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Horse Tracks - 3/6/10 - Broncos add bulk to defense


Good Morning Broncos Country!  Quite a Day 1 in the world of NFL Free Agency.  Plenty of rumors, plenty of signings and plenty of money flashed around.  In terms of the Broncos, they looked to get bigger up front and they have started the process with the signing of NT Justin Bannan, formerly of the Baltimore Ravens.  Bannan's signing is not the magical cure to the problems up front, but it is the beginning of the solution.  Playing the 3-4 in the NFL, you have better have some beef along the defensive line to hold the point of attack.  If you don't, your dead.  The Broncos patched things together for 8 games last season before, in many games, being physically dominated at the point of attack.  Bannan, at 6-3, 310, provides a bit of stout up front, and comes from a defensive system that knows how to own the point of attack.  It's not a finished product, not yet, but Bannan is a solid start.

Prep Time Matters in Free Agency - Jim Saccomano's Blog
Most fans do not get a chance to meet them personally, but I have been in this game a long time and I have seen some real characters. I have also seen top flight individuals and Josh and Brian are in that category, absolutely.

Bannan, Jones Join Club -
The Broncos added two more free agents Friday evening, agreeing to terms with defensive lineman Justin Bannan and cornerback Nathan Jones.

Broncos WR Marshalll to talk contract with Seahawks today - The Denver Post
Although at least one other team has expressed serious interest in Marshall, Seattle would is a logical fit in part because former Broncos play-caller Jeremy Bates and former receivers coach Jedd Fisch are now with the Seahawks. Marshall was a big fan of both coaches in 2008 when he had 104 catches in 15 games.

Broncos' signees bring plenty of beef - The Denver Post
Josh McDaniels clearly has grown tired of watching his team get pushed around.

The Broncos’ new nickelback | All Things Broncos
It would appear Alphonso Smith will need a second year to develop. The Broncos shored up the lone weak spot in their secondary Friday by signing former Cowboy and Dolphin defensive back Nathan Jones.

Broncos agree with Bannan to play nose tackle - The Denver Post
The Broncos are bringing Justin Bannan home again. The former University of Colorado star and Baltimore Ravens defensive lineman reached an agreement in principal today with the Broncos on a

Broncos' Marshall to visit Seattle - The Denver Post
Broncos star receiver and restricted free agent Brandon Marshall will visit the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday, according to two NFL sources.

Defense expert: Shots could not have come from passing SUV - The Denver Post
Clark has once again declined to tell the judge whether he will testify, saying he would prefer to wait until he has heard from all the witnesses his lawyer intends to call.

Scared witness agrees to testify in Darrent Williams trial - ESPN
A witness too afraid to testify against the man accused of killing Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams has changed his mind after a night in jail.

In need of impact receiver, Seattle Seahawks to host Brandon Marshall on Saturday - KIAH
Despite a potentially huge price to acquire his services, the Seattle Seahawks are going to take their shot at impressing Denver wide receiver Brandon Marshall.

Report: Seattle considering signing Brandon Marshall? | Seattle Times Newspaper
Now, Seattle may very well be talking to him about a contract, but it's hard to believe that Seattle would sign him to an offer sheet. If Denver chose not to match that offer sheet the Broncos would receive the No. 6 overall pick from compensation. Not No. 14 -- the pick previously belong to Denver -- but No. 6, Seattle's own pick.

Wilson: Jets keeping Kerry Rhodes | National Football Post
Despite New York Jets safety Kerry Rhodes' run-ins with the coaches last season, especially secondary coach Dennis Thurman, he's going to be back.

Wilson: Raiders hold onto Khalif Barnes | National Football Post
The Oakland Raiders re-signed offensive tackle Khalif Barnes.

Wilson: Bengals look into T.O., Antonio Bryant options | National Football Post
The Cincinnati Bengals haven't done anything in free agency yet, at least nothing beyond looking into their options at wide receiver.

Wilson: Patriots retain Stephen Neal | National Football Post
Stephen Neal didn't escape the New England Patriots' grasp.

Source: Pennington back to Dolphins | National Football Post
The Miami Dolphins have agreed to terms with backup quarterback Chad Pennington, according to a league source.

