Broncos Update Insider - Monday, May 16

The Denver Broncos' offseason workout program has been well attended over the past few years, and that pattern has continued this year. Last year the Broncos had only a handful of players who weren't regularly at the team's facility during the offseason program, and they are getting similar attendance this year. For a young player like linebacker D.J. Williams, being at the team's workout program has its benefits.

"You learn a lot," Williams said. "You learn how to work with your teammates, you can go in and watch film at any time or go upstairs and pick your coach's brain. If you're out of the area, you're not able to do that."

That's why Williams did not go back to the University of Miami to work out this summer, even though plenty of former Hurricanes do so. Running back Clinton Portis, a former Hurricane, would go back to Miami to work out when he was with the Broncos, and that didn't sit well with Broncos coach Mike Shanahan.

Williams said the thought of working out in Miami did cross his mind.

"It did, but I still got a lot of stuff to learn," Williams said. "I thought me being around the guys and getting to know them was more important than me being in Miami working out."

The Broncos players cite the altitude in Denver as a reason so many of them stay for the offseason workouts. They say working out in high altitude is the best way to be prepared to play in the thin air during the season.

Players also say that the strong attendance at the workouts is good for the team's chemistry and helps the transition into the season when training camp comes in July.

"I think people want to be here," Broncos linebacker Ian Gold said. "Denver is a place that, it's not New York and it's not Green Bay. It's a good balance in between. I think because of that reason, it's a good location and good weather here in the summer, and it gets you ready for the season. Running at altitude, you can't get in any better shape anywhere in the country."

NOTES, QUOTES

-- Denver Broncos safety John Lynch fought the $75,000 he was given late last season, but the National Football League decided it was fair.

Lynch was fined $75,000 for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Indianapolis tight end Dallas Clark in Denver's regular season finale on Jan. 2. Because Lynch had been fined $7,500 three times for improper use of his helmet since 2001, the NFL decided a larger fine was in order for the fourth illegal hit.

Lynch went to New York in April to appeal the fine in person, but the league upheld the fine.

"(Lynch's hit) was against league rules and the fine was deemed appropriate," NFL spokesman Steve Alic said.

-- The Broncos started their first team activity of the offseason on May 16. They changed their typical postdraft minicamp, which is usually the second weekend after the draft, to early July.

Denver wanted to hold its first team activity, which is a quarterback camp that will go from May 16-26, when all of its rookies were eligible to attend. Denver will have eight on-field workouts in that two-week stretch.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.
TRANSITION PLAYER: None.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
--RB Garrison Hearst didn't play poorly when he was called upon last year, but the Broncos don't have much use for him with their crowded backfield.
--DT Ellis Johnson is a productive pass-rushing interior lineman and the Broncos would love to get him back for another season.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.
EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.
PLAYERS RE-SIGNED
--P Jason Baker: UFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--S Sam Brandon: RFA; $656,000/1 yr.
--T/G Cooper Carlisle: UFA; $2M/2 yrs, $500,000 SB.
--DE Marco Coleman: UFA; terms unknown.
--DT Dorsett Davis: RFA; $656,000/1 yr.
--DT Luther Elliss: UFA; terms unknown.
--OG Ben Hamilton: UFA; $16.25M/5 yrs, $5.5M guaranteed.
--TE Patrick Hape: UFA; terms unknown.
--TE/LS Mike Leach: UFA; terms unknown.
--DE Anton Palepoi: RFA; $656,000/1 yr.
--DT Monsanto Pope: RFA; $656,000/1 yr.
--TE Jeb Putzier: RFA/matched Jets offer; $12.5M/5 yrs, $2.5M SB.
--CB Lenny Walls: RFA; $1.43M/1 yr.
--S Chris Young: ERFA; $380,000/1 yr.
PLAYERS ACQUIRED
--TE Stephen Alexander: UFA Lions; $4.2M/3 yrs, $1M bonuses.
--DE Courtney Brown: FA Browns; terms unknown.
--LB Keith Burns: UFA Buccaneers; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--OT Anthony Clement: FA Cardinals; terms unknown.
--RB Ron Dayne: UFA Giants; terms unknown.
--DE Ebenezer Ekuban (trade Browns).
--LB Ian Gold: FA Buccaneers; $25M/6 yrs, $5.75M SB/$2.5M RB '06.
--DT Michael Myers (trade Browns).
--DT Gerard Warren (trade Browns).
PLAYERS LOST
--RB Reuben Droughns (traded Browns).
--DE Reggie Hayward: UFA Jaguars; $25M/5 yrs, SB unknown.
--CB Kelly Herndon: RFA Seahawks; $15M/5 yrs, $3.6M SB.
--S Kenoy Kennedy: UFA Lions; $14M/5 yrs, $4M SB.
--OG Dan Neil (released).
--LB Donnie Spragan: UFA Dolphins; $1.9M/2 yrs, $500,000 SB.

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