Good Morning, Broncos fans! Although they were prepared to spend as much as two days ironing out their differences, the NFL's owners spent only five hours yesterday discussing the general framework of the next CBA. Having reached what Jeff Pash characterized as a "consensus within the ownership," the negotiations between the players and the league will reconvene today in a Boston suburb. And while Albert Breer writes that yesterday's meeting was more about general concepts than specific details, and both parties are maintaining the "there's a long way to go" mantra, the brevity of the powwow points to real progress being made.
Meanwhile, Jason Cole reports that the new league year could begin as soon as July 15, with veteran free agency and rookie OTAs first on the docket. Beyond agreeing to a new deal, Cole writes that the two sides would then need to settle the class-action suits filed in concert by active and retired players, followed by recertification of the NFLPA, and finally ratification of the CBA by ownership.
Gray Caldwell shares more of his conversation with LB coach Richard Smith, who expects a healthy competition for the starting Mike job between Joe Mays and Nate Irving, and thinks D.J. Williams will be better utilized in the Broncos' 2011 defensive scheme than in prior years.
Bucky Brooks thinks Tiki Barber can still be a useful player, and unfortunately for us he sees the Broncos among the several teams where he'd be a fit.
Matt Bowen believes that if Kyle Orton is still a Bronco once camp begins, he'll win the starting QB job.
Former Denver backup QB Jarious Jackson has re-signed with the BC Lions of the CFL.
Here's a podcast of Tim Tebow speaking with Scott Van Pelt on ESPN Radio.
Don Banks hears that there wasn't nearly enough dissention among the owners to muster up the nine votes necessary to challenge the framework of the deal. However, Banks also writes that the discussions at the meeting were kept as general as possible for the specific purpose of not creating any hearty disagreement, so once more details emerge there's potential for more conflict.
In fact, Clark Judge claims that yesterday's meeting didn't even go as far as divulging the same details made public yesterday, although it's hard to believe the NFL is putting the 52/48 revenue split out there for our consumption with even the slightest chance the owners would reject it.
Farrar goes over the most notable facets of the new CBA as detailed yesterday, including the scheduling of 16 Thursday night games.
Mike Freeman is glad the idea of an 18-game season is dead for now (me, too).
The Browns may have interest in Terrelle Pryor, while the Dolphins apparently don't.
Farrar on the best players who had been tendered but would be unrestricted free agents under the new CBA, including possible Denver targets DT Brandon Mebane and RB DeAngelo Williams.
Speaking of Mebane, Khaled Elsayed takes a look at pass-rush productivity of interior linemen and finds that Mebane ranks 18th over the past three years while fellow FA Cullen Jenkins tops the list, and apparently Trevor Pryce has still got it.
As we hopefully get closer to a new CBA, FO's Brian McIntyre examines the speed at which teams tend to sign their draftees, and unfortunately the Broncos have been among the slowest over the past five years.
In Luis DeLoureiro's first-ever Monday Morning Waterboy column, he focuses on what to expect out of Kevin Kolb and Matthew Stafford.
Greg Gabriel has his eye on a few second-year players he could see having impactful 2011 seasons.
Andy Benoit lists his top 10 inside backers and says nobody's close to Patrick Willis.
PFW's picks for NFCE breakout players in 2011.
Starting a week from tomorrow, two CFL games per week will air on NFLN.
Plus, there's an hourlong special dropping tomorrow which features Terrelle Pryor and Chuckie Gruden. Umm, thanks but no.
Comedy Central has canceled its two sports shows.
This should be fun to revisit someday: LSU coach Les Miles says he's never heard of his players receiving improper benefits.
Remember the wacky cat girl (probably fake) eHarmony video? Here's an appropriate cheeseburger-loving response.