The Slot Man prepares to goeth Lard

Good Morning/Afternoon, Broncos fans! Your usual correspondent is back with the Daily Lard, albeit a bit later than normal and even less coherent than is typical.

I tend to try not to use this space for sharing personal news, but in this case, the development in question is bound to have an impact upon the timeliness of the Lard each morning for the near-term future, until I find a new schedule.

Don't worry, faithful readers - IAOFM isn't undergoing any major changes. We're all still here, and intend to keep improving upon what we believe to be the best independent Broncos coverage out there.

The big change is that there's a new Broncos fan in the world, and in the Lee household, and this yet-to-be-named boy is obviously going to have a little more control over my schedule than an OCD control freak like me would prefer.

I know you don't come here everyday because you're doing any of us a favor, or out of the goodness of your heart. Most likely, you probably read the Lard because you can rely upon the fact that it's here daily, mostly around the same time, at least on weekdays. That's not lost upon any of us, least of all me, and we all appreciate your support.

With that in mind, I'll do my absolute best to get this posted early and with regularity again as soon as I'm able, and appreciate your patience as this new little person does his best to interrupt the inner workings of IAOFM.

One anecdote - not sure if this would qualify as being weird, ironic, or whatever other adjective Peter King oversuses. Perhaps it just means my Broncos fandom qualifies as a psychosis.

We've of course been thinking about potential names for this kid for many months, and currently have it narrowed down to two choices. Whether a boy or a girl, we had considered using Von as a middle name - not so much that we were going to name the kid after Von Miller, but more as an inspiration. It would have been a nod to my wife's maternal Dutch heritage, and to my dad, whose first initial is V.

Ultimately, we've decided to use my father's name as the baby's middle name, but the interesting (perhaps only to us) part here is that he was born on Von Miller's birthday, which I hadn't known was approaching until Sunday, when Peyton Manning's birthday inspired me to check the birthdays of the current Broncos roster.

I promise, I won't be using this space for boring baby stories going forward, as I'm well aware that's not what you're here for. So without further delay, let's get to the day's news!

Broncos

Jeff Legwold correctly states that the short structures of Denver's recent contracts show the team is in no way mortgaging the future for success in the nearer term.

Andy Benoit surveys the Denver roster and of course, finds plenty to love. He thinks the transition from Mike McCoy to Adam Gase will be an easy one, and he believes Ryan Clady was by far the league's best left tackle in 2012, and that Von may be the NFL's best all-around defender.

Jeffri Chadiha thinks Elvis Dumervil's decision to leave Denver for Baltimore could be one Elvis ultimately regrets, especially since the structure of the deal suggests he could find himself a free agent again in a year's time. Alex Marvez thinks Denver screwed up big time, but that Elvis is better suited for the role he'll play with the Ravens anyway.

Looking from a statistical/FF perspective, Ross Miles thinks Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie could have a big year opposite Champ Bailey in 2013.

News

With Wes Welker having supplanted him in Denver, Brandon Stokley will visit with the Titans today, as will Texans WR Kevin Walter, Bears G Chris Spencer, and LOLJets WR Chaz Schilens.

San Diego released left tackle Jared Gaither, even though he was no longer burdened with facing Elvis Dumervil twice yearly.

Oakland added T Alex Barron yesterday, will release DT Tommy Kelly today, and may be interested in dealing for Seahawks QB Matt Flynn (Jacksonville and Buffalo are also said to be interested). Today the Raiders are hosting Broncos CB Tracy Porter, who already met with the Saints about a return to New Orleans.

After having already told him to GTFO, Pittsburgh told LB James Harrison to stay out, and they will visit with Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw.

Green Bay opted to pay TE Jermichael Finley a scheduled $3M roster bonus rather than cut him, and they added K Giorgio Tavecchio to compete with the scattershot Mason Crosby.

Cleveland added Bears QB Jason Campbell and CB Kevin Barnes, and hosted Cowboys LB Victor Butler; Dallas is expected to sign Lions LB Justin Durant and Steelers S Will Allen; Giants T David Diehl took a massive pay cut, while fellow lineman Kevin Boothe agreed to a new deal with the team; Chicago retained CB Kelvin Hayden; Philly swapped out P Mat McBriar for former Texan Donnie Jones; Tennessee added Chiefs DT Ropati PitoituaDetroit will host Raiders WR Darrius Heyward-Bey today; QB Vince Young threw at Texas's pro day on Tuesday; Pats KR and Olympic sprinter Jeff Demps hinted that he may be prioritizing track over football.

Draft

Kansas City will host WVU QB Geno Smith and Alabama CB Dee Milliner; Mike Florio thinks the Chiefs are pumping up Smith's value in the hopes of trading the top pick away to someone who wants the QB.

Greg Cosell sees plenty of issues with Smith's pro prospects, with a slowness in pulling the trigger the biggest perceived problem.

Doug Farrar and Gil Brandt discuss Matt Barkley's much anticipated pro day, which will take place today.

Farrar considers the prospects of Michigan QB of the past Denard Robinson, and Notre Dame LB Manti Te'o, while also pondering the impact of Te'o's pro day performance.

Analysis

Among remaining free agents, Andy Benoit thinks Dwight Freeney has more left in the tank than does John Abraham, and he's bewildered that Charles Woodson hasn't landed anywhere yet. As he did with the Broncos, Benoit goes over the Chiefs roster group by group.

Bucky Brooks counts Welker and Dumervil among this offseason's most signficant free agent acquisitions.

Khaled Elsayed throws some salt and lemon juice on what is an old wound for Broncos fans, having Denver take LeSean McCoy and Michael Bennett in redoing the first round of the 2009 Draft.

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

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