Broncos Update Insider - 4/9

Kyle Orton didn't blame his fellow teammates who are restricted free agents that didn't show up to the offseason workouts, but the Broncos' quarterback felt the need to be with the team.

Although Orton admitted it has been tough to be a restricted free agent instead of an unrestricted free agent, as he would have been had the owners not opted out of the collective-bargaining agreement, he showed up.

"I don't blame anybody that's not here," Orton said. "But as a quarterback, I think the teammates need to see me here, and I want to be here. I want to be here for a long time too."

Orton said the acquisition of Brady Quinn this offseason had nothing to do with him showing up for offseason workouts. He said he is focused on getting better in many ways this season, and one of the most important ways was his leadership.

"To have a great offense you have to have a guy that demands it from everybody, starting with himself, so I have to demand perfection out of my play, and I'm going to expect that from everybody else on our offense as well," Orton said.

There were other ways for him to improve, and he said much of that will come just from being in the system for a second straight year. He and his receivers know the offense much better, and now can concentrate on being sharper than just learning.

One way in which that could manifest itself is in the deep passing game, which was a regular criticism of the Broncos' offense last year. They didn't pass deep very often, but that could change. Orton said he wants the offense to open up, but it will take some work.

"It's easy to talk about it, it's tougher to do," Orton said. "You have to get protection, let the play develop down the field, guy has to get open, you have to make the right throw and you have to hit him."

NOTES, QUOTES

--As one of the team's union representatives, quarterback Kyle Orton said he is concerned about a potential lockout in 2011. He said he told his teammates to be prepared. "As players, we have to be ready for

a lockout," Orton said. "The steps that have been taken certainly look like it's leading to that. You can say, it can never happen, but the fact is that's what it's looking like and as players you have to be ready for it."

--Defensive tackle Jamal Williams didn't really want to talk about his former team, the Chargers. San Diego cut the longtime nose tackle this year, and he landed with division rival Denver.

"That's a chapter in the past," Williams said of the Chargers. "My feet are pointing forward. I don't look back at that. I just know that's one of our divisional opponents."

--As of the first week of April, the only Broncos restricted free agent who signed his tender is guard Chris Kuper. Quarterback Kyle Orton, receiver Brandon Marshall and linebacker Elvis Dumervil are still unsigned.

--New Broncos defensive tackle Jamal Williams had some brawls with former Broncos center Tom Nalen throughout their careers, when Williams was with San Diego. Williams hasn't forgotten.

"I'm still looking for Tom," Williams joked. "I heard he's like 220 (pounds) right now. So if you're out there man, bring it on."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We want to develop that chemistry." -- S Renaldo Hill on the team's offseason workouts.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

The Broncos haven't signed a center, and cut starting center Casey Wiegmann earlier this offseason. There doesn't seem to be much panic because there should be opportunities to find a center that can step in right away.

Although it would be a bit of a reach, the Broncos could draft Florida center Maurkice Pouncey to fill a need. Or, they could also sign one of the available free-agent centers on the market, but that probably won't happen until after the draft.

TEAM NEEDS

1. Center: The Broncos don't have a great option to start at center right now. And the 11th pick seems high to select a center, so the Broncos might have to get creative.

2. Receiver: With the trade of Brandon Marshall to the Dophins, the Broncos receiving corps will be very thin. A receiver is now almost a must in the draft.

3. Inside linebacker: The Broncos haven't added an inside linebacker despite cutting Andra Davis. This could be a big priority in the draft.

MEDICAL WATCH: No updates.

FRANCHISE PLAYER: None

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
--P Mitch Berger was a midseason signee who had an up-and-down year. With the late-season addition of Britton Colquitt, don't expect Berger back.
--S Vernon Fox added some depth on special teams late in the year. He could return for camp.
--OT Brandon Gorin gave the Broncos some experience at tackle but was not the primary backup at the position. Denver could look elsewhere.
--LB Nick Greisen missed all of last season with a knee injury, and his health could determine his future.
--G Ben Hamilton was benched last season, and as a better fit in a zone-blocking scheme, is unlikely to return.
--DE Vonnie Holliday was a pleasant surprise as an addition right before the season started and would seem like a good bet to return for another year.
--CB Ty Law played well after being picked up during the season but did deal with some injuries and is near the end of his career. If he is re-signed, it's a sign the Broncos don't have much faith in 2009 second-round pick Alphonso Smith.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (*indicates restricted because of uncapped year)
--*OLB Elvis Dumervil (tendered at $3.168M with first- and third-round picks as compensation) should be a high priority for the Broncos after leading the NFL in sacks.
--*WR Brandon Marshall (tendered at $2.521M with first-round pick as compensation) will probably be shopped in a trade after a tumultuous 2009 season.
--*QB Kyle Orton (tendered at $2.621M with first-round pick as compensation) appears to be penciled in as the Broncos' starting quarterback for another season, but the question is whether the team wants to sign him long term.
--*TE Tony Scheffler (tendered at $1.176M with second-round pick as compensation) appears to be on his way out of Denver after attitude problems led to him being deactivated for the season finale.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED
--S Josh Barrett: ERFA; terms unknown.
--G Russ Hochstein: UFA; 2 yrs, terms unknown.
--*G Chris Kuper: RFA; (tendered at $2.521M with first-round pick as compensation); $2.521M/1 yr.
--WR Brandon Lloyd: UFA; terms unknown.
--K Matt Prater: ERFA; terms unknown.
--*DE Le Kevin Smith: Not tendered as RFA; terms unknown.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED
--RB J.J. Arrington: FA; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--DT Justin Bannan: UFA Ravens; $22M/5 yrs, $6.3M SB.
--DE Jarvis Green: UFA Patriots; $20M/4 yrs.
--CB Nate Jones: UFA Dolphins; $4.33M/4 yrs.
--QB Brady Quinn (trade Browns).
--NT Jamal Williams: FA Chargers; $16M/3 yrs, $7M guaranteed.

PLAYERS LOST
--WR Brandon Marshall (traded Dolphins).
--LB Andra Davis (released).
--OG Mitch Erickson (released).
--FB Peyton Hillis (traded Browns).
--RB LaMont Jordan (released).
--DL J'Vonne Parker (released).
--DE Kenny Peterson (released).
--C Casey Wiegmann (released).



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