Good Morning, Broncos fans! Expectations remain that the NFLPA's executive committee and 32 player reps will vote to approve the CBA, although a pair of emails from Drew Brees to his Saints teammates details a shorter and more chaotic timeline than was reported yesterday. According to Brees, free agency may begin on Tuesday at noon for all parties - meaning no exclusive negotiating period for teams to retain their own UFAs, and with both veterans and undrafted rookies able to sign contracts at that point. Brees also wrote that some teams may aim to open training camps by Thursday, with players reporting the day before to check in and possibly receive their physicals.
According to Jay Glazer, the plan is for 10 teams to open camp on Thursday, another 10 to do so on Friday, and the remaining 12 teams commencing on Saturday. No word on where the Broncos fit within that schedule. Meanwhile, Mike Freeman says the executive committee will vote at 9am ET, the player reps at 11am ET, and De Smith would hold a presser at 2pm ET, possibly with the Commish there as well. Freeman also says that players may be able to enter team facilities voluntarily as soon as the agreement is ratified.
NFL.com says the timeline for free agency is a bit murky still at this point.
Judy Battista writes that the players' side again made a last-minute request for the insertion of an opt-out clause into the CBA, although it's reportedly again not a deal-breaker.
In his MMQB, Peter King says there may very well be an opt-out clause in the final agreement, and the possibility of 18-game seasons starting in 2013. PK says that the ability to sign restricted free agents (Matt Prater, Wesley Woodyard) may go into August, and that coaches and GMs are already complaining that the lighter practice rules will lower the quality of the game. Plus, he thinks Nnamdi Asomugha would be a Jet given his first choice.
Andrew Brandt shares his latest thoughts on the agreement and says the first order of business for teams is to get rid of so-called "dead weight" from their rosters and salary caps.
Clark Judge summarizes the lockout, including what the players and owners gained and lost, the winners and losers, and the key turning points.
Mike Tanier on the effect of the lockout on the undrafted rookies who have been left hanging.
Dave Krieger had a sitdown last week with OC Mike McCoy, who says the offense from last year will "stay intact" and that "new concepts" and "wrinkles" will be added, but that the terminology will remain the same. McCoy says he will call plays from the sideline, with Adam Gase, Clancy Barone and QC assistant Brian Callahan all up in the coaches' box.
Heads (ours, yours) will be spinning. Mike Klis expects the Broncos to make betwen 40 and 50 player transactions in the coming week, although that does include signing draft choices. He's figuring upon up to 15 undrafted rookies, five to seven veteran free agents, and of course plenty of cuts to get the training camp roster to 90. Of course, Klis says the Broncos may trade Kyle Orton, and he thinks Correll Buckhalter, Jabar Gaffney (Rams?) and Renaldo Hill could be dealt away. Interestingly, Klis says the Broncos will re-sign Ryan McBean. Didn't know he was still in the picture...
CBS4 on the relationship between rookie TE Julius Thomas and Brady Quinn, who has welcomed Thomas into his home and helped him learn the offense.
CBS4 profiles former QB Matt Mauck, who just started work at a Denver area dental practice.
According to Alex Marvez, Terrelle Pryor may not even be eligible for the supplemental draft.
Pats LB Tully Banta-Cain had abdominal surgery which will require 4-5 weeks of recovery.
Meanwhile, his backfield mate Matt Forte wants a new deal from the Bears a year before he's to hit free agency.
Mike Lombardi says NFL practices are about to go soft, that strength coaches will have their work cut out for them when the overweight players show up, and that health concerns will affect free agency.
Here are Gene Wojciechowski's biggest questions as the lockout nears its end.
Khaled Elsayed ranks Champ Bailey fourth among the best corners over the past three seasons.
Andy Barall with an appreciation for the recently passed Forrest Blue, who played center for the Niners and Coltsin the 70s.
Among their latest Whispers, PFW figures the Broncos will dump an existing RB (Correll Buckhalter and his $1.9M salary?) once they inevitably sign another one in free agency.
John Clayton lists his top 10 free agents, figuring both DeAngelo Williams and Brandon Mebane to end up somewhere other than Denver.
Elsayed analyzes some possible destinations for Sidney Rice.