Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

Want rid of Peyton Manning? Careful what you wish for…

Former coaches doubt Bears can win with Jay Cutler

At least 10 former Chicago Bears staffers from the Lovie Smith and Marc Trestman regimes said recently they believe the team can’t consistently compete for championships as long as it fields a lineup with Jay Cutler under center…Two teammates, who also asked to remain anonymous for this story, characterized Cutler as a divisive figure with whom they’d rather not continue to play.

Chances are, Brock Osweiler isn't the petulant jerk that Jay Cutler seems to be. But he also might be half the quarterback that Cutler is. There's only one way to find out, but really, what's the rush?

PFT: Justin Houston may threaten holdout until Week 10

Justin Houston situation is about to get very interesting

Per a league source, Houston intends to aggressively pursue an offer sheet from another team, targeting teams that would be giving up a low first-round pick in 2015 and, most likely, a low first-round pick in 2016…Houston, we’re told, is seriously considering staying away from the Chiefs until the Week 10 deadline for signing the franchise tender.

Aggressively pursue an offer sheet? Does that mean Houston is willing to take a much lower salary in exchange for heftier gauarantees?

Obviously, this would seriously harm the Chiefs' chances this offseason, as Houston will occupy $13.169M in cap space, hindering their ability to acquire other players.

OTC: The time might be right to extend Brandon Marshall

Broncos 2015 Salary Cap Outlook

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

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

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'

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

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

“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

“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

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!