Horse Tracks 4/17/09

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DP - Finally, actual football is here! Josh McDaniels and the '09 Broncos commence their first mini-camp today. LJones has the details.

DB - Jim Saccomano reminds us to view the 2009 season within its own context, as coaches, players and schemes have all changed - not just for the Broncos, but for many squads.

DB - Brian Dawkins was honored with the Byron White Award, named after the former NFL player and U.S. Supreme Court Justice for his exceptional contributions via community service.

DP - Dawkins' wife Connie accepted the award on his behalf. Meanwhile, guard Scott Young is apparently retiring. Plus, Adam Schefter is leaving the NFL Network for ESPN sometime this summer (he probably got tired of working with guys like Jamie Dukes and Solomon Wilcots).

IN - Jake Plummer thinks Jay Cutler should have stayed in Denver, agrees with the coaching change, and criticizes Mike Shanahan's style of coaching.

NFL - John Madden announced his retirement from broadcasting; he will be replaced on Sunday Night Football by Cris Collinsworth.

DP - The judge in Travis Henry's drug case accepted his plea deal.

SI - The State of Louisiana is trying to incentivize Saints owner Tom Benson to keep the club in New Orleans.

ESPN - RB Larry Johnson's agent says he will attend the Chefs' mini-camp today.

KCS - Scott Pioli talked about the draft yesterday, naturally not revealing much. Here was Kent Babb's take on Pioli's message (sounds a lot like McDaniels).

SDUT - Dolts DE Jamal Williams will be charged with reckless driving rather than drunken driving for a February incident.

SFC - Tom Cable would love to draft an elite offensive tackle this year.

SFC - David White speculates on the possibility of The Crypt Keeper bringing John Madden back to Oakland to help run the show.

NFL - The Lions signed former Raiders WR Ronald Curry and former Cardinals FB Terrelle Smith to one-year deals.

NFL - The Niners agreed to extend the contracts of LB Parys Haralson four years and K Joe Nedney for two more years.

NFL - The Bungles have agreed to a new contract with LB Brandon Johnson.

NFL - In addition to re-signing QB Charlie Batch, the Stillers released RB Gary Russell.

NFL - WR Anquan Boldin now says "change is necessary" in regards to the prospect of being traded. Reportedly, the Ravens, Giants and Jets are among interested teams.

NFL - Panthers GM Marty Hurney thinks Julius Peppers will remain with the team in '09.

NFP - Whoops, missed this one, folks. Robert Boland is ranking the NFL franchises - last week, he started with the middling teams. This time, he looks at the bumbling franchises, leaving the elite organizations for his next installment. Sorry to ruin the suspense, but of course the Broncos will fall into the final category.

Y! - Jason Cole says the Cutler trade was an exception; it's hard to get equal value for players in pre-draft trades.

NFL - Vic Carucci salutes the career of John Madden.

SI - Peter King honors Madden as well.

FOX - Alex Marvez writes about Madden's legacy.

NYT - K.C. Joyner says Madden and his contributions will be missed.

NFP - Matt Bowen thinks the Iggles should trade for Anquan Boldin.

NFP - Bowen also offers his look across the AFC.

NFP - Andrew Brandt discusses the issue of taxes and NFL players.

FOX - Jeff Legwold looks at front-7 'tweeners who are made for the 3-4.

NFP - Wes Bunting looks at linebackers and defensive backs whose stock is rising.

NFL - Mike Mayock updates his top-5 players by position for the draft.

CBS - Chad Reuter matches up some draft prospects with NFL teams based upon their fit.

NFL - Steve Wyche has Denver selecting Tyson Jackson and Aaron Maybin in his latest mock draft.

CBS - Clark Judge examines the Seahawks' draft needs.

FOX - The Colts are On the Clock.

NYT - Here's a look at the Packers' draft needs and history.

ESPN Insider - Todd McShay has Tyson Jackson and Everette Brown heading to Denver in his latest mock draft.

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