The Daily Lard 7-15-11

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Last night's labor talks, which reportedly included agreements on a rookie wage scale and a 2011 salary cap, wrapped up around 10pm ET and will pick up again this morning at 9am ET. According to Chris Mortensen, the fifth-year option included in rookie contracts for first-rounders would mean for a player drafted in the top 10 (like Von Miller) a salary equal to the average of the top 10 players at his position. For the rest of the first-rounders (picks 11-32) that option would be worth the average of the player salaries ranked 3-25 at their respective positions.

In the case of all first-rounders, a team would be able to exercise that fifth-year option following the player's third season and his salary would then become guaranteed. This latest report doesn't specify what, if anything, changes about the option if it is exercised following the player's fourth year. So under this framework, Von Miller will be under contract through the 2014 season, with the Broncos holding an expensive option to keep him through 2015 - relative to 2009 data, that salary would be around $10 million.


Bucky Brooks is convinced that by looking at John Fox's history with Carolina, the Broncos are going to go with Tim Tebow as their starting QB. Brooks writes that Tebow "has all of the intangibles" and "the moxie to orchestrate a turnaround in Denver" despite having flaws relating to "accuracy and placement" and needing to improve his throwing in the "short-to-intermediate range."

Within Lee Rasizer's look at the Broncos for the Sporting News, an opposing coach or scout says "They’re going to blend two-deep and quarter zones. They’re going to pressure with fire-zone pressure and things they have done in the past quite successfully...He’ll have all different things that will change how you have to attack him...He’s a classy guy, a really sound football coach and he’s going to stick by his guns. By the same token, while he’s going to have a tough football team, he’s realistic in how he approaches his players...They won’t be down for long. John Fox will have them winning. He’ll develop an attitude of toughness." Plus, Rasizer's pick for a potential breakout player among the Broncos is WR Eric Decker.

In his latest Walkthrough, Mike Tanier jams the offseason into a single day and lists his top five Broncos QBs of all time but thinks John Elway is a top 10 QB in terms of NFL history rather than one of the top two or three.

Tebow spoke to NFLN from the Tahoe celebrity golf tourney, and wow does he have a slice. Tebow spoke about his offseason, about competing for the starting job and about Woody's claims about Knowshon Moreno.

Meanwhile, Elway spoke to ESPN from Tahoe about the lockout, hiring John Fox, Tebow's future, and how he'd react to having a teammate mouth off like James Harrison did.

Legwold on how the lockout will affect the Broncos' conditioning.

Gray Caldwell revisits Jeff Rodgers' comments on the kickoff rule changes.

Sacco shares his memories of Lyle Alzado's exhibition boxing match against Muhammad Ali.


Albert Breer writes that both sides are motivated to preserve the preseason schedule in full.

A group of retired players sent a letter to the NFL asking to be included in the labor talks.

Judy Battista says a deal today is a long shot, but that the players and owners are closer to one than ever before.

Mike Freeman writes that the labor talks are just about over and that agreement on rookie pay was a huge moment.

According to Jason Cole, a deal could happen today and the two sides were never that far apart on rookie pay.

Sam Farmer and Matt Bowen tell us not to forget about the plight of undrafted rookies in all this.

Former Packers RB Darrell Thompson has sued the NFL over use of retired players' images in promoting the league.

Mike Lombardi is concerned by the potential issues caused by the lack of communication between players and teams in the lockout.


Michael Irvin spoke on NFLN about his profile in Out magazine and his outlook on gay equality and homosexuality in the NFL.

Meanwhile, Leigh Steinberg thinks sports can be a leader in promoting environmental sustainability.

Former Pats and Colts LB Eric Naposki was found guilty of a 1994 California murder.

The publicist for James Harrison issued an apology for his comments within the Men's Journal interview, although it of course contained plenty of "buts". Doug Farrar offers his reaction, while Jason Whitlock says Harrison isn't the only player who hates the Commish. Finally, Mike Freeman says these Steelers are turning into the league's bad boy team of the day.

Matt Bowen wonders if Randy Moss can be as good as his agent says he still is, and then breaks down some film of him from last year.

Here's a video of the NYT's Bill Rhoden speaking with the great Jim Brown in a Harlem barbershop about the labor talks and his own career.

Ryan Clady didn't make Khaled Elsayed's ranking of the top OTs in the league over the past three years, while no Broncos show up in his list of the most productive pass rushers in 2010 or over the past three seasons, relative to pressures.

CHFF finds the Broncos were middle of the pack of teams in terms of YAC in 2010.

Lastly but not not at all least, please join me in wishing our own Ted Bartlett a Happy Birthday! Enjoy it, Ted!

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

The Lard