Broncos Update Inside Slant - Monday, March 22

Read all the latest notes, quotes, annecdotes and personnel updates about the Broncos in today's edition of the Broncos Update Inside Slant.

Shannon Sharpe still hasn't announced his decision on whether to return or retire. But the Broncos are ready if he chooses to hang up his cleats.

They signed free-agent tight end Jed Weaver to a three-year, $3.1 million contract that includes a $500,000 signing bonus. Weaver is no Sharpe but he is entering the prime of his career at 27.

He made more catches last year (35) with San Francisco than he did in his three previous seasons with Miami. His 437 receiving yards last season was the highest output of his career as he finally got a chance to start.

Weaver isn't considered a great inline blocker. But the Broncos also have Dwayne Carswell on the roster. They also have second-year pro Jeb Putzier, who is still looking to make an impact.

But with Denver using as many two tight-end formations as any team in the NFL, depth is always an issue.


--CB Jimmy Spencer last year became the NFL's first player-coach since Dan Reeves, and he's ready to give double-duty one more shot. Spencer re-signed with the Broncos, and will continue to serve as an assistant with the secondary.

--The Broncos added one more player to its revamped defense, signing defensive end Raylee Johnson, who had been released by San Diego. The team continued to court safety John Lynch.


"I think he's viewing this next year as a chance to recharge his batteries." -- Agent Leigh Steinberg, on Kordell Stewart's visit with the Broncos.



RB - This may change depending on what the team does in free agency, but the Broncos know they can never have enough running backs.

DT - The Broncos likely will part ways with Daryl Gardener after a March arbitration hearing, and they're still looking for that impact player in the middle.

WR - Rod Smith is still one of the best in the game but he's getting up in the years and Denver needs to start grooming someone to take his place especially now that Ed McCaffrey has retired. It would help if this pick is a big-time return guy as well.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (6): OT Blake Brockermeyer; WR Chris Cole; LB Ian Gold TE Patrick Hape; S Ryan McNeil; LB Johnny Rutledge.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (3): OG Ben Hamilton; DE Reggie Hayward; LB Donnie Spragan.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS (2): CB Kelly Herndon; S Chris Young.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED: FB Reuben Droughns; TE/LS Mike Leach; CB Jimmy Spencer; CB Scott Turner; LB Al Wilson.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED: CB Champ Bailey; DE Marco Coleman; WR Willie Jackson; DE Raylee Johnson; QB Mike Quinn; CB Reggie Stephens; TE Jed Weaver.

PLAYERS LOST: DE Bert Berry; LB Keith Burns; OG Steve Herndon; RB Clinton Portis; OT Ephraim Salaam.

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