Denver Broncos News: Horse Tracks - 3/5/11

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No roster moves for Broncos until March 11 - The Denver Post
Even with no lockout, the Broncos and 31 other NFL teams are in lock- down. The Broncos will not make any roster transactions until at least March 11, the new deadline for league owners and the players union to reach a collective bargaining agreement. The Broncos will neither add, nor release players during the remaining six days of the CBA extension. Their last transaction was the re-signing of defensive lineman Kevin Vickerson to a two-year contract Thursday night, a couple of hours before league business effectively shut down.

Haynesworth not a good fit for Broncos - The Denver Post
there is little question the Redskins would like to be done with Haynesworth. He was signed to a deal worth more than $100 million before Shanahan was hired and has since bristled at Shanahan's authority. Haynesworth was suspended for the final four games of the 2010 season for conduct detrimental to the team. He has a host of ongoing off-the-field issues, including having been charged in a road rage incident, with a March 31 court date, and a report he's being investigated for sexual assault for an incident with a waitress at a restaurant in recent weeks. That is to go with the numerous incidents in his past.

Best Broncos QB Denver Ever Drafted " DenverBroncos.com
Bronco fans are aware that first quarterback and Ring of Famer Frank Tripucka was acquired as a veteran free agent, Steve Tensi was a number one draft choice of the Chargers before Lou Saban acquired him through trade, Jacky Lee was labeled a "can’t miss" prospect with the Oilers before the Broncos traded All-AFL defensive tackle Bud McFadin for him-and then Lee missed badly as an awful quarterback in Denver. In 1974 Denver selected John Hufnagel from Penn State, and while he did make the team as a backup, he went on to great success first as a player and still as a coach in the Canadian Football League, where he continues as a head coach today. Trades and free agency always were a bigger part of what Denver did at the position than the draft.

American Chronicle | Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn., Charley Walters column
Decker, 23, the Broncos' third-round draft pick, said he has been conservative with his football earnings ($405,000 in salary last season) in anticipation of a work stoppage. He doesn't have to find another job yet and in two weeks will head to Phoenix for workouts on his own to be ready if a labor deal is reached. Meanwhile, Decker, who is signed for $490,000 next season, has been working out at his alma mater with former Gophers teammate Adam Weber, who on Tuesday will display his quarterbacking talent for NFL scouts at a pro day at Minnesota's Bierman complex.

LSU's Patrick Peterson an elite prospect - The Denver Post
Sifting through much of went on at the NFL scouting combine, which concluded Tuesday, there is at least one very big conclusion that can be drawn. LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson is simply the safest elite prospect on the board, the guy with the fewest question marks by his name.

Broncos Draft History: Quarterbacks
A look back at the quarterbacks the Broncos have selected in the NFL Draft.

Answering All Questions
In 2010, Tim Tebow stepped to the podium at the NFL Scouting Combine and took question after question about his throwing motion, tendency to run and lack of snaps from under center. For Colin Kaepernick, it's an all-too-familiar situation. Like Tebow, plenty of his production in college came from using his feet along with his arm. And he hopes to follow in the first-round pick's footsteps to the NFL.

Oshikoya Earns Award " DenverBroncos.com
In addition to Head Athletic Trainer Steve "Greek" Antonopulos receiving the Fain-Cain Award, as announced yesterday, Assistant Athletic Trainer Corey Oshikoya (above, right) was named the AFC Tim Davey Assistant Athletic Trainer of the Year by the Pro Football Athletic Trainers Society.

NFL NEWS: GENERAL

Repost: The 1987 strike and what could have been " Pro-football-reference.com blog " Blog Archive
As the NFL owners and players' association negotiate the future of professional football, the 2011 season hangs in the balance. Hopefully we won't need to one day write a post titled "The 2011 lockout and what could have been." But we did for the 1987 season. If you missed them the first time around, here's a link to Part I and Part II.

Cold, Hard Football Facts.com: Labor talks? Boorrrr-ing. Let's talk stats!
You’ll notice a few new indicators on this list. We explain them real quick across the board below. Also, keep in mind that charts on the new product will LOOK MUCH BETTER. They'll be much easier to read and sortable by every indicator. This is just kind of a sneak preview and the final product will not look exactly this way. But just trying to give you an idea, kids.

