If you like short pieces to read, this is one. If you left the country for a month-long walkabout, don’t worry, you didn’t miss anything. The 2018 Broncos look exactly like the 2017 Broncos except they released a starting cornerback and signed a third string one. They also signed an expensive quarterback, who has to prove himself.
That’s it, kiddies. Seriously.
Well, I lied. They also allowed free agent wide receiver Bennie Fowler and their former second-round pick WR Cody Latimerto walk. Either Elway believes this team only needed quarterback Case Keenum, or he has a ton of transactions up his sleeve.
The Jacksonville Jaguars continue to make moves. Their signings and releases freed up cap space and improved the roster in a few places.
Wide receiver Donte Moncrief was an uptick for them over WR Allen Robinson because his contract is less and is a “Prove It” one. He signed a one-year, $9.6 million, fully-guaranteed contract that also contains another $2 million in incentives.
After being very quiet since the season ended, the Denver Broncos have made a few moves. They picked up Chris Harris, Jr’s option of $1.1 million. This makes his contract for the year guaranteed.
They traded Aqib Talib to the Los Angeles Rams where he will be reunited with Wade Phillips, Denver’s former super bowl winning defensive coordinator. He’ll also be teaming up with another former player, Kayvon Webster.
In the trade, Denver received a fifth round draft pick, and many believe this was a low ball move. However, a source said that he wasn’t happy with Vance Joseph or the way the defense was being run. Publicly, he said everything was swell.
In a move that shouldn’t have shocked anyone, the Jaguars offered quarterback Blake Bortles a three-year, $54 million deal, 26.5 guaranteed. Additional incentives are included making it worth up to $66.5M. More details will be released soon.
Bortles was the Jaguars 1st pick of the 2014 draft. He went third overall, behind Houston Texans defensive end Jadevion Clowney and Detroit Lions tackle Greg Robinson.
Let’s talk about the quarterback situation. If quarterback Kirk Cousins were to take a leap of faith and sign with Denver while under construction, keeping QB Trevor Siemian would be a smart move. He’s super cheap, has experience and knows the new playbook.
Plus, no fan would spend their life on Twitter trashing Cousins to get Siemian. This would be the lone exception to keep him. If Denver drafts a quarterback, there is no way you want Siemian around. If the rookie fails, the fans will be calling for Siemian. Hopefully, Denver has learned from the past. As long as Trevor Siemian is on the team, the fans are always going to want him under center.
Here’s What I think: Sanders is on the block because he had a problem in Texas and the team didn’t know about it. A veteran like him should know to contact your team and that everything always comes out, so not contacting the team says a lot. He could be kept to entice a guy like QB Kirk Cousins; however, he and Thomas are aging and always hurt.
Talib is rumored to be available because the thought is Denver needs cap space for Cousins and that cornerbacks Bradley Roby and Brendan Langley can replace him. Talib has lost a step and I’m still mad at him because of the Week 17 loss. I disagree on Cousins in Denver and that the other two can replace Aqib. With that said, if Denver wants to bring in some fresh blood in a rebuild, I can see this, but not because of Cousins or that Roby is better.
Anderson returning seems like a dismal chance because of his age and in a run-first system, he barely got a 1,000 yards. The offensive line was actually pretty good as run graters. Not to mention, they have two young backs they need to get going and most likely will draft a third.
Trading Shane Ray is ridiculous. He was injured last season and when he came back late in the year, he wasn’t 100%. I say they sign OLB Shaquil Barrett and keep Ray. As far as the interior linebackers, I hope Denver drafts LSU LB Tremaine Edmunds. Marshall has too much dead money to cut him and a team won’t pick it up in a trade because of age and injury history. Not to mention, he was the lead tackler. This will leave Davis on the hot seat.
Soon enough, all this talk will turn into action, and it’ll be fun to see what happens!
The Jacksonville Jaguars’ were active on the first day of free agency.
General Manager, Dave Caldwell, made a few moves today. He signed their longest-tenured player and fan favorite, Marcedes Lewis, to a contract option. The $3.5 million deal is for only one year. In his 12 seasons with the Jaguars, he has caught 33 touchdowns, five of which came this season.
As I mentioned in the North piece, the two teams practice differently, with the Texans leaning heavier on Special Teams play. This is a good thing because of the 100 guys here, maybe 40 go top three rounds, the rest will need an extra reason to be drafted over the younger guys who left school early because their talents was seen as better.
This mean for guys on the fringe, special teams is their bread and butter, a way in. Even if it’s only the practice squad, it’s a way to get into the NFL and be noticed by coaches.
What stood out today is how much better the wide receivers for the South were over the North. You would think the better group of QBs from the North would help them, but that wasn’t the case today.
The players spent less time on the field giving interviews that on Tuesday, so it was tougher to grab them.
DE Andrew Brown showed off his quickness; he’s a shade under 6’4” so his height could be a concern, however, he has an 82” wingspan. Brown would like to play 3 technique in a 4-3 Defense. He started off playing LT before moving over to defense because he thought that position was boring, he wanted more action. Julius Peppers was his athletic hero.
North went first and as we continued to see, the Broncos and Texans run things differently. The North spent a good amount of time having the linebackers knock the ball out, while the defensive backs focused on stripping the ball and recovering them.
In addition, when the players did stretching, several coaches walked though watching, including Head Coach Vance Joseph. This shows the athletes that coaches care about this, but also lets them know who’s dogging and who’s not.
Some notes on players from the North: Miami’s Braxton Berrios didn’t have a good day while New Mexico State’s Jaleel Scott and especially Boise State’s Cedric Wilson had very good days. I don’t think Wilson dropped the entire practice.