Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

Chargers place Freeney, Floyd on IR, sign Hawkins

Chargers to sign Lavelle Hawkins
www.utsandiego.com

Former Titan Lavelle Hawkins signed with the team Tuesday. Malcom Floyd (neck) was placed on season-ending injured reserve in a corresponding move.
...
Last week, the Chargers worked out wide receivers Austin Collie, David Nelson, Derek Hagan, Matthew Willis and Hawkins.

As expected, San Diego also placed Dwight Freeney on season-ending IR with a torn quad tendon.

A four-game suspension for Von Miller would apparently be a reduction

Six-game ban likely for Von Miller
espn.go.com

Von Miller is facing a six-game suspension for violation of the league’s substance policy, according to league sources, but the sides still are negotiating as representatives of the Denver Broncos linebacker are trying to get the ban reduced to four games.
...
Miller met last Thursday with the NFL Players Association with some hope he could have the suspension reduced to four games, sources said, but another source familiar with the process was convinced it will be at least a six-game suspension.

Sheesh. Denver's first six games are, in order, versus Baltimore, at the Giants, versus Oakland and Philadelphia, at Dallas, and versus Jacksonville.

Wolfe, Welker, Bailey likely done for preseason

Broncos expect Wolfe, Welker for opener
espn.go.com

The MRI showed no major tears, but Bailey was dealing with plenty of soreness in the arch of his foot and the exact timetable for a return to practice was still uncertain. The Broncos are hopeful they see progress in him over the next three weeks so he will be available for the Sept. 5 regular-season opener against the Ravens.

Wolfe, after tests in a Seattle hospital Saturday night, was allowed to return to Denver on the team’s chartered flight. He is expected, at this point, to be available for the season opener against Baltimore.
...
Welker was treated for a sprained ankle and is expected to be available for the Ravens game as well if all goes well.
...
Broncos guard Louis Vasquez was also in for treatment on his left knee, but could be available to practice this week if all goes well.

No injuries are good injuries, but if the Broncos are able to make it through the preseason without losing anyone else for the year beyond Dan Koppen, it will have been a good preseason.

Saturday not an option; Ramirez working as starting center

Jeff Saturday not expect to leave retirement
profootballtalk.nbcsports.com

According to Saturday’s ESPN co-worker Ed Werder, the longtime Colts center isn’t interested in making a comeback, and has already dropped to the 230-240-pound range since retiring.

Manny Ramirez continues to work as the first-team center following the season- and possibly career-ending injury to Dan Koppen. C.J. Davis is back practicing as a center today after having injured his ankle over the weekend.

According to Lindsay Jones, following Ramirez and Davis on the team's center depth chart are Philip Blake and Quentin Saulsberry.

Wharton $kips Denver visit

Fox: Business as usual with Miller
espn.go.com

Offensive lineman Travelle Wharton has cancelled his visit to Denver. I get the sense he is looking for more than what Denver is offering. He will sit and wait. Denver could always revisit.

I get the sense...classic Bill Will.

Report: Broncos offer Clady $52.5M over five years

Broncos up offer to Ryan Clady
espn.go.com

A $500,000 a year increase in an offer by the Denver Broncos could lead to a five-year contract for left tackle Ryan Clady, a source said.

Since last year, the Broncos have been offering Clady a five-year, $50 million contract. By increasing the offer to $52.5 million and showing a willingness to guarantee significantly more than 50 percent of the contract, the Broncos have Clady thinking about accepting the offer.

If these are indeed the numbers, then it's a reasonable deal for both sides, and not far off from what we'd suggested back in February.

Report: Broncos inch closer to deal with Clady

Ryan Clady, Broncos getting close on new contract, sources confirm
www.denverpost.com

There has been progress in contract negotiations between Ryan Clady and the Broncos, according to two NFL sources close to each party…A potential breakthrough in negotiations came when there appeared to be agreement on the guaranteed portion of the contract, the sources said. The sides are still haggling over dollars in annual and total value.

Translation: There's agreement on the only part of the contract that truly matters, so it would be a significant upset were this not to get done. For those new to NFL contracts, it's always, all about the guaranteed money.

Recall that Vic Lombardi reported the guaranteed portion would cover the first three years of Clady's deal. What that means is essentially, the Broncos will hold one-year options on each season beyond the third. If it's a five-year contract in name, then in function, it's a three-year deal, with the Broncos holding two one-year options after that.

Chiefs sign former Texans safety Demps

Chiefs add two defensive backs, release two others
www.kansascity.com

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.

Chargers add Starks, haven’t yet ruled out Ingram

Chargers land LT Max Starks
www.utsandiego.com

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.

Broncos gave McCray third-largest bonus of all 2013 UDFA’s

Patriots, Cowboys and Rams spent the most guaranteed money on undrafted rookie free agents
sports.yahoo.com

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.