Good Morning, Broncos fans! That was quite a busy night, and I won't recap everything here that we already covered a few hours ago - if you missed any of the signings or TJ's late-night UDFA Edition Gut Reactions, just head back to the earlier entries. The biggest news of the morning, if not a surprise, is Mike Klis' report that the Broncos are in fact putting Kyle Orton on the trading block. However, Klis also interestingly writes that if the FO doesn't find an offer to its liking, he thinks Orton will remain the starter in Denver.
Worth repeating here for clarity's sake, Brandon Browning was originally reported as having agreed to terms with the Broncos, but it appears he has ended up with the Rams. Plus, as IAOFM reader Snaggins astutely pointed out, "dead money" from contracts terminated before March 11, 2011 will not count against the salary cap in 2011. I will have more thoughts on this development later on, but this has major implications for the Broncos and puts the release of Justin Bannan in a new perspective.
While I don't yet have anything resembling an exact number, I believe the Broncos have a lot more cap room than Jeff Legwold, John Clayton, or anyone else has been claiming of late. Especially since the roster will likely include 90 players within the next week, with plenty of cuts to be made after that, it appears that Denver will have plenty of cash to dole out. This isn't exactly a surprise, what with the "guaranteed spend" feature of the new CBA - if the players as a group were really to gain from such a change to the cap rules, how could the bonus money paid Justin Bannan in 2010 be allowed to take away from actual spending in 2011? Again, sorry for the tease but I'll have more on this later today or tomorrow, once I get more of the cap figures together.
Here's the NFL schedule for the week according to Steve Wyche - trades and rookie signings can happen today, while teams can officially begin negotiating with free agents today (we know they started earlier).
Also, I would suggest that Josina Anderson's claim that Correll Buckhalter could come back to Denver makes little sense, as he will already cost the Broncos $900K against the cap this year, even though the team saved $1.92M in cash by cutting him. He'd have to come back for the minimum with no guarantee and then edge out a much younger player to land a tiny role with the Broncos. Don't count on it.
According to Mike Klis, the Broncos are interested in DTs Brandon Mebane, Cullen Jenkins, Aubrayo Franklin and Derek Landri; RB possibilities are DeAngelo Williams, Willis McGahee, Jason Snelling, Jerious Norwood, Marion Barber and Michael Bush.
Players under contract will be allowed into the building at Dove Valley today for workouts and to meet with coaches, while all players are required to report tomorrow, and practices will begin on Thursday.
John Fox tells Chris Hall and Broncos TV that his #1 item is to build a relationship with his new charges.
Andrew Mason is thankfully back from hibernation, and he thinks the Broncos must hang onto Brian Dawkins for his leadership.
Kiszla thinks it would make little sense to keep Orton around.
Several Broncos worked out for the last time yesterday with trainer Loren Landow.
Captain Journalism says the Perrish Cox case presents a problem for Denver, but he also lazily and erroneously writes that Wesley Woodyard was present the night of the alleged rape. (Woodyard dated the accuser later on, according to the affidavit.) Meanwhile, Cassius Vaughn says he had nothing to do with the whole thing.
Jason Cole examines the next big stories in the NFL offseason.
Chris Brown reminds us that going for two in the first half of games is usually a stupid move.
A guy who played WR for the Bills last year was charged with DWI after hitting a cop with his car. Whoops.
MJD has a few ideas on how the NFL can make it up to us - you know, since we missed so much.
In PDF form, here's the full list of restricted and unrestricted free agents across the league.
The Ravens are cutting several other vets along with Willis McGahee, including Derrick Mason, Todd Heap, and Kelly Gregg.
Turns out Panthers LB Thomas Davis is not a free agent.
Luis DeLoureiro examines the teams that may need a QB.
Pat Kirwan lists his top 40 undrafted free agents; by my quick glance, none of them signed with Denver.
UGH. Bucky Brooks thinks Philly makes sense for Brett Favre.