Free Agency 2014: Let the games begin - Horse Tracks

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The free agency negotiating period begins Saturday at 10:00 a.m. MST. Let the games begin!

Welcome to free agency... sort of

NFL free agency officially begins at 2 p.m. EST Monday March 11th, but the free agency negotiating period begins at 10 a.m. MST today.

What's the negotiating period? Well, it's illegal for teams to negotiate with players under contract, but back in the day, the violations were so rampant heading toward free agency that the teams and players decided to make it legal with the new CBA for a few days before the league year. The negotiating period was born; this is the second year of it. For more info, check out Field Gulls' FAQ.

USA Today has an interesting piece speaking with the agent of an upcoming free agent, Captain Munnerly. Last year, Wes Welker used the negotiating period to discern that he might not be getting the long-term mega-buck deal he was hoping for, according to ESPN. He settled for a two-year deal with Denver thanks to the talks he had before free agency began.

Who will the Broncos get?

The New York Daily News predicts the Broncos landing Bengals DE Michael Johnson and Titans CB Aterraun Verner. Sign me up, Scotty. Of course, my #1 choice is still Seattle's Michael Bennett, who appears set to hit the market.

Hope I wasn't alone

Did you rock two four?

Broncos

Free-agency primer: Denver Broncos - ESPN
Key free agents: WR Eric Decker, RB Knowshon Moreno, LB Wesley Woodyard, G Zane Beadles, CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, DE Robert Ayers, DE Sha

NFL free agency - Rocky road awaits Champ Bailey - ESPN
The NFL hasn't been kind to aging stars seeking lucrative deals in recent years, meaning Champ Bailey may face a harsh reality on the free-agent market, writes Jeffri Chadiha.

Agent says Champ Bailey didn't get benefit of doubt for playing hurt
"So he tried to get it done. And unfortunately everybody wants to judge him based on playing hurt. Which is how it goes in the league. Rarely, if ever do you get an ‘attaboy’ if you don’t play as well hurt as you do when your healthy."

After cutting Champ Bailey, Broncos looking for hired help at his spot - The Denver Post
Rodgers-Cromartie played last season with a one-year contract worth $5 million. After letting his mind publicly wander late last season toward retirement, Rodgers-Cromartie has made it clear that he will keep playing. He is expected to command a multiyear contract that averages $6 million to $7 million per season. The Broncos will make a serious attempt to re-sign him.

Inside the Numbers: Champ Bailey - DenverBroncos.com
A look at some notable statistics from Champ Bailey's career.

Hochman: Champ Bailey's release might benefit all - The Denver Post
It was the right move. It stinks, but it was the right move. Denver is trying to restructure and resuscitate its secondary this coming season, perhaps Denver's last chance at a title with No. 18 under center. There were too many question marks with Bailey, be it his age (36 next season) or his recent injury woes.

Free Agent Photos: Cornerbacks - DenverBroncos.com
View photos of some of the top unrestricted free-agent cornerbacks. Photos by AP.

Free Agency Outlook: Cornerbacks - DenverBroncos.com
Independent analyst Andrew Mason takes a look at the top cornerbacks set to enter the free agent market.

Video: Fox, Elway on Bailey Release - DenverBroncos.com
Coach Fox and John Elway talk to Broncos TV about the difficult decision to release Champ Bailey.

AFC West

2014 Team Needs: Kansas City Chiefs | ProFootballFocus.com
The Chiefs had a big turnaround, going from two wins to eleven, but where can they improve in the off season to take the next step and have success in the play off?

2014 NFL free agency: What are the AFC West teams up to? - Arrowhead Pride
With free agency beginning this Tuesday, it's high time we take a look at where the Chiefs' rivals stand.

Kansas City Chiefs release two players - Arrowhead Pride
With under a week to free agency, the KC Chiefs have released two players -- TE Dominique Jones and LB Robert James.

To earn the fans respect Dennis Allen must allow himself to be more personable - Silver And Black Pride
Even after 2 years on the job it is hard to really feel like we as fans know Dennis Allen very well. He must become more personable if he wants to win over the Raider Nation.

2014 NFL Draft: Raiders creating quite a smokescreen at quarterback - Silver And Black Pride
If you keep up with the Raiders news as far as drafting a quarterback (and I know you do), at this point you probably have no friggin' idea who the Raiders like. There is such an influx of...

Why The Chargers Should Draft an Offensive Lineman - Bolts From The Blue
The Chargers offense needs to improve in the Red Zone. To do so will take improving the offensive line.

Devin Hester will be a free agent, has a Kansas City Chiefs connection - Arrowhead Pride
Should the Kansas City Chiefs pursue free agent Devin Hester?

2014 NFL Mock Draft Database Update: San Diego Chargers - Bolts From The Blue
Richard Wade takes a look at who the mock drafts think the San Diego Chargers will select in the draft after another week of film study.

NFL

Matt Cassel re-ups with the Vikings for two more years | ProFootballTalk
With Chad Henne breaking the seal on the backup-quarterbacks-for-teams-that-need-starters market today, it's fair game for the rest of them. Thus, the Vikings have held onto Matt Cassel, as Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports Cassel has agreed to a new two-year deal.

Tate prepares to leave Texans, become "elite" running back | ProFootballTalk
With free agency opening next week, the biggest name in the running back market belongs to Texans tailback Ben Tate. After four years in Houston, Tate plans to become one of the top running backs in the league.

McShay's New No. 1 - ESPN Video - ESPN
ESPN Video: Todd McShay explains his 3.0 Mock Draft and who is his new No. 1 pick

Bortles will visit Texans, Jaguars | ProFootballTalk
Former Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles continues to be a candidate to be taken at the highest reaches of the draft. Perhaps in the highest possible spot.

Auburn RB Tre Mason defends blocking skills - NFL.com
NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock doesn't see Auburn RB Tre Mason as much of a blocker. Mason and his coach don't agree.

Nine biggest wild cards in free agency - NFL.com
DRC is just as temperamental as you'd expect from a guy who openly considered retirement at 28. His career has already run the gamut. He looked like a potential top-five cornerback in Arizona, then was dealt after a disappointing year and completely washed out in Philadelphia. He was back to being a great starter last season. Rodgers-Cromartie seems made for a short-term deal because you never know what you are going to get.

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