Broncos Update Insider - 6/18

The Broncos avoided a potentially contentious situation when outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil signed his restricted free agent tender, just before the Broncos had the option of slashing his tender offer.

Dumervil signed the offer, worth $3.168 million, which ensures he will be in Denver this season. That's good news for the Broncos, considering some of the other problematic situations involving restricted free agents around the league.

"Football has a business side to it and to me there's a fun side, which is playing football," Dumervil said. "That's the side I love. As far as the business side, it is what it is."

The Broncos had threatened in letters to Dumervil to cut his tender offer, as was their right, on June 15. They could have reduced it to 110 percent of his 2009 contract.

The Broncos said there were no messages being sent, and didn't want anything negative to come from the threat of yanking the tender offer.

"We'd like to have everybody under contract at training camp," McDaniels said before Dumervil signed his tender. "It's simple."

The team has said all offseason it wants to negotiate a long-term contract with the NFL's reigning sack leader, and those talks will continue. The negotiations won't be easy, however, because Dumervil plays a prime position.

Dumervil had 17 sacks in his first season as a 3-4 outside linebacker, and put himself in a position to ask for a contract that compares with the top pass rushers in the NFL. Dallas' DeMarcus Ware got a contract worth about $78 million, with about $40 million guaranteed last year. While Dumervil's contract numbers might not go that high, if the Broncos pay him it will be one of the biggest contracts in team history. The last mega-contract Denver gave to a player was 2004, when cornerback Champ Bailey got a $63 million deal.

Bailey made it clear that he wanted to see Dumervil get the type of deal he is after.

"I'm trying not to bite my tongue, and trying not to say too much at the same time," Bailey said. "He's a guy that we need. I wish things would work out a lot faster than they are. Hopefully by the time when it counts, for the season, we'll have it done. Because we need him."

NOTES, QUOTES

--The Broncos said linebacker Robert Ayers' mysterious benching for the first two days of their mandatory minicamp was nothing that will linger into training camp.

"He's fine, and I commend him for the work he's done and how he's approached this entire offseason," Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said about the punishment, which was for an unknown offense. "It's resolved itself and we're all exciting moving forward with that. I know Robert is, and there's no other issues with it."

When Ayers, a 2009 first-round pick, did return it was with the second team. McDaniels said he will compete with Jarvis Moss, another former first-round pick, for a starting spot.

--Rookie fifth-round pick Perrish Cox, who slipped in the draft because of character concerns, stood out in offseason practices. He seems to already be ahead of 2009 second-round pick Alphonso Smith on the depth chart.

Cox got a chance to practice with the starters when Champ bailey or Andre Goodman took a play off. Nate Jones worked as the nickel cornerback, however.

"He's a rookie like everybody else who's come in here and he's made his share of mistakes but he's also earned, I think, some of the respect of the veterans -- there's some trust that I think he's probably earned," Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said about Cox.

--The Broncos added to their backfield depth by claiming former Chiefs running back Kolby Smith off waivers. Smith showed some promise as a rookie in 2007 but injuries slowed his career.

Smith might need an injury to make the roster. Right now he is behind Knowshon Moreno, Correll Buckhalter and J.J. Arrington.

--Denver settled its punting position in June. The team cut A.J. Trapasso, leaving Britton Colquitt as the only punter on the roster. Colquitt hasn't punted in a NFL game, but spent training camp and Week 17 with the Broncos last season.

At the end of the Broncos' mandatory minicamp, before the roster move was made, McDaniels said that Colquitt had opened up a big gap in the competition against Trapasso.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "He is the starter. What do you want me to expound on it? He is the starter. No doubt." -- Broncos coach Josh McDaniels on QB Kyle Orton.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

The Broncos have three of their 2010 draft picks under contract. Cornerback Perrish Cox, a fifth-round pick, was the third to sign, joining outside linebacker Jammie Kirlew and cornerback Syd'Quan Thompson, who are both seventh rounders.

The Broncos will have a challenge the next few weeks because once again they have two first-round picks. Last year Denver had two first-round picks, and both held out at the start of camp. Robert Ayers' holdout was settled very quickly, and Knowshon Moreno missed just a few days.

FRANCHISE PLAYER: None

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)
--P Mitch Berger (not tendered as UFA).
--S Vernon Fox (not tendered as UFA).
--OT Brandon Gorin (not tendered as UFA).
--CB Ty Law (not tendered as UFA).

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (*indicates restricted because of uncapped year): None.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.

DRAFT CHOICES SIGNED
--C J.D. Walton (3/80): $2.588M/4 yrs, $798,500 SB.
--CB Perrish Cox (5/137): Terms unknown.
--CB Syd'Quan Thompson (7/225): Terms unknown.
--LB Jammie Kirlew (7/232): Terms unknown.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED
--S Josh Barrett: ERFA; terms unknown.
--*OLB Elvis Dumervil; RFA (tendered at $3.168M with first- and third-round picks as compensation); $3.168M/1 yr.
--LB Nick Greisen: UFA; 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.
--*QB Kyle Orton: RFA; (tendered at $2.621M with first-round pick as compensation); $2.621M/1 yr.
--K Matt Prater: ERFA; terms unknown.
--*TE Tony Scheffler: RFA; (tendered at $1.176M with second-round pick as compensation); $1.176M/1 yr.
--*DE Le Kevin Smith: Not tendered as RFA; terms unknown.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED
--RB J.J. Arrington: FA; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--LB Akin Ayodele: FA Dolphins; terms unknown.
--DT Justin Bannan: UFA Ravens; $22M/5 yrs, $6.3M SB.
--FB Kyle Eckel: Not tendered as RFA by Saints; terms unknown.
--DE Jarvis Green: UFA Patriots; $20M/4 yrs.
--CB Nate Jones: UFA Dolphins; $4.33M/4 yrs. --QB Brady Quinn (trade Browns).
--RB Kolby Smith (waivers Chiefs).
--NT Jamal Williams: FA Chargers; $16M/3 yrs, $7M guaranteed.

PLAYERS LOST
--QB Tom Brandstater (rleased).
--LB Andra Davis (released).
--OG Mitch Erickson (released).
--OG Ben Hamilton: UFA Seahawks; terms unknown.
--FB Peyton Hillis (traded Browns).
--DE Vonnie Holliday: UFA Redskins; terms unknown.
--RB LaMont Jordan (released).
--WR Brandon Marshall (traded Dolphins).
--OG Matt McChesney (retired).
--DL J'Vonne Parker (released).
--DE Kenny Peterson (released).
--TE Tony Scheffler (trade Lions).
--QB Chris Simms (released).
--C Casey Wiegmann (released).



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