Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

Benoit: Considering Denver’s free-agent options at DT

Four Downs: AFC West
www.footballoutsiders.com

The interior rotation of Justin Bannan, Kevin Vickerson, Mitch Unrein, and Derek Wolfe was sensational at holding ground and drawing double-teams in 2012. But the 34-year-old Bannan is set to become a free agent. So is the more explosive (and wildly underrated) 30-year-old Vickerson. The losses of those players would impact whoever is at middle linebacker.
...
Elway could re-sign all three interior defensive starters and still have a little money left over. Or, he could trust his existing linebacker depth to fill Brooking’s void, lowball Vickerson, say goodbye to Bannan, and try to upgrade by luring a second-tier free agent defensive tackle -– say a Randy Starks, Terrance Knighton, or Alan Branch-type –- to Mile High.

FWIW, Starks just turned 29 in December, graded out at +3.5 over 826 snaps for Miami according to PFF, and drew $3.85M in compensation last season. Knighton saw 666 snaps with the Jaguars, graded out at +4.2, made $1.26M in the final year of his rookie deal, and will turn 27 on Independence Day. Branch recently turned 28, netted a +1.8 grade over 645 snaps with Seattle, and was paid $4.3M.

All three were second- or third-round picks and figure to draw heftier deals than either Bannan or Vickerson.

Are the Broncos in the market for a defensive tackle?

Seahawks, 49ers must improve pass attacks; NFL-wide thoughts
www.nfl.com

7) The Denver Broncos really needs another defensive tackle, and they seem like a team that might be aggressive near the trading deadline, possibly one willing to give away a 2013 draft pick for a player who can solidify the middle of the defense. The potential trade partner would have to be a team out of postseason contention with a free agent-to-be. Would Sedrick Ellis of the New Orleans Saints qualify? Only if the Saints keep losing. How about Glenn Dorsey of the Kansas City Chiefs? Only if the Chiefs are not planning on bringing him back. With the deadline extended this season to the Tuesday after Week 8, these potential scenarios will get interesting.

What to make of Lombardi's comments?  Lombardi is likely speculating on the actual names; it's unlikely the Broncos would allow those details to get out on the street.  But there's probalby a kernel of truth to the idea the Broncos want to get stronger up the middle.  It's not as if the idea would shock anyone.  Even the most casual of fans have been advocating this strategy for the last five drafts.  Selecting Derek Wolfe was just a drop in the bucket.  

Broncos’ subtle move shows they’re getting smarter

Broncos acquire returner Trindon Holliday
blogs.denverpost.com

The Broncos are taking a chance that Trindon Holliday can enhance their return game.  The Houston Texans’ kickoff and punt returner this year until he was waived earlier this week, Holliday was claimed and awarded to the Broncos on Thursday,

They say the definition of stupidity is dating a girl with a Raiders tattoo doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Consider the Broncos suddenly wiser.  This move won't get a lot of attention, but I like it.  In previous years, the Broncos have drafted various types of players and hoped someone would emerge as a return threat.  Trindon's signing (we hope) shows a recognition by the Broncos that the strategy has failed.  

Holliday may not work out, but the Broncos deserve some credit for realizing the value of having a return specialist on the roster.

Broncos sign fourth-round pick Omar Bolden

Bolden First Draft Pick to Sign
blog.denverbroncos.com

The first of the Broncos’ 2012 NFL Draft picks has signed with the team.

Cornerback Omar Bolden, drafted in the fourth round, put pen to paper on Thursday.

Selected at pick No. 101 overall, Bolden amassed 138 total tackles, five tackles for loss, 21 pass breakups and seven interceptions in his career at Arizona State.

One down, six to go.

Tebow trade on ice yet again

Report: Tim Tebow Trade To New York Jets Is Off Until Saturday
www.rantsports.com

You probably are not going to believe me, but the Tim Tebow trade to the New York Jets is off again.  However, it should be completed on Saturday.  Due to some complicated language in his contract, Tebow must remain on the Denver Broncos salary cap for 24 hours and then he will be traded on Saturday, once he agrees to a brand new contract.

The Jets have postponed their press conference until Monday.  This trade is perfect for Tebow, in the sense that it is spiraling out of control.  It has taken on a life of its own and it seems to be self-sustaining.  Just like Tebowmania has been.

I doubt that the deal is cancelled, but the suspense is still building.  Every day that the deal is not done gives it a chance to unravel.  It would be a first, but I don’t believe that it would exactly shock everyone.  I know that I am expecting anything and everything to happen with this trade.

We assume this gets done, but you never never know.

Tebow/Elway engaged in he said/he said over trade choice/non-choice

Elway said Broncos gave Tebow a choice
blogs.denverpost.com

Elway, in an interview Thurdsay on 102.3 ESPN radio in Denver, said Jacksonville’s offer was actually worth slightly more than the offer from the Jets. Jacksonville’s draft slot is 10 places higher than the Jets in each round.

“There was more from Jacksonville, but I think that we looked at it and it was close enough, and we were in contact with Tim throughout the day, and talked to him,” Elway said. “He knew what was going on the whole time. The reports that he was not involved are not accurate.”

Tebow, in a conference call with New York reporters late Wednesday night, said the Broncos held “all the power.”

Clearly, Tim doesn't want any of his fellow Floridians thinking he chose the bright lights of New York over a chance to head home, right?