Broncos Update Insider - 3/29

Receiver Brandon Marshall's timetable for recovery from an arm injury should put him back on the field before training camp, but the matter is still not ideal for the Denver Broncos.

Marshall will have his arm immobilized six weeks before he can begin rehabilitation. Marshall said he fell through a television and suffered serious injuries to his forearm while on a family vacation. Marshall said he and his brother Fred were wrestling around, he fell off balance and lost control when he tried to avoid a McDonald's bag.

"My arm went right through the TV," Marshall said.

The injuries were significant: he suffered lacerations to an artery, vein, nerve, two tendons and three muscles. The Broncos say he should have a full recovery, however. Marshall said he will be fine and ready for training camp.

Marshall, who had more than 100 catches last season in his second year, has great talent but has been frustrating off the field. He was arrested in a domestic dispute, although that case was dismissed, and was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence last October. That case is still in the court system.

On the field, Marshall might be slowed by the limited activity in the offseason conditioning program, although last year he missed a lot of time, including the first week of training camp, with a groin injury.

Marshall is clearly the team's top receiver, especially after Denver let Javon Walker go, and the Broncos need him back as quickly as possible.

"We are going to need him," cornerback Champ Bailey said. "I just hope we do everything in our power as a team to get him back healthy and ready for the season. That's all that matters."


--Now that Jason Elam's long and productive career with the Broncos is done, the team has to wonder what's next.

Elam signed with Atlanta after the Broncos didn't want to pay the amount of guaranteed money he was looking for. Atlanta got Elam for $9 million over four years with a $3 million signing bonus.

The Broncos signed kicker Matt Prater near the end of last season, but he has only four field-goal attempts in his NFL career, making one. Denver could also sign veteran kicker Olindo Mare.

--Tight end Tony Scheffler, who was adding weight last offseason to become a more effective blocker before he broke his foot in a minicamp practice, is keeping his weight down this season. Scheffler, who was about 265 pounds at this time last year, is 250 and hopes to play at that weight.

Although Daniel Graham is the Broncos' starter, Scheffler plays a lot and is a tough matchup in two-tight end sets.

--Denver started its offseason conditioning program on March 24, and there have been plenty of changes since the end of the 2007 season.

"Coming in today, I saw a lot of new faces," Scheffler said. "I almost feel like a new guy. And this is going to be my third year."

--Defensive end Jarvis Moss, whose rookie season ended with a broken fibula last year, said he is running and close to resuming full workouts with his teammates.

"I don't see anything holding me back at all come camp," Moss said.

--Former Denver safety Nick Ferguson has agreed to a one-year deal with the Houston Texans. Ferguson was a starter for Denver for most of his five seasons with the team, but was demoted last season and the team signed safeties Marlon McCree and Marquand Manuel this offseason.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I have nothing to lie about. It's my arm. It's an accident." - Receiver Brandon Marshall.



1. Defensive tackle: Without much left in free agency, the Broncos could use the draft to add some depth on the interior line. The legal situation involving Marcus Thomas also could be a major problem at defensive tackle, which is already a position of need. Veteran Alvin McKinley should return as one starter, and Thomas will probably start if he's still with the team.

2. Safety: John Lynch is back for another season, but probably only one more. The team likes Hamza Abdullah at the other safety, but he's still inexperienced and will have to make strides this season. A veteran signee could fill the gap between the present and the future.

3. Linebacker: Once the Broncos add to their linebacking corps, they'll have a better idea if they can move D.J. Williams back to his natural outside linebacker position. Niko Koutouvides could be a replacement in the middle, and it's hoped Boss Bailey will win the other outside spot. Denver released Ian Gold, who was coming off a poor season, but that does make the Broncos a bit thinner at linebacker.

MEDICAL WATCH: No updates.




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



--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.
--S Marquand Manuel: UFA Panthers; $4.5M/3 yrs, $500,000 guaranteed.
--S Marlon McCree: FA Chargers; terms unknown.
--C Casey Wiegmann: UFA Chiefs; 2 yrs, terms unknown.

--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.
--FB Cecil Sapp: UFA; $645,000/1 yr, $40,000 SB; 2008 cap: $485,000.

--K Jason Elam: UFA Falcons; $9M/4 yrs, $3.3M SB.
--S Nick Ferguson: UFA Texans; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--LB Ian Gold (released).
--LB Warrick Holdman (released).
--OT Matt Lepsis (retired).
--C Chris Myers: RFA; traded Texans.
--WR Javon Walker (released). Elam signed with Atlanta after the Broncos didn't want to pay the amount of guaranteed money he was looking for. Atlanta got Elam for $9 million over four years with a $3 million signing bonus.

The Broncos signed kicker Matt Prater near the end of last season, but he has only four field-goal attempts in his NFL career, making one.

No matter who kicks for the Broncos, they are unlikely to have the same level of comfort they had when Elam lined up. Cornerback Champ Bailey said letting Elam go might be the most significant move of the Broncos' offseason.

"I wish it was Elam," Bailey said about Denver's kicking situation. "But I can't make that call."

Elam hadn't shown any signs of slipping, although he turned 38 this offseason. Over the past two years, he hit 90 percent of his field goals and was 37-of-37 within 40 yards. Last year he hit four game-winning field goals on the final play.

Elam arrived in Denver in 1993 and holds every major Broncos kicking record. He is also the team's all-time leading scorer and set the franchise record for games played.

"He had a great 15 years in Denver, but he's looking forward to coming home and a new challenge," agent Jack Reale said.

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