Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

Updating data on Broncos’ new contracts

Bowlen for dollars: How the Broncos are spending in NFL free agency
blogs.denverpost.com

Remember that $40 million in salary cap space the Broncos had entering the 2012 offseason? They figured out how to spend it. In the past 10 days, Broncos owner Pat Bowlen has invested nearly $140 million in nine players.

As for new info, the total value of Jacob Tamme's deal is $8M rather than $9M, while the terms for the contracts of Adams, Woodyard, Caldwell, and Hanie were not previously released, to our knowledge.

PK: Fox’s recruiting skills, Elway’s sympathy helped land Manning

Peyton Manning's Long Game The behind-the-scenes story of how the most prized free agent in NFL history hit the recruiting trail—and how he ended up a Denver Bronco
sportsillustrated.cnn.com

Broncos staff came to watch Friday’s 55-pass workout. How did he look? “With Peyton, his release time is important, and that’s right on target now,” said Cutcliffe. “His velocity is right on. His arm slot is right on. His accuracy’s amazing. Obviously I’m close to him, but I’ve watched him throw for almost 20 years now, and I’m really excited about what I think is going to happen. He’s going to be great when he needs to be great.”

Obviously it's a must-read, but it's not long on new information, save that Manning met with Mike and Kyle Shanahan while he was in Denver, after Washington's trade up to the second-overall draft spot had apparently taken Peyton aback.

Tamme: Manning puts everyone on the same page

Jacob Tamme Admits that the Presence of Peyton Manning Helped Draw him to Denver
sportsradiointerviews.com

There’s a lot of things special about Peyton. It’s a long list, but he’s a tremendous leader, he’s a great teammate. He sees things on the field that other people don’t see, and that’s what makes it a lot of fun to play with him. When you’re on the field as a group offensively, everyone’s on the same page and everyone knows — you rep it to the point in practice where you know what he’s thinking and he knows what you’re thinking and I think that guys will have a lot of fun playing that way. So he brings a lot to the table. You could just keep going on and on but he’s one of the best ever.

Manning practiced with Walton, Decker, Julius Thomas today

Peyton Manning throwing in practice session Monday near Denver
blogs.denverpost.com

Manning practiced Monday at a Denver suburban-area high school in a non-team sanctioned throwing session.

Here they are, the first photos of Peyton Manning working out in Denver Broncos gear. Still surreal, right? According to Lindsay Jones, Manning worked out with J.D. Walton, Eric Decker, and Julius Thomas; Decker told LJ his injured knee is healing well, and he'll be ready for OTAs.

As Decker told LJ,

Just some drill work, talking through stuff, so he gets familiar with the verbage and the calls. The biggest thing is he wanted to get a feel for us, and a feel for being under center. He looked real good, though he probably won't admit that he's feeling good or feeling back to the way he wants to be.

Of course, CBA rules (scroll down) prevent these guys from practicing together at Dove Valley and receiving coaching, so expect this to be a daily occurrence.

Klis: Expect five primetime games for Broncos in 2012

Expect Broncos 2012 schedule to load up on primetime games
blogs.denverpost.com

The early word on the Broncos’ schedule: “Our fans should get ready for more night games,” Ellis said. “Home and road.”

A team can have a maximum of six primetime games a season: four scheduled on ESPN’s Monday Night Football or NBC’s Sunday Night Football; one on the NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football and a sixth that can be flexed on NBC’s Sunday Night Football after week 10.

With Peyton Manning the toast of the league, look for the Broncos to have five primetime games on their 2012 schedule when its released. And then look for a “flexible” opponent in the final weeks.

Gonna be lots of late nights in Broncos Land this year. Of course, IAOFM will have you covered.

PK: Tebow had choice, Manning is elephant-like

Bounty saga still dominating league landscape at owners meetings
sportsillustrated.cnn.com

Tebow and his agent, Jimmy Sexton, absolutely had a choice on where the Broncos would trade Tebow, despite Tebow’s statement that only Denver controlled that. The Jags had a better fourth-round pick on the table than the Jets were offering—by seven draft slots. The Jags were offering $500,000 more than the Jets in compensation for the advances paid on his contract. But Denver was willing to deal Tebow to either team. And it was a very difficult choice for the young quarterback, because he is from Jacksonville. But the decision made sense. The Jets wanted him more, and would use him more, ostensibly. It’s simple.

Oh, and PK finds it interestingly interesting that Peyton Manning remembers the names of the coaches with whom he spent SIX+ HOURS EACH over the past few weeks. Yeah, incredible. Guy would clearly put Ken Jennings to shame.