Labor Negotiations Won't Slow Down Super Bowl Work - NYTimes.com
"We absolutely mean what we've been saying and that is we believe common sense will prevail," 2012 host committee chairman Mark Miles said Friday. "If there is a lockout or any other scenario, we're going to try and block that out and have blinders on because we believe we're going to have a game in 2012." The host committee has no choice because the labor negotiations have become a high-stakes poker game for Indianapolis.

ProFootballWeekly.com - Raiders have glaring holes to fill on O-line
The Raiders have made some hard decisions with several key players headed for free agency this offseason, and it was learned Thursday that OLG Robert Gallery will not be amongst those that are re-signed. Gallery is the team's best offensive lineman, but his asking price was apparently several million dollars higher than Oakland was interested in matching.

ProFootballWeekly.com - Pioli credits past drafts for Chiefs' success
"I think the drafts before our arrival were some pretty good drafts," said Pioli in Indianapolis. "... The cupboard wasn't bare when Todd and I arrived to Kansas City. There were some pretty good football players." The GM was referring to players like ILB Derrick Johnson, a first-rounder in 2005 who had a career year in '10 and was rewarded with a contract extension; OLB Tamba Hali, an '06 first-round pick who had an AFC-leading 14½ sacks last year and earned the franchise tag; WR Dwayne Bowe, who finally lived up to expectations after being taken in Round One in '07; and a bang-up '08 class that included DL Glenn Dorsey, OT Branden Albert, CB Brandon Flowers and RB Jamaal Charles. It was this core group of players from the Carl Peterson era that had a major hand in K.C. improving to 10-6 and winning the AFC West last season.

Did the Chargers get a steal with Bob Sanders? | National Football Post
Play him at SS. The Chargers will align Eric Weddle at the free safety position and this allows Sanders to play as an extra defender near the line of scrimmage—where he provides the most impact. In my notes after his initial release from Indy, I talked about the possibility of aligning the former Colt at free safety, because he does have the range and ball skills to play the deep middle of the field. But as one NFC defensive backs coach told me, you do sacrifice some play making ability when Sanders is removed from the core of the formation. Or, as he put it, "Superman without his cape."

Laurence Maroney won't be back in Denver | National Football Post
The Broncos aren't keeping running back Laurence Maroney around. So, the disappointing former New England Patriots first-round draft pick will be an unrestricted free agent. This isn't surprising for a couple of reasons. One, Maroney was recently arrested in his hometown of St. Louis for allegations of drugs and guns. Two, he only gained 74 yards in four games after being traded to Denver from New England and has been injury-prone. People around the league are whispering loudly that Maroney's career is all but finished.

Let freedom reign | National Football Post
One of the hidden factors in a lockout will be that players are no longer bound by the rules that are stipulated in every NFL contract. That means Vikings defensive end Ray Edwards and Ravens safety Tom Zbikowski can box. In fact, Zbikowski already is on a Vegas card March 12. Edwards says he is planning on making his ring debut in April.

Raiders give high tenders to Zach Miller, Michael Bush | National Football Post
Oakland Raiders tight end Zach Miller and running back Michael Bush were retained with the high restricted free agent tender offers. According to the Oakland Tribune, Miller and Busher were each given the first round and third round tenders. That would pay them at least $3.168 million under last year's RFA figures.

Bears, Jags plan no staff layoffs or furloughs, either | ProFootballTalk
The Jaguars, also via SportsBusiness Daily, plan "to operate business as usual." Also, Larry Mayer of the Bears’ official website reports that team CEO Ted Phillips has informed coaches and staff members that they won’t face layoffs, furloughs, or immediate pay cuts in the event of a lockout.

NFL DRAFT

NFL.com Blogs " Blog Archive Wyche mock draft: Gabbert the top choice "
Steve Wyche was the latest in the mock-draft hot seat, unveiling his top 10 Friday on "NFL Total Access." Going with the status quo, Wyche has the Panthers selecting Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert at No. 1.

