The Daily Lard 4-17-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Denver's offseason workout program began yesterday, and Peyton Manning, Champ Bailey, Eric Decker, and Von Miller (all videos) all met with the press afterward.

Manning says he's still basically living at Dove Valley, although that's probably something of an exaggeration. Judging by his secretive nature, he probably already bought a house in the area. Of course, the practice nut seems very excited to have started the official, albeit voluntary, portion of the offseason.

Meanwhile, Miller says his injured thumb is still only at 85%, while Decker's knee is free of pain. The third-year wideout says he is already familiar with the "new-age" techniques utilized by strength coach Luke Richesson from having worked out at API the past couple years.

Broncos

Andrew Mason, Mike Klis, and Stuart Zaas on the re-signing of Brandon Stokley to a non-guaranteed one-year contract.

Mason expects that if Brian Dawkins were to retire, Quinton Carter would end up at strong safety next to Mike Adams. Additionally, Mason goes over the new offseason schedule as determined by the new CBA.

Jeff Legwold thinks the Broncos are more likely to trade down from #25 than up, and he claims they're again looking to add more picks than the seven they currently have. He also writes that BSU RB Doug Martin is a possibility at #25 after noting the reluctance of teams to use first-rounders on running backs these days. As usual, Legwold says John Fox is all about bigger backs after spending months last year writing about how 5-9 DeAngelo Williams was going to make the Denver backfield bigger and more in the mold Fox likes.

Here's a handy reminder from Mason that we shouldn't get too excited when we hear the annual breathless reports of how great some receiver looks in OTAs and camp.

Lonie Paxton, who missed Denver's playoff game at New England to be with his then-pregnant wife, visited with CBS4 and says his new family is doing well.

Via Pat Yasinskas, Bill Williamson notes that Denver has the lowest percentage in the league in retaining players they've drafted since 2008.

Like the rest of us, Mike Rice is no longer certain the Broncos will take a DT in the first round, and he doesn't figure they'll draft a wideout.

Mason submits his requests for Denver's 2012 schedule and shows himself to be the rare Atlanta Braves fan who acknowledges rooting for them before they're actually in the playoffs.

Trimmings

The regular season schedule will be announced tonight at 7pm ET on NFLN; Matt Bowen tells us how players utilize it in their offseason regimens.

A new concussion lawsuit filed by ex-players cites the Saints' bounty system; LB Jonathan Vilma is being told to expect a suspension of two to eight games; S Roman Harper and DE Will Smith are also central figures in the investigation.

Oakland re-signed S Matt Giordano and announced their preseason slate; unfortunately, Reggie McKenzie is going all out to turn the Raiders into a functional NFL organization, changing personnel and updating archaic technology.

Pittsburgh retained QB Charlie Batch; the Jets signed DE Jay Richardson and S DeAngeolo Smith; 

Texans QB Matt Schaub recently had some hardware removed from his surgically repaired foot, and he expects to be ready for camp; Cards QB Kevin Kolb says the effects of the concussion that cost him the last three games of the season lingered for another three weeks beyond that.

The bid to fund a new stadium for the Vikings suffered a major setback yesterday.

Jury selection for the sex trial of former friend Nate Webster started yesterday, with Ray Lewis subpoenaed as a defense witness.

Ex-Rams center and six-time Pro Bowler Rich Saul passed away at 64 after a battle with leukemia.

Mockery

In yesterday's MMQB, Peter King says the Eagles aren't really that interested in Ryan Tannehill, and he thinks the Chiefs would auction off the #11 pick were he to fall to them. He thinks he thinks that a Rams selection of Trent Richardson would result in a cut or trade of Steven Jackson (whom PK knows as Steve), that Dontari Poe will go pretty high, and that Demaryius Thomas should be more gracious when discussing Tim Tebow. Christmas Ape translates.

Mike Lombardi goes over some of Bill Walsh's draft-related pet peeves and basically provides a primer on everything wrong with Legwold's recent analysis.

Mike Tanier and Doug Farrar scout Illini LB Whitney Mercilus, Memphis DT Dontari Poe, Huskers CB Alfonzo Dennard, and Trojans DE Nick Perry; Russ Lande evaluates A&M QB Ryan Tannehill; Greg Gabriel focuses on Michigan WR Junior Hemingway.

Matt Waldman evaluates ND WR Michael Floyd. He also scouts Spartans QB Kirk Cousins and sees a prospect hyped on winning, leadership, and intangibles, but hampered by a lack of physical skills. Does that remind you of anyone? Finally, Waldman says NFL teams don't generally appear to be very confident about their own evaluations of WR prospects.

Wes Bunting lists some players he could see being surprise late first-round picks.

Khaled Elsayed reviews the 08-10 drafts of the Bengals and Falcons.

Joe Fortenbaugh examines some draft-related prop bets.

Here's what Chris Brown has been reading about the draft of late.

Scrapple

Octodad (He actually has 10 now, but Decadad just doensn't have a ring to it) has reportedly nixed the idea of a reality show about his spawn.

Alex Marvez grades the AFC and NFC teams for their free agent acquisitions, with Denver leading the way. Jason Cole also calls Denver the winners thus far in his review of the offseason's hanging issues.

Bill Barnwell has a bunch of nutty ideas for replacing kickoffs and onside kicks.

Christmas Ape nabbed a copy of that continuing ed exam for fans ejected from NFL stadiums.

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

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