Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Teams have until 4pm ET on Monday to apply their franchise or transition tags to pending unrestricted free agents like Demaryius Thomas.
Dez Bryant, Thomas's fellow 2011 first-rounder, is also likely to be tagged, as the Cowboys have been hesitant to give their star wideout a chunk of guaranteed money. This reluctance has apparently stemmed from his off-field issues, and there's one incident that's caused quite a stir this week.
It's apparently long been rumored within NFL circles that Bryant was involved in a disturbance at a Walmart parking lot in 2011. Local police found no cause to make any arrests, but there are rumors of a video of the incident.
Free agent tight end/fullback James Casey visited Dove Valley on Thursday but left without a contract, according to Mike Klis. Casey spent his first four NFL seasons with Houston under Gary Kubiak, but was released a week ago by the Eagles, who would have owed him a $4M salary.
Already scheduled to visit with Tennessee, Arizona, and Cleveland, Casey added stops in Washington, Cincy, and Jacksonville to his free agency tour.
Judge David Doty has sided with the NFLPA in its lawsuit on behalf of Adrian Peterson, and the Vikings running back may soon be reinstated. However, the NFL has placed Peterson back on the Commissioner's Exempt List and will appeal the decision. Earlier in the day, it was reported that Peterson had been reinstated, but that is not the case.
These players are all able to sign with any team and get a jump on free agency, which begins at 4pm ET on Tuesday, March 10.
The Broncos and Peyton Manning's agent are working on a restructure of the quarterback's contract, according to Mike Klis. The two sides reportedly hope to have an agreement on a revised deal by sometime next week.
Manning is due to draw a $19M salary and count for $21.5M against the salary cap in each of the next two seasons. For reasons explained here by Joel Corry and Jason Fitzgerald, it's highly unlikely that Peyton would agree to a net pay cut, as he holds all of the leverage in this situation.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Tight end/fullback James Casey, who will visit with the Broncos on Thursday, is booking up his free agency tour.
Already scheduled to meet with Arizona, Casey will reportedly also visit Cleveland, and will meet sometime with Tennessee. Because the 30-year old was released by Philadelphia, he is free to sign at anytime, and does not have to wait for the NFL calendar to flip in a couple of weeks.
Although he was likely overpaid at $4M, this widespread interest suggests he won't necessarily need to reduce himself to a bargain basement salary.
According to a pair of reports, the Broncos may have to deal with multidimensional threats Randall Cobb and Percy Harvin on a regular basis. Bill Williamson says the Raiders are expected to pursue Cobb if Green Bay opts not to use its franchise tag on him. Cobb, who turns 25 in August, posted new career highs with 91 catches, 1,287 yards, and 12 touchdowns in 2014.
According to the DP and Atlanta JC, the Jaguars and Falcons are expected to be among the suitors for pending free agent Julius Thomas.
Also at the DP, Troy Renck presents some excellent thoughts about how Broncos Country continues to bury their soon-to-be-former unique threat:
Julius Thomas makes an easy villain.
Pop Quiz: How bad of a blocker is Julius Thomas?
Ask a Broncos fan these days, and it seems those are the only three options. There's no room for nuance. It doesn't matter whether he improved from 2013 to 2014, and apparently, it doesn't actually matter how well other receiving tight ends fare in blocking. Everyone's suddenly an expert on tight end blocking skills, and JULIUS THOMAS IS THE WORSTEST.
Predictably, the Broncos will meet with free agent fullback/tight end James Casey (6-3, 240) on Thursday, according to Mike Klis. A native of Texas, spent his first four NFL seasons playing for Gary Kubiak in Houston, was released by the Eagles last week.
Casey could fill multiple needs for the Broncos, who currently have no fullback and only one tight end under contract, in Dominique Jones.