Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

OTC: The time might be right to extend Brandon Marshall

Broncos 2015 Salary Cap Outlook
overthecap.com

Brandon Marshall should be an exclusive rights player, which means he will be back for pennies on the dollar, so he should be open to a pretty reasonable extension. This might be the time for both sides to make a deal.

I think this is a bit early for a deal with Marshall, since he'll be an RFA a year from now. There's also the matter of finding out how well he operates within Wade Phillips' defense. Denver can get another year out of him at the $585K minimum, tender him at the first- or second-round level a year from now (at roughly $3.5M or $2.5M, respectively), and either work out an extension then, or address it after the 2016 season.

Florio: Broncos could sign Demaryius Thomas and tag Julius Thomas

“Safe bet” Demaryius Thomas will be tagged
profootballtalk.nbcsports.com

While many believe Julius is destined to no longer wear orange (yeah, I said it), quarterback Peyton Manning’s willingness to restructure possibly comes with a specific request to keep both Thomases around for 2015. If that’s the directive, the smarter move could be to work out something with Demaryius Thomas before Monday, and then to use the franchise tag on Julius.

On multiple occasions, Peter King has speculated that Manning would be supremely pissed by a departure by Julius Thomas. Is this why Peyton's restructure is taking so long? FWIW, tagging Julius would cost around $8.33M on a one-year deal.

Raiders and Chargers living together? What’s the world coming to?!

Chargers join with Raiders on L.A. plan
www.utsandiego.com

The Chargers are not waiting around – not for San Diego to help them build a stadium here and not for the St. Louis Rams to build a stadium in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday night that the Chargers and Oakland Raiders are working on a plan to develop a $1.7-billion stadium in Carson.

Your move, Stan Kroenke.

It sounds like the Broncos and Terrance Knighton are far apart on numbers

John Elway on free agents: 'We have to do what's best for Broncos'
www.denverpost.com

But Knighton figures to seek something close to the $7.5 million a year deal Tennessee gave defensive tackle Jurrell Casey last August. The Broncos might like Knighton at something closer to $4 million to $5 million a year.

Knighton has been excellent for the Broncos, but that's while playing only 33 snaps per game (32nd most among defensive tackles), and he doesn't generate much pressure (43rd of 72 tackles), according to PFF. That doesn't justify paying him among the league's best, who stuff the run, rush the passer, and play a lot more than Knighton does.

Kubiak: We didn’t run that many bootlegs in Baltimore last year

Gary Kubiak said Broncos have started building an offense for Peyton Manning
espn.go.com

It’s interesting to me—I’ve been asked over the course of the last month since I’ve been in Denver about the bootleg and those types of things. We had Joe [Flacco] in Baltimore last year and I think we booted maybe 25 times in the season. You do what you players do best. We’re going to run the Denver Broncos offense.

This bootleg Kubes speaks of? It's apparently the Jake Plummer Bootleg.

John Elway says Peyton Manning hasn’t decided about playing in 2015

John Elway knows another Super Bowl can help Peyton Manning's legacy
sports.yahoo.com

“He has not given me a definitive answer of exactly what he wants to do,” Elway said. “But we’re hopeful he will come back…The bottom line is, I don’t like to get into anybody’s contract or discuss anything with contracts,” Elway said. “But I believe he’ll be back and I believe he’ll be our quarterback next year.”

On Wednesday, Elway told the DP, "I know he feels better. We had a good talk."

No pressure, or anything, Matt Paradis

Tough choices loom for Broncos in free agency
www.denverbroncos.com

“I know there are some good young players on the team that they think a lot of, and we’ll see what happens. Like the young center, (Matt) Paradis, I think a lot of him. I visited with him the other day,” Kubiak said. “I remember coming to Denver [in 1995 as offensive coordinator] and there was a guy on the practice squad in Tommy Nalen.

That's Tom Nalen, Ring of Famer, whose HOF case we'd be talking about a lot more if we weren't busy complaining about Terrell Davis's exclusion.

Terrance Knighton is getting antsy

Terrance Knighton wants to stay
espn.go.com

He said he would be willing to take “somewhat of a hometown discount” but that he also wants to feel he is receiving fair market value for his position. He said the interest in him remaining put doesn’t appear to be mutual at this point.

“To be quite honest with you, it’s frustrating and it’s somewhat disrespectful just knowing how important I was to the team and what the defense could’ve been without somebody like me,” he said. “It’s almost like, the longer they wait, the worse it is going to be.”

And yet, Troy Renck terms re-signing Knighton "a priority" for Denver. Obviously, that message hasn't been sent to the player. There's still 3.5 weeks until free agency, so this should be fun!

The character assassination of Julius Thomas has begun

There's Nothing Wrong With Julius Thomas Wanting To Make Money
deadspin.com

“Julius is here to get his money and get out,” one teammate told me last week. “That’s just how some guys are. He didn’t grow up playing this game and it’s just not in his DNA to put it all out there.” When asked if Julius Thomas was soft like some say, he said, ” where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” According to the teammate, Julius Thomas was healthy enough to play multiple times last season but refused to. In one instance Julius Thomas was heard saying, “I’m about 90% – I’m getting close.”

For years, we all read about how intelligent and grounded Julius is, thanks to his wonderfully supportive upbringing. But now that the Broncos aren't going to re-sign him, we're to believe he's a glory boy diva because he doesn't want to cripple himself before he can make something above the league minimum?

Kiszla: Broncos’ leadership sucks, they should keep current leaders

Kiszla: Broncos need to gorge on more Pot Roast, so sign Knighton
www.denverpost.com

What this team lacks is the leadership and character to overcome adversity…But please consider this: If Elway felt the need to stand in front of Denver coaches and players after being routed by the Patriots at New England in early November, it not only speaks to shortcomings of the coaching staff but to the lack of urgency and mental toughness by a roster selected by Elway.

The Broncos lack leadership, because John Elway didn't gather the right mix of players. And yet, it'll be an even bigger mistake if he changes the players. Makes total sense!