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Horse Tracks - 9/1/10

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Broncos' rookie class off to a strong start - The Denver Post
And while Tebow leads the NFL in jersey sales, has launched his own line of shoes, signed an endorsement deal for underwear and been named a most eligible bachelor, the other players in the Broncos' rookie class also are trying to make an impression entering the final days of their first NFL preseason.

Paige: Ball in Broncos backfield after tough trip - The Denver Post
From the road more traveled, the New Jersey Turnpike, two Broncos running backs took entirely different routes to get to Denver.

NFL.com news: Broncos rookie Tebow faces a long, tough road to success
If the idea was to get a marketing magnet, the Denver Broncos' stunning defiance of conventional draft wisdom last April was a huge success.

No money down: Broncos bucking | National Football Post
With the NFL operating without a Salary Cap for the first time since 1993, there were rules in place to offset the expected bounce in player spending (which never happened). The most impactful rule, in my opinion, changed the number of years required for unrestricted free agency from four to six, taking 212 players off the market and saving teams tens of millions of dollars in player spending.

The impact of Dixon's night in Denver | National Football Post
Going into the Sunday night game in Denver, I was excited to watch Dennis Dixon get some work with the Steelers' first team offense. He does have a sense of excitement when we talk about the QB position in this league. And, from what I have heard, the QB has had a good camp in Pittsburgh.

Tebow's rise to top backup may come Thursday - The Denver Post
The Broncos closed practice to the media Tuesday before engaging in team drills, so it won't be known until early in their preseason game Thursday night at Minnesota whom coach Josh McDaniels prefers as his backup quarterback.

Analysis: Broncos have few players left from recent drafts - The Denver Post
The 2010 Broncos are not exactly a team built from within. You would expect that to be the case when an NFL franchise has recently had coaching and general manager changes.

Q&A: Contract "loyalty" is a double-edged sword - The Denver Post
Q: Do you think the owners will try to curb the guaranteed salaries of players — both veterans and rookies — with the new collective bargaining agreement? The players will oppose it, no doubt, but to pay someone like Albert Haynesworth the money he was guaranteed, and then he refuses to participate in team drills, is absurd. The current system allows players to break a contract, but not the owners.

Broncos' Ryan Clady could play Thursday against Minnesota - The Denver Post
Ryan Clady, who has started all 32 games at left tackle since the Broncos drafted him with the No. 12 overall pick in 2007, was not only practicing Tuesday without wearing an orange, non-contact jersey, but the plan is to play him in the preseason finale Thursday at Minnesota.

Knowshon Moreno returns to Broncos practice - The Denver Post
"I think he's handled it the best he could and I hope he's eager to get out there," coach Josh McDaniels said. "I think that's where he's at mentally and I think he'll be ready to go as soon as he is capable of playing."

Broncos starters will play vs. Minnesota | All Things Broncos
Coach Josh McDaniels said the team’s starters will play Thursday night at Minnesota in the team’s final preseason game. McDaniels said he doesn’t a have a play count for the starters, but they would likely play about a quarter, though some may play longer and some might play less.

Moreno, other starters, return to practice | All Things Broncos
Only seven players were missing from Broncos practice today. And while seven is still more than anyone would like, it’s a significant improvement from recent weeks, when the "did not practice list" was nearing 20 players.

Cleveland Browns DT Shaun Rogers fined for gun charge - ESPN
The NFL decided Tuesday to only fine the Cleveland Browns' nose tackle and not suspend him for carrying a loaded gun into an airport.

N.Y. turns down Plaxico Burress' work release request - ESPN New York
Former New York Giants Super Bowl star Plaxico Burress has come up short in his bid for work release during his two-year prison sentence in a gun case, a denial that could keep him behind bars until at least next spring, prison officials said Tuesday.

Minnesota Vikings put WR Sidney Rice on reserve for at least 6 games - ESPN
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Sidney Rice will be ineligible to play in the first six games of the regular season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers release free-agent flop RB Derrick Ward - ESPN
Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris announced after Tuesday's practice that running back Derrick Ward has been released.

Linebacker Leroy Hill of Seattle Seahawks agrees to reduced salary - ESPN
A tumultuous offseason for Seattle Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill has proved costly in more ways than one.

Secondary concerns? | National Football Post
In New Orleans, New England and Minnesota there is some concern right now over the health and ability of the secondary. Let’s take a look at all three…

K.I.S.S. | National Football Post
Here on the last day of August, before we start the regular season, I'm going to concentrate away from the ball and zero in on the O-Lines.

Troy Smith not dwelling on the past | National Football Post
Stricken by a severe viral infection two years ago, Troy Smith experienced an illness that caused him to lose more than his tonsils and a lot of weight.

