Broncos Update Insider March 7, 2008

The Javon Walker era didn't turn out as hoped in Denver. The Broncos were happy with their acquisition until the middle of this year, when Walker's creaky knee needed more surgery and then he made some comments that upset the organization.

The Javon Walker era didn't turn out as hoped in Denver. The Broncos were happy with their acquisition until the middle of this year, when Walker's creaky knee needed more surgery and then he made some comments that upset the organization.

Walker started strong last season, with 220 yards in Denver's first two games, but finished with less than 300 for the year. He missed eight games because of a knee injury and looked slow when he tried to rush back. The Broncos cut him, and he landed with the Raiders for a large six-year deal.

After the season, Walker made some surprising comments about not fitting in the offense.

"I just don't see it happening with Javon here," Walker said. "I'm happy to be here, I just don't see it happening with me here."

Walker was due more than $5 million in bonuses, so the Broncos decided to let him loose after two seasons. They moved quickly to replace him, signing former Panthers receiver Keary Colbert. Denver also has Brandon Marshall, who had more than 100 catches last year, to assume the No. 1 receiver role.

Walker, who was acquired for a second-round pick by Green Bay, played two seasons for Denver, gaining 1,371 yards on 95 receptions.

NOTES, QUOTES
--Denver was sticking by defensive tackle Marcus Thomas, who was arrested in Florida on March 1 for possession of a controlled substance. Police say there was a baggie with a small amount of cocaine in the truck Thomas was riding in, but Thomas' representatives insist the driver admitted possession of the bag after first denying it.

"The Denver Broncos are aware that Marcus Thomas is under investigation for possession of cocaine and was a passenger in a vehicle where cocaine was found," the Broncos said in a statement.

--The Broncos had some ties to retiring Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre's career, from beating Favre in his second Super Bowl appearance to allowing one of the top highlights from his final season, an overtime bomb to Greg Jennings at Invesco Field at Mile High.

"Brett Favre is one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of professional football," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said in a statement. "You're judged by winning, and he's won more games than any other quarterback who has ever played. But I will remember him just as well for being such a fierce competitor and an outstanding leader."

--Linebacker Ian Gold was cut the same day as receiver Javon Walker. Gold had two stints with the Broncos. He missed a lot of tackles last season and his large salary and impending bonuses were considered too hefty for the team.

--The Broncos re-signed defensive end Ebenezer Ekuban to a one-year deal. Ekuban missed all of last year with a torn Achilles' tendon, but he was a leader in the locker room and could be a good veteran presence on the line if he is healthy.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "He was the face of the Packers and a great credit to our game. It was an honor to coach against him." -- Broncos coach Mike Shanahan on Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

FRANCHISE PLAYER: None
TRANSITION PLAYER: None

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
--TE Stephen Alexander is very unlikely to be back, he will probably retire.

--K Jason Elam will probably be back; both sides are interested in having him return.

--S Nick Ferguson was benched last year and finished his second straight season on injured reserve. He will look at his options in free agency.

--FB Cecil Sapp should return, he's a versatile performer who fits the Broncos offense well.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS --C Chris Myers (tendered at $927,000 with 6th-round pick as compensation) filled in well for Tom Nalen last year, and his versatility will be an asset even if Nalen returns at 100 percent this season.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None

PLAYERS ACQUIRED
--LB Boss Bailey: UFA Lions; $17.5M/5 yrs, $4.35M SB.
--WR Keary Colbert: UFA Panthers: $7.3M/3 yrs, SB unknown
--LB Niko Koutouvides: UFA Seahawks; $7.5M/3 yrs, SB unknown

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED
--S Hamza Abdullah: Potential RFA; $972,000/1 yr.
--DE Ebenezer Ekuban: UFA; 1 YR, terms unknown
--DE John Engelberger: UFA; 2 yrs, terms unknown
--CB Domonique Foxworth: Potential RFA; $972,000/1 yr.
--TE Nate Jackson: UFA; $2M/2 yrs, SB unknown
--CB Karl Paymah: Potential RFA; $972,000/1 yr.
--OT Erik Pears: Potential ERFA; terms unknown

PLAYERS LOST
--LB Ian Gold (released)
--LB Warrick Holdman (released)
--OT Matt Lepsis (retired)
--WR Rod Smith (retired)
--WR Javon Walker (released)





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