As of this evening, the Denver Broncos have not been active players in free agency for the upcoming season.
In any other year, this statement would cause consternation and outrage over our beloved team's lack of participation in this yearly event. However, as we all know, this year isn't like any other. With non-productive letters being sent between the NFL and the NFLPA (trade association), acrimony seems to be escalating.
What's lost in all this is that we've already been robbed of one of the most exciting times of football's offseason. One year ago, on March 19, 2010, we'd already had so much Free Agent activity that the disappointment in the Broncos collapse in the second half of the 2009 season had begun to be replaced by hope for the 2010 season.
Check out what had already been done by this point last year:
- J.J. Arrington (March 4)
- Justin Bannan, Nate Jones (March 5)
- Jamal Williams (March 9)
- Brady Quinn for Peyton Hillis & 2011 6th round pick (March 14)
- Matt Prater (March 9)
- Le Kevin Smith (March 11)
- Kenny Peterson (March 10)
- J'Vonne Parker (March 11)
Looking back on the transactions above, I, like many of you, get a knot in my stomach. These were moves that helped us to our less than impressive 4-12 record. At the time, however, these were the moves that made Bronco fans look forward to the 2010 season.
On March 4, 2010, the day before Free Agency officially began, there were 631 comments in the first MHR Free Agency open thread alone. Before the sun came up on March 5, there were 408 comments in the second MHR open thread. This year, there have been zero Free Agency open threads and zero comments to go in them. For as badly as we needed to move on from the 2009 season, we are looking forward to moving on from the 2010 season that much more. It's indeed a shame that the exuberance we collectively share this time of year has given way to the CBA non-negotiations we continue to read about.
So far, we've seen no action and plenty of posturing. We've already lost the beginning of Free Agency and there's a good possibly that we may not experience it until long after the draft. As Bronco fans, we want to begin the healing process. That starts with the beginning of Free Agency - that starts with a new CBA.
It's time for the owners and players to stop bickering and get this thing done.