Jay Cutler plans to avoid a Tony Romo-like spotlight | National Football Post
Celebrity gossip hounds moved quickly since this past weekend to link reality television star Kristin Cavallari to Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler.

Marvin Lewis defends Bengals' medical staff | National Football Post
In the wake of the Cincinnati Bengals' medical staf drawing heavy criticism from the agent for linebacker Rashad Jeanty for allegedly failing to properly diagnose his ankle injury before flunking him on a physical and placing him on waivers, coach Marvin Lewis played some defense today.

Terrence Cody has successful surgery, likely to miss first game | National Football Post
Baltimore Ravens rookie nose guard Terrence "Mount" Cody underwent arthroscopic surgery Tuesday to repair a partially torn lateral meniscus in his left knee and isn’t expected to return until the second game of the regular season, according to a NFL source with knowledge of the situation.

Kendall Langord loses a diamond earring | National Football Post
Langford searched high and low, enlisting teammates, including the entire defensive line, groundskeepers and team officials and public relations interns to try to find the expensive bauble that's worth at least several thousand dollars. However, it was nowhere to be found.

Roethlisberger to work out in Pittsburgh during suspension | National Football Post
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger plans to work out with noted quarterbacks coach George Whitfield Jr., and remain in Pittsburgh while he serves his NFL suspension.

Cardinals reportedly shopping Matt Leinart | National Football Post
The Arizona Cardinals have taken the next step in moving to the post-Matt Leinart era as the club has begun actively shopping the quarterback.

Raiders cut Eric Butler | National Football Post
The Oakland Raiders cut tight end Eric Butler, trimming the roster down to the 75-player NFL limit heading into today's league deadline.

Josh Wilson: 'I couldn't be happier' | National Football Post
The Baltimore Ravens landed the secondary reinforcements that they’ve been coveting, trading a conditional fifth-round draft pick Tuesday night to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for cornerback Josh Wilson.

Chargers claim Fred Bennett | National Football Post
The San Diego Chargers claimed cornerback Fred Bennett off waivers from the Houston Texans.

Leigh Bodden placed on injured reserve | National Football Post
In a surprising move that should have major repercussion on the New England Patriots' defense, star cornerback Leigh Bodden was placed on injured reserve with a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder.

NFL.com Blogs " Blog Archive Rams have no choice but to start Bradford "
When to start a rookie quarterback, especially the top overall pick, is always a dilemma. With Sam Bradford, this decision is high-stakes poker because you’re talking about a $50 million player.

NFL.com news: NFL reportedly will adjust where umpire is stationed
The NFL will inform teams Tuesday about tweaks to where the umpire will be stationed in the offensive backfield, The New York Times reported.

NFL.com news: Packers DBs Harris, Bigby out at least six games on PUP list
The team has placed cornerback Al Harris and safety Atari Bigby on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, meaning neither player will be eligible to play for the first six weeks of the season.

NFL.com news: Seahawks deal CB/KR Wilson to Ravens for 2011 draft pick
The Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday surprisingly traded starting cornerback Josh Wilson to the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for a conditional 2011 draft pick.

NFL.com news: Tackling dummies: A plan to save quarterbacks from themselves
The NFL legislates quarterback safety, but all the rules are geared toward opposing players being careful once they get within striking distance. It might be time to protect the quarterbacks from themselves.

This time Cassel has weapons around him - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
Three months ago, on their first night at home since returning from the hospital, Matt and Lauren Cassel awoke to the cries of their newborn daughter, Quinn.

Merriman taking it slow in return from injury - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
Chargers outside linebacker Shawne Merriman(notes) won’t play in Thursday night’s exhibition finale at San Francisco due to an Achilles’ tendon injury, and there’s no guarantee he’ll play in the regular-season opener Sept. 13 at Kansas City.

Buccaneers CB Talib suspended 1 game - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
Tampa Bay cornerback Aqib Talib(notes) will miss the Buccaneers’ regular season opener after being suspended one game without pay for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

CFL talent pool could dry up - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
On the surface, the Canadian Football League could provoke envy between both sides of the NFL’s current labor war. It has a new collective bargaining agreement, signed into effect in late June, that ensures four years of play. The CFL also has the 18-game schedule that NFL owners want for their league, and the increased revenue that the NFLPA wants for its players.

Washington Post suspends columnist for Twitter hoax | The Upshot Yahoo! News - Yahoo! News
The Washington Post has suspended veteran sports columnist Mike Wise for publishing fabricated information on Twitter. He announced the one-month suspension on his radio show Tuesday.