ProFootballWeekly.com - Draft Dose: Prospects with things to prove
Peterson has publicly said that he wanted to run the 40-yard dash in the 4.2s. He barely missed his mark at the Combine, posting a 4.34 40-time. An impressive time like that certainly helps his draft stock, but more importantly than that, Peterson needs to prove that he has enough hip flexibility to stay with receivers. Peterson has already drawn comparison to Antonio Cromartie, and some believe his size, at 6-0, 219 pounds, make him a better fit at safety. Peterson needs to prove he doesn't just have straight-line speed and that he can stick at corner.

2011 Combine Risers & Fallers - NFL Draft Preview - Rotoworld.com
We previewed the six-day affair last week, and successfully pinpointed a number of workout wonders like Nevada DE Dontay Moch, Abilene Christian WR Edmund Gates, and Miami CB Demarcus Van Dyke, the latter of whom ran the fastest forty time in Indianapolis. Now, let's have a look at risers and fallers from the 2011 Combine.

NFL.com Blogs " Blog Archive Taylor, Watkins improve stock at Baylor’s pro day "
Baylor’s most prominent draft prospects, DT Phil Taylor and G Danny Watkins, maintained the momentum from their strong NFL Scouting Combine performances with a solid showing Thursday at the school’s pro day. And it’s a good thing, too, because 23 NFL teams were represented among the 33 personnel folks on hand to watch the indoor workout on FieldTurf, including Panthers defensive line coach Eric Washington and Cowboys offensive line coach Hudson Houck. Both gentlemen had to be impressed with what they saw from the two highly-touted prospects.

Bowers schedules private workout for NFL teams - CBSSports.com
Da'Quan Bowers will hold a private workout at Clemson's campus on April 1, 2011, beginning at 9:00 a.m. Da'Quan is eagerly looking forward to his opportunity to work out in front of NFL coaches and decision-makers. Recent reports that Da'Quan's knee has not healed as well as expected are 100% inaccurate. Contrary to those reports, Da'Quan has progressed well ahead of schedule."

Confirmed -- LB Matthews to work out at Pro Day - CBSSports.com
Oregon inside linebacker Casey Matthews "will do all drills except for the bench," at Oregon's Pro Day March 10 his agent, David Dunn, confirmed this morning. Matthews, NFLDraftScout.com's No. 7 rated inside linebacker , injured the shoulder while performing the bench press drill at the scouting combine Feb. 27. The injury kept him from performing linebacker drills the next day.

Sources: Teams fine with Mallett's interviews - CBSSports.com
The Sports Xchange surveyed officials from five teams that met with Mallett at combine, and four said they had no problems with his responses to the drug allegations or with his demeanor. "The guy looked us right in the eyes and didn’t dodge anything at all," said a high-ranking executive from an NFC team that is considering its quarterback options in the 2011 draft. "If we don’t take him, it certainly won’t be a reflection of his time with us (in the interview)."

Was Brooks Reed Combine's Top Performer? - CBSSports.com
Perhaps his most impressive total came in the most important test for defensive linemen (and, some would say, linebackers) in the ten-yard split. Reed was timed at 1.54 seconds over the first ten yards, demonstrating a degree of explosiveness typically reserved for much smaller men. Reed's 1.54 seconds not only was the fastest of all defensive ends (North Carolina's Robert Quinn was second at 1.61), his split was also faster than some of the more highly touted athletes of the Combine, including Nevada OLB Dontay Moch, Tennessee-Chattanooga CB Buster Skine, Kentucky WR Randall Cobb, Georgia WR AJ Green, Troy WR Jerrel Jernigan, and Texas A&M OLB Von Miller.

NFL LOCKOUT

Will Your Team’s Website Survive an NFL Lockout? - Techland - TIME.com
So, what should the web-addicted fan expect? Well, team sites might quickly become hollowed-out husks, offering little more than draft-day countdowns and abandoning all talk of the (thorny) present for looks at the (rosier) future. That's why staffers from many team sites spent the combine banking tasty quotes from potential draft picks — squirrel before winter-style — so that they have something to publish in the next eight weeks.

