Younger, cheaper line Lard 3-4-11

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! There's at least another day for the NFL and the players' union to come to an agreement on a new CBA, or at least agree to extend the CBA deadline further. As for Denver, they are looking more and more like a team that's going to draft a defensive lineman with their first pick next month after having released last year's free-agent acquisitions Justin Bannan and Jamal Williams. The two veterans were due a combined $1.5 million in roster bonuses and $7.7 million in salary and in April will turn 32 and 35 years old, respectively. While Bannan's release is something of a surprise, one has to interpret the move as meaning the former CU Buff wasn't to be a starter, and therefore an overpriced backup or rotational player. 

Denver did make another notable roster move yesterday in re-signing Kevin Vickerson to a two-year deal, and it's a reasonable assumption that he'll be moving inside as a younger, cheaper starter or rotational piece. But the absence of Bannan and Williams makes it seem a lot less likely the Broncos will trade down from the second-overall pick in the draft. That is, unless they have someone other than Marcell Dareus or Nick Fairley in mind as an immediate starter out of the draft.


Mason on the Broncos' defensive line moves.

According to Klis, Williams and Bannan were both offered a chance to stay at a much lower salary but refused.

Meanwhile, Justin Bannan said it broke his heart to be leaving Denver, but he's interested in heading back to Baltimore.

Laurence Maroney won't be back in Denver next season; no surprise there.

Daniel Graham thinks he's still got a good three or four years left and isn't considering retirement.

Legwold says the Broncos have interest in Baylor guard Danny Watkins.

Legwold also thinks the Broncos may stand pat at #2, but of course his reasoning is ludicrous - he says that "teams that succeed in the draft long-term rarely trade down in the first round," and his example is Pittsburgh. How about the Patriots? They move down much? How about Baltimore?

Sacco somehow thinks Gary Kubiak is the best QB the Broncos have drafted. I don't see how he compares to Brian Griese or Jay Cutler, but whatever.

AFC West

San Diego signed safety Bob Sanders to a one-year deal, while Eric Weddle thinks he'll be staying with the Chargers but is ready to go if not.

KC tendered CB Brandon Carr, RT Barry Richardson and DE Wallace Gilberry.

Overhyped and overdrafted Raider Robert Gallery says he'll be playing elsewhere next season. While he tried to handle his own departure with class, the Raiders of course have no class, and they reminded Gallery as such...

Kevin Ross is headed to the Chiefs' HOF.

Although he got more than $30 million from the Crypt Keeper to do almost nothing, JaMarcus the Hutt is losing his house to foreclosure.

Speaking of JaMarcus, Adam Rank lists the Raiders' biggest draft busts.


Mike Silver writes that if the 24-hour extension results in a more substantial one of perhaps an extra week or two in negotiating time, then we can expect a settlement in that latter time period. But if not, then look out...

Jason Cole thinks yesterday showed that NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith has the full backing of his players, while Roger Goodell is a mere puppet for the owners.

POTUS says he doesn't want to involve himself in the negotiation.

Richard Sandomir reads into Judge Doty's ruling from Tuesday.

Silver considers what a lockout would mean for us fans.

Bill Rhoden thinks that the joke is on us fans.


Detroit released linebacker Julian Peterson.

OJ Atogwe signed a five-year deal with Washington; Matt Bowen says it's a great move for the Skins.

Owen Daniels, Derrick Ward and Shaun Cody got new deals from the Texans.

Miami re-signed Richie Incognito, while Cleveland re-upped with D'Qwell Jackson and Seneca Wallace.

Marcedes Lewis signed his franchise tender in Jacksonville, while BMarsh's BFF Mike Sims-Walker will not be back with the team.

Jeremy Shockey is headed to Carolina, while Pierre Thomas re-signed with the Saints.

Julius Peppers restructured his deal with the Bears, while Tommie Harris bade Chicago adieu with a heartfelt newspaper ad.

Green Bay will reportedly look to trade LB Nick Barnett.

Walter Football recaps and analyzes the offseason's free-agent signings to date.

In case you don't know that Shawne Merriman is a gigantic loser, you will after reading this.

Bill Barnwell covers the NFC East for FO's offseason series.

Bill Simmons is starting his own website, although not free from the clutches of the Worldwide Leader.


Now that Combine is over, Greg Gabriel shares a primer on pro days.

Bunting says the Combine didnt improve his outlook on this year's safety prospects.

Pompei checks in on the Pouncey twins.

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

The Lard