Broncos may add Dixon to QB mix

AFC West notes
espn.go.com

The Broncos are visiting with Pittsburgh reserve quarterback Dennis Dixon. His visit started before Denver signed QB Caleb Hanie. Hanie has the inside track to back up Peyton Manning in Denver, but the Broncos are still interested in signing Dixon to compete with Hanie during training camp.

If Dixon is signed, Denver may still draft a quarterback to develop.

Adding Dixon would make four QBs for Denver, and drafting one would make five. Heck, why not draft two?

Lavelle Hawkins didn’t want to slow dance with Peyton Manning

Hawkins implies adding Manning would have set Titans back
www.nfl.com

“We are good with what we have, so I wasn’t too worried about it,” Hawkins told The Tennessean in a report published Friday. “This year, with all of us coming back and with (quarterbacks) Matt (Hasselbeck) and Jake (Locker), we want to build off the things we did last year. I want to grow with those guys.”

The veteran Hasselbeck and rookie Locker led the Titans to a 9-7 finish last season, when the team fell just shy of making the playoffs. Hasselbeck started every game, throwing for 3,571 yards and 18 touchdowns. Locker played in five games, racking up 542 passing yards and four scores without getting picked off once.

“If Peyton would’ve come, we would have started a lot of things over,” Hawkins said. “Now we can just continue on with what we have.”

There are two kinds of receivers out there:

  1. Those that want to play with Peyton Manning.
  2. Those that lie about wanting to play with Peyton Manning.

The inevitable comparison between Peyton Manning and Joe Montana

Can Manning Top Montana’s Second Act?
blogs.wsj.com

Peyton Manning’s career has a lot in common with Joe Montana’s career through age 35.

The parallels between the two great quarterbacks at this stage of their careers are remarkable. Montana had the big edge in Super Bowls, playing in four and winning them all in his 12 seasons with the 49ers. Manning appeared in two for the Colts, winning one. Manning has the statistical edge, after getting an earlier chance to start and never relinquishing it: He’s started 208 regular-season games to Montana’s 139 through 1990. Manning has completed 64.9% of passes, throwing touchdowns on 5.5% of them and interceptions on 2.7%. Montana’s equivalent numbers at this stage: 63.6%, 5.3% and 2.7%. And, like Montana after his age-34 season, Manning suffered a serious injury that forced him to sit a year and eventually led to his leaving his team for the AFC West. Montana went to the Chiefs after missing 1991 with an elbow injury and backing up Steve Young in 1992. Montana played two seasons in Kansas City before retiring…

Overall, 22 quarterbacks have had a strong season past age 36 in the last 43 years. Warner and Brett Favre were the last two to do it, and Favre and Moon were the only ones to do it past 40. The list is an eclectic one, including nine Hall of Famers and two likely future inductees in Favre and Warner. Steve DeBerg, Craig Morton and Jim Plunkett are among the other 11 on the list.

The main reason to hope for more from Manning than most of his predecessors is that he’s already one of the best QBs in history. What held back others may not apply to him. His career adjusted net yards per attempt is 21% better than league average, higher than all but three of the QBs to have strong years after turning 36: Steve Young, at 22%, and two QBs with whom he’s tied at 21%: Roger Staubach, and Montana.

I love the smell of stats in the morning. 

Hopefully, stats trump neck injuries for the Broncos.

Rovell: Broncos can’t make money off Manning

Peyton Manning may not pay off big as a Denver Bronco
www.usatoday.com

Peyton Manning was negotiating to play in Denver with the Broncos. And while fans of the team undoubtedly celebrated, making money off Manning will be difficult.

Why? Well, start with the fact that Manning’s deal averages $19.2 million a year.

There’s not a lot of inventory to sell because the Denver Broncos are one of those teams that will have fans in the stands no matter how competitive they are. They’ve sold out every game since 1970. Ticket prices around the stadium are locked in for 2012 and suite contracts are locked in for longer. Selling more Broncos jerseys won’t matter. All teams split up merchandise sales equally. National television money is also split equally, so it doesn’t matter how many games they play on the national stage.

That's why they call it revenue sharing--everyone makes money, no matter who is on the roster of the individual teams.

The Broncos didn't bring in Manning with the idea of increasing jersey sales.  It's about winning, as John Elway said.  Unlike some owners, Pat Bowlen's philosophy seems to be that making money comes from winning, not the other way around.