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Horse Tracks - 3/4/10 - Where Free Agency Happens


Good Morning Broncos Country!  Good Morning indeed.  Let the fun and excitement - and the hair pulling, rollar-coaster riding days of free agency begin.  Actually, they officially begin later, but with the deadline to extend qualifying offers to your restricted free agents upon us, well, the fun has already gotten started.  You are going to hear and read a lot about hold-outs and the like.  Be sure that the Broncos do not own the market on pissed-off players.  There are plenty of them today - 275 to be exact - that when from having the opportunity to shop their serves as UFA's to being guaranteed a 1-year deal at $2-to-$3 million.  I'd be pissed too.  That is the market we are in right now in the NFL - it's a business - and both the teams and players will play the game right now.  Expect Kyle Orton, Chris Kuper, Brandon Marshall et al to skip off-season workouts in protest - unless of course they sign a new deal.  That's part of the game, like it or not.  When push comes to shove, however, everyone will show up for work when it becomes mandatory.  We'll have more on the tenders as the day goes on - there are some interesting quotes I want to share with you.  Until then, enjoy the Tracks!

Offers Tendered to Restricted Free Agents
With free agency set to begin on Friday, the Broncos have tendered qualifying offers to five players who will be restricted free agents.

Woody's Mailbag: Broncos boss under the radar? - The Denver Post
Denver Post sports columnist Woody Paige posts Woody's Mailbag on Thursdays.

Moves spell out Broncos' offseason strategy - The Denver Post
Beneath the otherwise dull mechanism of contract tendering lies so many double meanings, inferences and stories.

Le Kevin Smith not tendered | All Things Broncos
The Broncos tendered five of their six restricted free agents. The exception was reserve defensive end Le Kevin Smith, who now becomes an unrestricted free agent. Smith was acquired from New England during the preseason for a seventh-round draft pick but he immediately suffered a knee injury and did not contribute as hoped.

Broncos among teams bracing for offseason holdouts | All Things Broncos
Now that tenders to restricted free agents are coming in, expect many of these restricted free agents to hold out from offseason workouts.

Broncos lock Dumervil with highest tender, use first-round on Marshall - The Denver Post
Elvis Dumervil isn't going anywhere. The Broncos did what they could to stave off any possible suitors for the NFL's leading sacker as they slapped the first- and third-round tender on the restricted free agent.

Clark lawyer challenges tip, jailhouse letter - The Denver Post
Willie D. Clark's attorney put the Denver police on trial Wednesday, asking a detective why he changed his testimony about an incriminating letter Clark is accused of writing and questioning why some leads in the death of Darrent Williams were never followed.

Broncos Mailbag: "Let's talk draft" - The Denver Post
Denver Post sports writer Mike Klis posts his Broncos Mailbag in the first week of each month during the offseason.

Colts' Manning has surgery for pinched nerve - The Denver Post
Peyton Manning has spent 12 seasons being a pain in the neck of NFL opponents. Now the four-time league MVP is trying to alleviate the pain in his own neck.

Jason Campbell gets first-round tender from Washington Redskins - ESPN
The Washington Redskins placed the first-round tender on quarterback Jason Campbell, according to a league source.

Roundup: New York Jets receiver Edwards gets first-round tender - ESPN
The New York Jets tendered wide receiver Braylon Edwards at the first- and third-round level, the team announced Wednesday.

Sources: Miami Dolphins tender running back Ronnie Brown - ESPN
The Miami Dolphins placed the first-round tender on running back Ronnie Brown, according to NFL sources.

Cleveland Browns veteran Hank Fraley 'shocked' being released - ESPN
Hank Fraley was happy to fill in anywhere the Cleveland Browns needed him. Center, guard, even tight end. He went wherever.

NFL players participate in league's business management and entrepreneurial program - ESPN
Deion Branch spent his classroom time listening intently to everything the instructors told him -- and feverishly taking notes.

Washington Redskins left tackle Chris Samuels to announce retirement Thursday - ESPN
Washington Redskins six-time Pro Bowl left tackle Chris Samuels will announce his retirement Thursday.

Kansas City Chiefs release Devard Darling, Dantrell Savage - ESPN
The Kansas City Chiefs have released wide receiver Devard Darling and running back Dantrell Savage.

Washington might get jettisoned | | The Journal News
Two days after announcing they would release Thomas Jones later this week, the Jets placed a second-round tender on restricted free-agent running back-kick returner Leon Washington, according to his agent. Free agent middle linebackers may interest Giants
The term "uncharted waters" was the one most heard at the NFL combine in Indianapolis last week as league executives prepared for the first uncapped season since 1993.

Turf wars at the combine | National Football Post
The NFL Scouting Combine presented by Under Armour is over, and I’m sure Under Armour is happy with its sponsorship. It got considerable TV time and intimate connections with the top players in the country, complementing the relationships it had already begun building with the 2010 draft class at the Senior Bowl.

Is Dansby worth big free-agent money? | National Football Post
With free agency and a new league year starting on Friday, the National Football Post is taking a look at players who will hit the market as the league begins doing business in unchartered waters. Today: linebacker Karlos Dansby.

What if the Bears strike out in FA? | National Football Post
The Chicago Bears have been linked to just about every big-name free agent on the market since this past weekend in Indianapolis.

Wilson: Browns looking to trade for a quarterback? | National Football Post
The Cleveland Browns could be in the trading business.

Lions tender offers to linemen | National Football Post
The Detroit Lions have tendered offers to offensive guards Manny Ramirez (not to be confused with "Mannywood") and Dylan Gandy as well as cornerback Kevin Hobbs, according to Tim Twentyman of The Detroit News.

Wilson: DeMeco Ryans gets high tender | National Football Post
The Houston Texans assigned the high tender to restricted free agent linebacker DeMeco Ryans and tight end Owen Daniels.

Wilson: Buffalo safety Mike Newton shines | National Football Post
University of Buffalo safety Mike Newton made a strong impression on NFL scouts during his campus Pro Day workout today, according to a league source.

Florida Center Maurkice Pouncey | National Football Post
A massive center prospect(6-5, 318) who showcases impressive bend and initial quickness off the snap for his size, Pouncey does a great job of keeping his base low and gaining initial leverage on contact(Editor's Note - YES PLEASE!!!)

Wilson: Josh Cribbs to hold press conference | National Football Post
Cleveland Browns wide receiver and kick returner Josh Cribbs has something he'd like to say.

Biggs: Seahawks raise ticket prices | National Football Post
The Seattle Seahawks have got to pay Jim Mora to not coach for a while now, so to help them in that endeavor (and all others) the team is raising the prices for season tickets, according to Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times.

Wilson: Raiders give Morrison original round tender | National Football Post
The Oakland Raiders only assigned the low tender to starting middle linebacker Kirk Morrison, a bit of a surprise and not a strong indication of how they feel about his work despite leading the team in tackles for five consecutive seasons.

Top 50 players expected to be on the free-agent market
The free-agency signing period begins March 5, and it should be a slower process this offseason than in years past, for two reasons. First off, several teams did a good job of tying up their young players; second, more than 200 players that would have become unrestricted free agents will be restricted in an uncapped 2010 season.

Risers and fallers from the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine
The 2010 NFL Scouting Combine has concluded, and scouts are closely grading the performances of more than 300 draft hopefuls that participated in the event.

Culpepper the agent touts credentials of his star client
In a free-agent class devoid of star power -- young star power in particular -- Daunte Culpepper is the best of a feeble quarterback crop. And he's an anomaly in more ways than one.