Peyton Manning Q&A: Broncos QB details long road back, ambitions
Q: You think you will play until you are 40?
Manning: “I really don’t know. I take it one year at a time. My contract is really four one-year deals. I wanted to be fair to the Broncos. I don’t feel like I’ve put them in any type of a bind and I could go out there and play freely. If I can still go out there and perform and be effective, and still enjoy doing it, I will do it. I would like to think I will be a guy who knows when it’s time to stop. I don’t want to be a guy who hung on and hung on. I do not have a goal in mind of a year or a statistic. People might think I am lying, staying to break this. The most important thing is whether I can still play.
Manning's age 40 season is 2016; the final year of his contract with the Broncos. This is a must-read from Pete Prisco and Manning, who says he's throwing the ball "signficantly better" than he did a year ago, and he blames his own limited preseason road action for the disastrous start to Denver's Week 2 loss at Atlanta.
Chiefs add two defensive backs, release two others
The club signed unrestricted free-agent safety Quintin Demps, who spent three seasons at Houston and two with Philadelphia, where he played for Chiefs coach Andy Reid. Demps has three career interceptions, one sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 48 NFL games.
Demps returned 52 kicks as a rookie under Reid, including one for a touchdown. Last year, in 354 snaps over 12 games, he graded out at minus-2.1 overall according to PFF, with 20 tackles, three assists, three missed tackles, and four stops.
During Houston's Week 3 win at Denver, Demps saw 53 snaps and tallied six tackles, one assist, and one stop.
Urlacher retiring from NFL
“After spending a lot of time this spring thinking about my NFL future, I have made a decision to retire,” Urlacher said in a statement he posted on Twitter. “Although I could continue playing, I’m not sure I would bring a level of performance or passion that’s up to my standards. When considering this along with the fact I could retire after a 13-year career wearing only one jersey for such a storied franchise, my decision became pretty clear.”
Denver ended up trading down from the #10 pick prior to the 2000 Draft, and the athletic freak went at #9 to Chicago, much to the disappointment of Broncos fans everywhere. Baltimore took WR Travis Taylor with Denver's old pick (oops), while the Broncos took Deltha O'Neal with Baltimore's (oops).
Chargers land LT Max Starks
The Chargers waived Kevin Haslam, a three-game starter at left tackle in 2012. On the same day, free agent Max Starks donned a Chargers avatar on his verified Twitter account and announced he was joining the team.
With Pittsburgh, Starks faced Denver (with Elvis Dumervil) in back-to-back games - the 2011 WC game, and the 2012 opener, and PFF has Starks down for having allowed one sack, three hits, six hurries, and a cumulative grade of minus-6.9. In other words, just the kind of guy the Broncos want to see twice a year.
Meanwhile, the Chargers are reportedly holding out hope that Melvin Ingram can recover quickly enough from his ACL tear to have an impact on the 2013 season.
Nate Irving to get "first crack" at Broncos' spot at middle linebacker
The Broncos defense improved dramatically each of the past two years in large part because strongside linebacker Von Miller performed at a near superstar level.
In next week's DP mailbag, Mike Klis explains which NFL players are superstars, given that Von Miller is apparently not among them.
The largest signing bonus issued to an undrafted rookie this year belongs to UNLV linebacker John Lotulelei, who received $25,000 to sign with the Seattle Seahawks. Boston College offensive tackle Emmett Cleary received $20,000 to sign with the Indianapolis Colts, while Florida linebacker Lerentee McCray was third on the list with a $17,500 signing bonus from the Denver Broncos.
Granted, that's still peanuts in the NFL, and won't factor into whether Lerentee makes Denver's 53-man roster. If nothing else, it's an indication that the Broncos weren't alone in liking McCray's prospects, and that he heard good enough things from the Denver front office about his chances of making the squad.
NFL owners voted Tuesday at the NFL Spring Meeting to award Super Bowl L in 2016 to San Francisco. The game will be played in the 49ers’ new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California…
A vote was then taken by the owners on whether to award Super Bowl LI to Houston or South Florida. Reliant Stadium, which hosted XXXVIII between the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers in 2004, won the bid for the 2017 game.
To be clear, these are the Super Bowls that follow the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Will one of them be the site of an Elway-like ride into the sunset for one Peyton Manning?
Denver, of course, is bidding to host one of the three Super Bowls that follow the one in Houston.
Power Rankings: Loaded Broncos are the favorites, like it or not
The only concern moving forward is the other pass rusher opposite Von Miller. Can Shaun Phillips, Robert Ayers and others replace Elvis Dumervil?
It's nice to see someone describe the task of replacing Elvis as more than just Ayers's responsibility.
Secret Superstar: Rahim Moore
A year after spending some Sundays as a healthy scratch, Moore played more snaps in 2012 than any other Broncos defender. Often lining up deep as Denver’s last line of defense, Moore allowed just 0.46 Yards Per Coverage Snap and surrendered a first down or touchdown on only 1.64% of his snaps. At the same time, he frequently showed the speed and instincts to provide support against backfield screens. And when he got to the point of attack, he sealed the deal.
After amassing 11 missed tackles in 43 attempts in 2011 (including the playoffs), Moore had just eight in 96 attempts in 2012. Amazingly, he’d transformed himself from one of the worst-tackling safeties in the league into one of the best. And with a +9.0 grade in the regular season that tied for the 10th-highest of any safety, he was one of the more promising young defenders in the league. This would have been the lasting image of Moore heading into the upcoming season, except for the outcome of one play.
We're obviously not done hearing about that play, and frankly, it will continiue to be a sore spot no matter how many SB titles potentially follow it (Michael Dean Perry, you're still not off the hook). But Rahim Moore is just 23 years old, and there's no reason to think he can't live up to his pre-draft billing, if he hasn't already.
OTAs Day One Practice Takeaways
In terms of personnel, the offensive line isn’t yet up to speed. Chris Kuper and J.D. Walton were among the players who were outside, but not practicing. Neither are expected back before training camp, but Walton’s presence with the offensive line group during drills was a positive sight.
Safety Quinton Carter and rookie defensive end Quanterus Smith were also on hand, but limited to watching and working out. Carter, who is recovering from microfracture surgery, ran laps around an adjacent practice field.
That is, if Kuper is still around, and as we've noted countless times, we're not expecting him to be, given his $4.5M salary for 2013.
Also from Mason's excellent post is the disconcerting note that Trindon Holliday still hasn't kicked his fumbling problem. Is that why Wes Welker was fielding punts during his first Broncos practice? Is he the new Jim Leonhard?