|03-03-2007, 04:17 AM||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2006
Denver able to lure free agents for visits
Denver able to lure free agents for visits
Low on cap room, team eyes Kerney, Green, others
In the first whirlwind hours of NFL free agency Friday, the Broncos were all about throwing haymakers.
Team officials, with much less salary-cap space to work with than many of their league brethren, still were able to secure the opening visits from some of the marquee players in this year's crop.
One of those, defensive end Patrick Kerney, is one of the most coveted players on the market and was treated to a cadets boxing competition at the Air Force Academy on Friday night with Broncos defensive line coach Bill Johnson and safety John Lynch.
Asked if he believed he was the team's top target in free agency, Kerney said: "That's the word. With them acquiring Dré Bly (Thursday) night, it was that much of a commitment to making a great defense around here a better defense. They had a great defense this year, and they really want to make a championship defense that I can hopefully be a part of."
The Broncos also had what many in the league believe is the top all-around tight end available, in Daniel Graham, in for a visit at their Dove Valley complex, while also greeting running back Ahman Green and guard Montrae Holland.
And the team is selling its playoff potential and track record.
"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 said.
Yet while the views are postcard-worthy every morning, free agency often boils down to cold, hard cash.
And the Broncos certainly would have to redo some more contracts, such as wide receiver Rod Smith's or defensive end Kenard Lang's, or release some players to sign players such as the visiting foursome.
The Broncos, before the trade to acquire Bly, had about $1.8 million worth of room under the $109 million salary cap. They since have restructured defensive tackle Gerard Warren's contract, creating about $2.6 million worth of room, which gave them enough room to add Bly's roughly $5 million cap figure for '07 after sending tackle George Foster and running back Tatum Bell to the Lions in the deal.
The likes of Kerney, Green and Graham are another matter, though. Green is believed to have told the Packers he wants a deal that averages roughly $5 million a year; Graham has visits to Oakland, Seattle and Minnesota lined up; and Kerney is the most proven pass rusher in a market starved for them.
Kerney is scheduled to leave this evening to visit the Seahawks and said Friday there was not a scenario where he would cancel that visit.
"No, I'm definitely going to go see what Seattle has to offer," Kerney said. "I don't want to let any stone go unturned.
Kerney, who probably would play the left defensive end in the Broncos scheme, has a longtime relationship with Broncos defensive line coach Bill Johnson. Johnson is his former position coach with Atlanta.
The hard-charging Kerney missed seven games this past season because of a torn right pectoral muscle - those were the first games he missed in his nine years in the league.
Kerney said he's working out again, and he could have played in the Super Bowl had the Falcons been able to make a run.
Green, who missed 11 games in 2005 because of a torn thigh tendon, turned 30 last month. Most in the league believe he would flourish in the Broncos scheme, and with six 1,000-yard seasons in his career, he has the résumé if he's healthy.
He played in 14 games this past season, finishing with 1,059 yards rushing to go with 46 receptions. He has visits scheduled with Houston and Oakland.
"Just let everybody say what they need to say to me so I can hear them out, give everybody a fair shot," Green said. "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."
Graham's agent, Boulder- based Tom Mills, said Graham has much the same outlook: "He wants to talk to them and hear how they intend to use him and get a feel for the culture of the team, things any player wants to know before making a decision like this. But they don't need to go down and show him the 16th Street Mall. . . . He just wants to make sure it's a good fit for him."
Tight end Kyle Brady, who visited the Patriots on Friday, is expected to arrive in Denver today to visit the Broncos.
The Titans are expected to release running back Travis Henry today. The Broncos would be a potential suitor.
|03-03-2007, 09:50 AM||#4|
RIP Darrent Williams
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Glendale, AZ
id take either really.
both are good backs, altho Green has fumble problems i hear, and we already got rid of our fumble guy.