Horse Tracks: D'Qwell Jackson visits Broncos today

Gregory Shamus

D'Qwell Jackson leaves Tennessee without a contract. Meanwhile, Brian Orakpo and Jairus Byrd might leave their NFL hometowns without contracts in the near future with visions of free agency dollars dancing in their heads.

D'Qwell Jackson visits Monday

The Broncos' first free agent visit of the 2014 offseason is with middle linebacker D'Qwell Jackson, who left his free agent visit to Tennessee this weekend without a contract and is en route to Denver this morning.

ICYMI, Bronco Mike scouted Jackson over the weekend, concluding that he isn't the playmaking free agent target many fans got initially excited about. SBN Titans blog Music City Miracles scouted Jackson similarly, while ESPN broke down how Jackson's visit could have gone.

My take: While Jackson isn't a sideline-to-sideline playmaker, the Broncos don't have anyone better under contract. I think Jackson would have probably even been an improvement over Paris Lenon or Wesley Woodyard at middle linebacker last year. When you can improve your roster, you make the visit, and see what Jackson wants (with a market apparently in high demand).

But, like the Titans over the weekend, I don't think the Broncos will be playing the "Keep Jackson in Town" game Monday.

Byrd, Orakpo set for free agency

Two defensive headliners appear set for free agency, as things stand now - Bills safety Jairus Byrd and Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo. Word over the weekend on both suggested free agent berths are imminent for these two, each ranked atop their respective positions.

Orakpo, who hasn't received an official offer or any contract negotiation progress at all, would likely be priced well out of Denver's budget.

Byrd, who won't be tagged, will be costly as well - word is he rejected a three-year, $30 million offer from the Bills, and that Buffalo won't be tagging the 2009 second round draft pick today.

Can the Broncos do better than a three-year, $30 million deal? With the cap expected to increase another $10 million in each of the next two years, yes they can. If Byrd hits free agency, I expect the Broncos to make a push for him.

Broncos

Free-agency spotlight: Eric Decker - Denver Broncos Blog - ESPN
Much of the issue for Decker's potential return to the Broncos is simply bad timing. The Broncos -- even with the salary cap at an all-time high of $133 million per team this season with $150 million per team on the not-so-distant horizon -- are already looking at their free-agency docket a year from now.

Eagles want to emulate Denver offense | ProFootballTalk
Last month, Eagles G.M. Howie Roseman described the team's efforts to keep receiver Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin in light of DeSean Jackson's eight-figure cap number as "complicated." The ultimate objective was much simpler:  The Eagles want to be like the Broncos.

Free Agency Outlook: Interior OL - DenverBroncos.com
Independent analyst Andrew Mason breaks down the top interior offensive line players who could be available once free agency begins, including former Broncos Dan Koppen and J.D. Walton.

Photos - Best of the Coaching Staff - DenverBroncos.com
View the best photos of the Broncos coaching staff from the 2013 season.

AFC West

Shutdown Corner Offseason Blueprints: Kansas City Chiefs | Shutdown Corner - Yahoo Sports
After the Seattle Seahawks won Super Bowl XLVIII, all 32 teams officially entered the offseason and started plotting how they could position themselves for a shot at Super Bowl XLIX. Shutdown Corner will look at the offseason blueprint for each NFL team...

Q and A: Kansas City Chiefs looking to trade down? - ESPN
I know they'd like to get some extra picks. This is a deep draft but the Chiefs have only one of the draft's top 86 picks.

How much can Branden Albert command on the free agent market? - Arrowhead Pride
Given the Eagles' willingness to go to five years and nearly $20 million guaranteed for Peters, potential destinations for Albert are going to have to be willing to do the same. To sign Albert long-term should require a five-year contract at an average of $10-plus million per year.

Big decisions loom for Raiders as Franchise tag deadline is Monday - Silver And Black Pride
The Raiders have two players to think about right now - left tackle Jared Veldheer and defensive end Lamarr Houston. The team would like to keep both and to do so could mean using the franchise or transition tag on one of them.

Report: Raiders like Derek Carr over Johnny Manziel - Silver And Black Pride
The top quarterbacks in the NFL draft have been Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel, and Blake Bortles for some time now.

San Diego Chargers WR Malcom Floyd working on return in 2014 - Bolts From The Blue
San Diego Chargers wide receiver Malcom Floyd has been cleared for light workouts, eyeing a return at the beginning of next season after missing most of last season with a neck injury.

Analytics: Improvement in the San Diego Chargers Offense - Bolts From The Blue
Using ProFootballFocus data, DVOA (Football Outsiders) and lots and lots of Excel, we look at the Chargers' resurgent offense from 2012 to 2013.

NFL

Report: Patriots have "floated" Danny Amendola’s name in trade discussions | ProFootballTalk
Could Danny Amendola be one-and-done in New England? According to Dan Pompei of Bleacher Report, who cited unnamed "NFL teams," the Patriots have brought up the name of Amendola in trade discussions less than a year after signing the wide receiver as a free agent.

Cardinals coach: Team offered Karlos Dansby a contract day after season ended ArizonaSports.com
"We're still in the negotiation process. But yeah, he's a major priority because of what he brought to the table for us as a leader. We definitely would love to have him back."

2014 NFL mock draft: Falcons trade up to for Jadeveon Clowney - SBNation.com
A few trades could shake up the first two rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft, and it all starts with the South Carolina pass rushing phenomenon.

NFL daft: A partial history of draft day's terrible decisions and total failures - SBNation.com
A partial history of draft day's terrible decisions and total failures.

Are Eagles willing to trade DeSean Jackson? | Q
DeSean Jackson is coming off a career year for the Philadelphia Eagles, but the organization may be looking to trade the talented wide receiver.

Free agency primer: Top 10 linebackers - NFL.com
Looking for a pass rushing 3-4 linebacker this offseason? There aren't many options in free agency. That's why we'll be watching the Washington Redskins' decision regarding Brian Orakpo closely.

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