Source: Antrell Rolle joins the Giants | National Football Post
Arizona Cardinals free agent safety Antrel Rolle has agreed to a five-year, $37 million contract with the New York Giants, a league source confirmed.

Wilson: Jets cut Thomas Jones, Donald Strickland | National Football Post
The New York Jets officially released running back Thomas Jones, as expected, also parting ways with cornerback Donald Strickland.

Report: Dansby signs with the Fish | National Football Post
Karlos Dansby said Friday afternoon that he planned on taking his time and checking out all of his options.

Source: Texans keep Walter with five-year deal | National Football Post
The Houston Texans have re-signed veteran free agent wide receiver Kevin Walter, inking him to a five-year contract with a total value in excess of $21 milllion, according to NFL sources.

Ravens bet big with Boldin deal | National Football Post
The Ravens made a big play today, as reported by our own Aaron Wilson, when they acquired WR Anquan Boldin by giving up a third and fourth round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Peppers will earn his coin in Lovie's defense | National Football Post
Head coach Lovie Smith wants to play his Tampa 2 scheme — the same scheme that seems to come under fire when we see attacking, pressure defenses in New York with Rex Ryan and in New Orleans with Gregg Williams and the Super Bowl champion Saints have success.

Source: Browns, Cribbs agree to deal | National Football Post
The Cleveland Browns have finalized a restructured contract with star wide receiver and kick returner Josh Cribbs that pays him nearly $20 million in maximum value over the next three years, a league source told National Football Post.

Did Chargers get value back for Cromartie? | National Football Post
The trade of Antonio Cromartie to the Jets for what appears to be the undervalued amount of a third-round pick in 2011 indicates there is more going on there than meets the eye. First, Cromartie is in the last year of his deal and the Chargers either knew they weren’t going to meet his contract demands or — more likely — didn’t want to, so they took what they could a year early. Also, the Chargers became tired of some "high maintenance" issues on Cromartie — not the highest character player in the league. And further, the Chargers may have had a better deal on the table earlier from the Lions, but Detroit got spooked by some premature media reports about a deal and backed away. Thus, the Jets became one of if not the only option.

How agents prep for free agency | National Football Post
I have just one unrestricted free agent this year, safety Tyrone Carter of the Steelers. My sole focus is to land him in a position where he can compete to earn a starting job. Tyrone has been an extremely productive force as one of the team’s top special teams players and top playmakers when he’s on the field.

Source: New England Patriots reach record deal with nose tackle Vince Wilfork - ESPN Boston
The New England Patriots have paid big money to their big man in the middle by inking nose tackle Vince Wilfork to a five-year, $40 million extension Friday, according to a league source.

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger accussed of sexual assault - ESPN
A 20-year-old college student accused Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of sexually assaulting her at a nightclub early Friday during a night on the town near where he owns a lake home.

'Blindsided' Jake Delhomme vows to bounce back from release by Carolina Panthers - ESPN
Jake Delhomme walked into the interview room with red eyes and sunglasses in his hand, joking that his allergies were bad.

Evening AFC West news and notes - AFC West Blog - ESPN
Denver signed Miami nickel cornerback Nathan Jones on Friday evening. He has three interceptions in six NFL seasons.

Bears lead group of hamstrung teams making big moves
Oh, there was the big-splash signing that always occurs at the start of free agency, with the Chicago Bears giving defensive end Julius Peppers a six-year contract worth a reported $79.8 million. But even that move, along with Chicago's free-agent acquisitions of running back Chester Taylor and tight end Brandon Manumaleuna, wasn't so much a case of gratuitous lavish spending as it was a means of getting help despite lacking first- and second-round picks in next month's draft.

Teams may consider dipping into restricted free-agent pool
One place worth paying attention to is the restricted free-agent pool. Not one restricted free agent changed teams last year; the most restricted free-agent movement in recent years was 2003, when five players switched teams.

Packers LT Clifton signs three-year deal; Giordano, Montgomery cut
The Green Bay Packers re-signed left tackle Chad Clifton to a three-year, $20 million contract, NFL Network's Michael Lombardi reported Friday.

Falcons agree to six-year contract with free-agent CB Robinson
Free-agent cornerback Dunta Robinson agreed to a six-year contract with the Falcons on Friday, giving him the long-term security he declined in Houston and providing Atlanta the secondary help it needs.