Over The Cap: 2016 NFL Free Agency, Running Backs

Jason Fitzgerald reviews the running backs who will be free agents for the 2016 offseason and the contracts he anticipates they will receive.

Ronnie Hillman will be a free agent after this season and the Broncos will have to decide whether or not to extend him. Jason believes Hillman will have to settle for a one-year deal, unless he becomes a dominant player.

While there are still plenty of games to play, from the Broncos’ perspective, it’s best to either extend Hillman (although I can see John Elway allowing Hillman to test the market before doing so) or wait to see what street free agents become available. The draft is an option, of course.

Either way, signing a “big name” RB isn’t the best idea, even though C.J. Anderson has been a disappointment and, if Hillman departs, Juwan Thompson and Kapri Bibbs are the only other backs that will be on the roster.

Broncos Back To Practice

This is good news for the Broncos from the “how healthy is everyone” standpoint. Renck also tweeted that Sambrailo may not be ready to play every snap, but Gary Kubiak has tried rotating linemen and may plan on doing it against Green Bay.

Barnwell’s Top 25 NFL Teams

Grantland’s Bill Barnwell borrowed AP’s Top 25 ranking of college football teams to rank how he views the top 25 NFL teams this season. One spoiler: He ranked the Broncos ninth, which is arguably fair considering the Broncos’ early struggles on offense.

I imagine everyone has seen my Not So Scientific NFL rankings, but Barnwell’s column prompted a thought about what tiers we might put the NFL teams. It goes like this:
Continue reading Barnwell’s Top 25 NFL Teams

Mike Florio Suggests Expanding Regular Season to 17 Games

For several years, the NFL has made two peculiar pushes.  The first, which has had some success, is to play more games overseas.  They’re up to three now, and have been talking much about adding more. The second, which has yet to be successful, is their longstanding desire to expand the regular season to 18 games.

I’m not terribly crazy about these two proposals, though I don’t have any burning anger against them, either. It’s clearly an effort by the NFL to make even more money. But if these pushes are to continue, I’ve felt for some time that the proper solution would be one offered today by Mike Florio: Expand only to 17 games, and then send the resulting extra 16 teams overseas.

Continue reading Mike Florio Suggests Expanding Regular Season to 17 Games

One Year Ago Today…

  …I attended my first ever Broncos game.  I mentioned this in comments somewhere else, but this game may have very well been the very last home game where Broncos fans could witness Peyton Manning at his typical best.  While I didn’t know exactly that for sure, as the picture at the left suggests I figured to go big for this game, as there wasn’t going to be many other times to see Manning do what he does live.

You can see the entire photo gallery of my time at the game here.  Also, as a bonus, this is where I was at in Denver the day before the game.

As we continue to burn away the bye week, feel free to share your own stories of Broncos games that you’ve attended.


Sundquist: Why The Broncos Drafted Cutler

Former Denver Broncos general manager Ted Sundquist wrote an interesting piece about what led to the Broncos’ decision to trade up in the 2006 draft to select Jay Cutler.

There’s some good insight, particularly when Sundquist shares his first-hand knowledge about what the Broncos looked at and how the pieces fell into place. One item Sundquist mentions is really worth considering.

Enter Mike Heimerdinger. Dinger was a longtime friend and college roommate of Mike Shanahan’s and had previously been in Denver as wide receivers coach from 1995 to 1999. We brought him back as assistant head coach in late January 2006, about three months before the draft.

He immediately began lobbying for Cutler.

There’s more on top of that, but I’ll let you read the piece. I will, however, present a “what if” scenario for everyone to consider, while keeping in mind that, sadly, Heimerdinger passed away in 2011 after a battle with cancer.

WHAT IF… Mike Heimerdinger had not left the Broncos after two seasons and, after Mike Shanahan’s dismissal, been interviewed by Pat Bowlen and subsequently got the head coaching job?

So How Are The Broncos Special Teams Faring?

Lost in all the talk about the Broncos great defense and sluggish offense is the third area of importance to any NFL team: Special teams.

In my rankings yesterday, I wondered why certain teams ranked low in Football Outsiders DVOA rankings for special teams. FO has a detailed breakdown of special teams and what they look for in each area.

To summarize, FO compares how each team does compared to the league average for all 32 teams. You can follow the link above for detailed explanations, but there are a few things that are worth keeping in mind.
Continue reading So How Are The Broncos Special Teams Faring?

Jesus Shuttleworth

Earlier today, our nation was ‘rocked’ by another ‘explosive’ NCAA ‘sex party scandal’ (all terms pulled from Google news headlines). ESPN and OTL have reported former players and recruits from the University of Louisville Basketball Program allege they attended campus parties that included strippers with one player admitting to having sex with a stripper, paid for by the team’s former graduate assistant coach.


Stop the press if you’ve never heard this before: College athletes go to parties. Escorts are paid for sex. Multi-Billion dollar amateur sports industry figure heads claim they had NO knowledge.

What does this have to do with the Denver Broncos? Not much directly, however and I’m willing to bet if you were to ask many active players on the Denver Broncos if they experienced anything remotely similar during their recruitment and playing days in college, they’d smile and say “On to Cincinnati”. Continue reading Jesus Shuttleworth