Tony Grossi: Broncos Tried To Trade For Joe Thomas

The calls to and from Elway’s office continue:

According to a source, the Browns had talks with the Denver Broncos early in the season after Denver lost left tackle Ryan Clady to injury in the preseason. The Broncos were willing to part with their first-round pick in 2016, but the Browns also asked for second-year linebacker Shaq Barrett, and that apparently killed the deal.

In my opinion, that rightly killed the deal.  In the wise words of Ernie Accorsi, you “don’t trade young pass-rushers”.  That’s what he said as Giants GM when Chargers GM AJ Smith tried to get him to include Osi Umenyiora in the famous Eli Manning/Philip Rivers deal.

With less than six hours remaining before the trade deadline, it remains to be seen if the Broncos or anyone else can pry Thomas away from Cleveland.  But to offer another opinion, barring some kind of crazy Herschel Walker type offer, I think the Browns are crazy to even put Thomas on the trading block. If you’re going to conduct a fire sale properly, you want to offer players that either have expiring contracts (such as Alex Mack’s option to void after this year) or players that don’t fit in your system (potentially Barkevious Mingo).  But Thomas is one of the best left tackles in the league, and more importantly he’s under contract for 3.5 more seasons.  You’re supposed to construct rosters around players like that.  If the Browns trade Thomas, they’re not rebuilding, they’re demolishing.

And sadly for Browns fans, it’s something that they are all too accustomed to.

Gut Reaction: Vernon Davis Is Now A Bronco

It’s funny how things are at Thin Air. A few weeks ago, several of you were suggesting the idea of trading for somebody like Vernon Davis.

Given today’s revelation, you’d think John Elway was reading this site or something.

Let’s do temper our expectations a bit. Davis isn’t the game breaker he used to be. It’s not likely we’re going to see him rack up 100 yards every game or cause matchup problems for every defense.

But he can fill a key role in giving the Broncos a tight end who can easily rotate in and out with the others on the roster.
Continue reading Gut Reaction: Vernon Davis Is Now A Bronco

Broncos Acquire Vernon Davis From 49ers

Assuming Davis remains on the Broncos’ roster for the remainder of the season, Denver will pay him 9/17ths of his 2015 base salary, or approximately $2.5 million.  With the Broncos having approximately $7.3 million in current 2015 cap space, this is an acquisition they could easily afford.

Giving up two 6ths for a 7th and Davis is a great deal. Remember that the Broncos have one of the most stacked rosters in the NFL, and in 2016 it’s likely that some of those late draft picks might not make the team.  That likelihood increases when you remember that the Broncos should get three compensatory picks to further pad their 2016 pick total.  As it stands right now, the Broncos’ 2016 draft slate consists of the following: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd or 4th (compensatory), 4th (compensatory), 5th (from BAL), 5th, 6th (compensatory), 7th (from SF), 7th (from HOU), and 7th.

Also, Davis is in the last year of his contract. With Virgil Green under contract for a long while and Jeff Heuerman expected to come off IR, it would seem unlikely that the Broncos would retain him.  And if they don’t, he’ll factor into the Broncos’ 2017 compensatory pick formula, giving them an excellent chance to get that 2017 6th back, if not improve on it.

John Elway has confirmed the transaction.

Ty Sambrailo’s Season Is Over

Unfortunate news for the 2015 second-round pick.

ETA: Lindsay Jones explains more.

It remains to be seen if the Broncos trade for another offensive lineman, but the door could be open for that now. The only question to ask is whether such a trade would hurt some of the continuity the Broncos seem to have established on the line.

Not sure who is available in free agency at this point.

Yes, The Broncos Can Win With Subpar Peyton

All season long, the one subject everyone wants to talk about regarding the Denver Broncos, more than any other subject, has been Peyton Manning.

Let’s get this out of the way: Yes, Peyton is declining and has been for some time. Yes, he’s made poor decisions and his throws aren’t consistently where they need to be. And this is likely going to be his last season.

But after last night’s 29-10 Denver Broncos victory over the Green Bay Packers, it’s time to ask ourselves if we are worrying too much about Peyton.
Continue reading Yes, The Broncos Can Win With Subpar Peyton

Pat Bowlen Was Exactly What You Wanted In An NFL Owner

NFL owners are businessmen. Because they are businessmen, they concern themselves with the bottom line, sometimes to a fault. No businessman is a saint nor should anyone expect them to be. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t traits a businessmen can possess that make him a good one.

When it comes to NFL owners, Pat Bowlen is not without his faults. He is not without his mistakes. Overall, though, he’s acted exactly like you expect an NFL owner should act. Let’s review the characteristics of a good NFL owner and how they applied to Bowlen.
Continue reading Pat Bowlen Was Exactly What You Wanted In An NFL Owner

RIP Grantland

Via ESPN:

Effective immediately we are suspending the publication of Grantland.  After careful consideration, we have decided to direct our time and energy going forward to projects that we believe will have a broader and more significant impact across our enterprise.

Grantland distinguished itself with quality writing, smart ideas, original thinking and fun.  We are grateful to those who made it so.  Bill Simmons was passionately committed to the site and proved to be an outstanding editor with a real eye for talent.  Thanks to all the other writers, editors and staff who worked very hard to create content with an identifiable sensibility and consistent intelligence and quality. We also extend our thanks to Chris Connelly who stepped in to help us maintain the site these past five months as he returns to his prior role.

Despite this change, the legacy of smart long-form sports story-telling and innovative short form video content will continue, finding a home on many of our other ESPN platforms.