Green meeting with Broncos

Ahman Green, who is closing in on the Packers' all-time rushing lead, is being courted by Houston and Denver, both of which operate the zone running scheme.

Unable to strike a deal to stay with the Green Bay Packers before free agency started Friday, running back Ahman Green arrived in Denver to meet with the Broncos on Friday.

That's not to say Green is going to sign with the Broncos, or to say that Green's days in Green Bay are over.

The Broncos, according to the Denver Post, are seriously pursuing Buffalo running back Willis McGahee, who the Bills are trying to trade as he enters the final year of his contract. McGahee hasn't met the expectations of a former first-round pick, and he recently suggested ownership move the franchise to Toronto.

Denver needs a starting running back after sending last year's leading rusher, Tatum Bell, to Detroit earlier in the week for cornerback Dre Bly. The Packers implemented the zone-blocking run scheme this past season, and that's the system the Broncos run better than any team in the league.

"I've always been a football fan, and watching what the Broncos did - two years winning championships with (Terrell Davis) in the backfield - just ... knowing what a running back can do in this offense with this team is very amazing," Green told the Rocky Mountain News.

Green is 45 yards shy of Jim Taylor's franchise rushing record of 8,207 yards, and has told team officials he prefers to remain in Green Bay. His free-agent tour — which will include a visit to the zone-blocking Houston Texans, whose offensive coordinator is former Packers coach Mike Sherman — could be a way of finding his worth before giving the Packers a chance to make a counter offer.

In this year of free agency, though, with almost every team having ample cap space, there's a chance Green could get the $5 million-per-year offer he desires. In that event, the Packers must determine if a 30-year-old running back who suffered a serious leg injury in 2005 is worth a hefty price.

That might not be Denver, though, since the Broncos had to rework defensive lineman's Gerard Warren's contract to help fit Bly under the cap.

"Just let everybody say what they need to say to me so I can hear them out, give everybody a fair shot," said Green, who rushed for 1,059 yards in 14 games last season. "Because I know what I can bring to a team, and it's what they can bring to help me, because I know what I can do as a running back for any team, also as a leader."

A few other free-agent notes:

The agent for Joe Horn has said the Packers made preliminary contact about the wide receiver, who was released by the Saints on Thursday. Packers coach Mike McCarthy was an offensive coordinator for the Saints, so he knows the 35-year-old receiver well.

The Packers are seeking a veteran receiver to match with Donald Driver and Greg Jennings; there's no guarantee troubled Koren Robinson will be brought back once his year-long suspension ends early next season. While the Saints said Horn was a salary-cap casualty, there are reports Horn failed his physical.

San Francisco made the first big splash in free agency, landing the top cornerback on the market, Nate Clements.

There was talk the Packers might have interest, but the former Buffalo Bills Pro Bowler landed a whopping eight-year, $80 million deal. That's the largest given to a defensive player in league history.

The 49ers also nabbed safety Michael Lewis . The former Philadelphia Eagle was one of the best safeties on the market, and that's a position of need for the Packers.

Lawrence is a regular contributor to Send comments to

Packer Report Top Stories