Furloughs, layoffs wouldn’t hit all NFL cities in a lockout | ProFootballTalk
The fine folks at SportsBusiness Daily identify several teams that plan to not impose layoffs or furloughs in the event of a lockout. The Vikings, per Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, held a meeting with staff after reading about other teams’ plans to reduce staff. The Vikings won’t implement any such measures (a wise move while trying to get a publicly-funded stadium), but they would revisit the situation if the work stoppage lasts into September.

Professional NFL Gamblers Close To Losing Their Income
Gamblers may become the big losers if there is a work stoppage next season. Betting on the NFL is a billion dollar industry, and Las Vegas sports books will lose millions if there is no NFL to bet on. Most NFL gamblers already bet on college football, so it is not as if there is a fallback plan for the sports books. This past season, the league set records in terms of viewing audience, and the sport is at the height of its popularity. Analysts believe that it is the betting that drives the popularity, but the NFL denies that claim.

Moment of judgment - BostonHerald.com
"It’s time for us to dig deep and try to find solutions, try and be creative and try to compromise in a way that will work for everybody," said the league’s executive vice president and chief in-house counsel, Jeff Pash, yesterday after the two sides agreed to a seven-day extension of the deadline for bargaining on a new collective bargaining agreement. "The commissioner has been very clear. If both sides give a little everybody can gain a lot."

Goodell, Smith fight through rough patches - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
Yet statements Friday by Goodell and Smith, as well as conversations with several of their confidants, suggest that the two leaders are absolutely committed to bridging that gap and avoiding a work stoppage. When Goodell said after Friday’s announcement, "This is going to get resolved through negotiations, not litigation," and Smith, addressing NFL fans while answering reporters’ questions, said, "We’re not going to let you down," they weren’t just spewing propaganda.

No transactions allowed, but teams can talk to their players during extension | ProFootballTalk
With that said, the NFL confirmed that teams can speak with the agents of their own players. So progress can be made over the next week towards re-signing players even if nothing can be announced. (While that’s a nice bonus, we imagine most deals that were going to be completed before free agency were completed by Thursday night.) Add it all up, and we’re headed for a very quiet week of NFL news.

NFL Execs Say Doty Decision Did Not Cause Extension Of CBA - SportsBusiness Daily | SportsBusiness Journal
A source said not to interpret the extension of talks as reason for optimism. While many are presuming the extension means the sides are closing the gap, the source said while there has been some progress, it is not as much of a closure as some would hope. This source, unlike Goodell and Pash, said Doty's ruling earlier in the week did affect the league's stance.

Lessons from past labor disputes prove everyone loses - NFL - CBSSports.com Football
There is a cautionary tale for NFL players and the league. It's vocalized by former Dallas defensive back Everson Walls, a four-time Pro Bowl selection and 14-year veteran. It goes like this. The year was 1987. The league was embroiled in an ugly strike and Walls was a union representative for the Cowboys. The players started as a unified group. They spoke with one voice. Then the weeks and months droned on. Games were missed as the strike continued and slowly the Cowboys' unity began to dissolve. Tex Schramm, then the president of the Cowboys, was one of the engineers of the league's scab system of replacement players. "We became scab central," Walls remembered. Then players started to cross and that once-unified Cowboys team started to fracture.

Fans and Media Losing Patience With NFL and Union - NYTimes.com
Most have already run out of patience and none expressed any sympathy for wealthy owners and players squabbling over a fortune at a time when millions of Americans were struggling to make ends meet. "The fans are being smacked in the face by indifference and insensitivity by each side," William Rhoden wrote in the New York Times.

NFL, NFLPA working to secure extension before midnight deadline - Peter King - SI.com
It was one thing for Doty, on Tuesday, to rule that the owners could not use their $4-billion pool of revenue to subsidize a lockout, which players had been chafing against for months. But the hidden meaning, and one not discussed nearly enough this week, came in the last paragraph of Doty's 28-page ruling. "The court orders that a hearing be held concerning relief to be granted to the Players arising from the NFL's breach of the agreement,'' Doty ruled. "The hearing shall consider the award of both money damages and equitable relief, including injunction.''

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