on a QB, or if Lombardi's source is a former employee.

Meanwhile, Williamson says he doesn't get the sense Denver's decision makers dislike Tebow.

Farrar goes over the offseason questions facing the AFC West teams - he thinks Kyle Orton will be the Broncos' starter next year, and suggests that if they retain Ryan Harris it may not be as a starter.

KSK managed to catch hold of what didn't make the cut for Tebow's interview with his hometown paper. He apparently expounded upon his lack of a girlfriend...


Kamerion Wimbley will apparently be back in Oakland next season.

Tampa Bay re-signed CB Ronde Barber to a one-year deal.

The Browns will use their franchise tag on K Phil Dawson.

New Orleans released TE Jeremy Shockey. Williamson speculates about Shockey's fit with the AFC West teams.

The Rams are working on extending the contract of WR Mark Clayton.

The Panthers have used their franchise tag on C Ryan Kalil rather than RB DeAngelo Williams. MJD interprets that as the running back being done in Carolina.

My cousin Ed Wang of the Bills is trying to raise awareness of the NFL back in the motherland. Just kidding, he's not really my cousin, and I don't seriously refer to China as the motherland...

Chris Nowinski, founder of the Sports Legacy Network, spoke with KFNS radio in St. Loo to talk about head injuries in football; here's a partial transcription.

Peter King responds to emails.

Schatz continues FO's series of offseason looks with the AFC North.


Da'Quan Bowers will apparently only be lifting at the Combine. Williamson thinks this shouldn't affect Denver's opinion of Bowers.

Bucky Brooks examines the draft's top defensive back prospects.

Meanwhile, Bowen checks in on the top safeties.

Bunting considers which players can boost their stock the most at Combine; plus, his candidates for the Combine's fastest man.

Greg Gabriel explains how to scout linebacker prospects.

Farrar wraps up his pre-Combine evaluations with Bama DT Marcell Dareus, Carolina DE Robert Quinn, A&M backer Von Miller, Georgia WR AJ Green, Clemson DE Da'Quan Bowers, Auburn DT Nick Fairley, and LSU CB Patrick Peterson.

Here is Rob Rang's latest big board; Plus, he shares his opinion on several Tar Heels.

Gil Brandt thinks Cam Newton is worthy of the first overall pick.

A bunch of draft prospects preparing for the Combine got quite a scare on Monday.

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

The Lard