NBC Denver considers it a "virtual certainty" that the Broncos will draft a quarterback.
With Peyton Manning nearing the end and Brock Osweiler unproven in the regular season, longtime Broncos reporter Mike Klis expects a rookie to be added to Denver's quarterback corps. Klis considers Colorado State's Garrett Grayson the "most ready" to slot in behind Manning and Osweiler. Grayson could come off the board on Day 2, which may be too early for the win-now Broncos.
Broncos waived DE Quanterus Smith with a failed physical designation.
Smith served as DeMarcus Ware's backup last season, recording 11 tackles and zero sacks. He ended the year on injured reserve due to a knee injury and was likely to lose his roster spot to Shaq Barrett this year.
Beat writer Mike Klis expects the Broncos to select Florida State C Cameron Erving if he's available at No. 28 overall.
Offensive line is the biggest priority for the Broncos, who have just Ryan Clady and Louis Vasquez locked in as starters right now. Guys like Gino Gradowski, Manny Ramirez, Shelley Smith, Ben Garland and Chris Clark are candidates to round out the line. Erving would be an excellent fit as a zone-blocking center who could slide right into the Gary Kubiak scheme. If he's not there, expect John Elway to look at a tackle to play opposite Clady.
Broncos released WR Kerry Taylor.
Taylor, 26, hasn’t appeared in a game since 2013. Getting waived at this stage of the offseason is a bad sign for his NFL future.
TFY Draft Insider Tony Pauline reports the Rams "love" Mississippi State ILB Benardrick McKinney.
McKinney is huge at 6-foot-4 and 246 pounds. He's believed by some to be a fringe first- or second-round prospect and checks in as Rotoworld draft guru Josh Norris' No. 4 off-ball linebacker. Pauline also reports the Broncos are eyeing McKinney. In the Rams' 4-3, McKinney could start out at strong-side linebacker before eventually replacing overpaid and overrated MLB James Laurinaitis.
The Broncos are not expected to re-sign free agent Wes Welker.
Welker has attracted zero interest on the open market, unsurprising for a concussion-riddled wideout who turns 34 in May. The Broncos will wisely roll with Cody Latimer as their No. 3 wideout behind starters Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Welker, who has flirted with retirement before, should strongly consider it now.
Broncos coach Gary Kubiak says free agent C Samson Satele is someone "we've talked about."
The Broncos have also monitored free agents Will Montgomery, Chris Myers and Scott Wells. Despite starting all 16 games for the Dolphins in 2014, Satele finished 31st out of 40 qualified centers in Pro Football Focus' year-end rankings. He received a slightly positive grade in run blocking but was brutal in pass protection. Matt Paradis and Shelley Smith could play center if the Broncos fail to land any of their free agent targets. Myers would be their best option.
Colts signed ILB Nate Irving, formerly of the Broncos, to a three-year, $9.25 million contract.
A torn ACL cut Irving's 2014 season in half, but he was having a fine year before the injury. He finished 22nd out of 60 qualifiers in Pro Football Focus' inside linebacker rankings. Teams ran all over the Colts last season and Irving can help in that area. D'Qwell Jackson and Jerrell Freeman will hold down the fort at linebacker until Irving is healthy enough to contribute.
Falcons signed TE Jacob Tamme, formerly of the Broncos, to a two-year contract.
Tamme picked the Falcons over a return to the Broncos. He'll have a shot at far more looks in Atlanta than he ever would have in Denver. 2015 marks only the second season Tamme, 30, has played in his career without Peyton Manning. Levine Toilolo's a mere end-of-the-line blocker. New OC Kyle Shanahan's offense likes to feature the tight end, which works in Tamme's favor. We still wouldn't be surprised if Atlanta addressed tight end early in the draft. It'd be a great round-two landing spot for Minnesota's Maxx Williams.
ESPN's Vaughn McClure reports Jacob Tamme has agreed to a deal with the Falcons, though he "wouldn't rule out the Broncos" until the contract is signed.
With underachieving Levine Toilolo penciled in as the starter, the Falcons needed to address tight end and it sounds like they're doing so with Tamme. However, as McClure points out, there's also incentive to return to Denver, as Tamme has a close relationship with Peyton Manning having played with him since 2008. Owen Daniels and Virgil Green currently sit atop Denver's tight end depth chart.
Free agent Jacob Tamme is currently visiting the Falcons.
The Tamme visit comes on the heels of Atlanta meeting with Rob Housler. Housler would be a higher-ceiling target than 30-year-old Tamme, who is best suited for a No. 3 tight end role at this stage of his journeymanish career.
Free agent OG Erik Pears is drawing interest from the Broncos and Jets.
The Broncos have explored several possibilities at guard since losing Orlando Franklin to the Chargers. Our advice would be to keep looking. Pears was third from the bottom in Pro Football Focus' 2014 guard ratings.
Redskins signed NT Terrance Knighton, formerly of the Broncos, to a one-year, $4 million contract.
The report that teams were wary of Knighton because he is "out of shape" appears to be true, as Knighton settles for a one-year deal in an effort to rehab his value. It was extremely telling when even new Raiders coach Jack Del Rio, who has always been by Knighton's side, picked Dan Williams over him. Knighton will presumably man the nose tackle spot for the Redskins, replacing Barry Cofield.
Free agent OG Shelley Smith will visit the Broncos.
Denver has huge holes to fill on the offensive line with LG Orlando Franklin gone and C Will Montgomery's contract up. Smith struggled with the Dolphins last season but could do better in a zone blocking scheme. He's also drawn interest from the Falcons and Seahawks.
Texans signed FS Rahim Moore to a three-year, $12 million contract.
Moore became the best safety available after Devin McCourty re-signed with the Patriots. Still just 25, Moore is a liability against the run, but he has plus coverage skills and top-notch ball skills. Few safeties man center field as effectively as Moore. The Broncos have now lost three defensive starters from last season (Moore, Nate Irving and Terrance Knighton).
The Broncos will host free agent DL Vance Walker later this week.
Walker had been a generally-effective defensive lineman before bottoming out last year in Kansas City and barely getting on the field. He can play tackle and 3-4 end. Walker would add depth to Wade Phillips' Denver defense.
Free agent S Darian Stewart will visit the Broncos on Thursday.
With FS Rahim Moore expected to depart in free agency, the Broncos have an opening opposite T.J. Ward. Stewart started 14-of-16 games for the Ravens last season, performing well while playing his most snaps (782) since 2011.
The Denver Post reports the Broncos remain interested in free agent TE Jacob Tamme.
The Broncos added Owen Daniels and re-signed Virgil Green, so Tamme would be veteran depth if he returns. Tamme had a 14/109/2 line as Denver's No. 3 tight end last season.
The Broncos would like to re-sign DT Mitch Unrein.
Unrein appeared in eight games last season, playing 46 snaps. He appeared in all 16 games from 2011-13. The Broncos need reserve heft with Terrance Knighton walking in free agency.
The Broncos will host free agent TE Owen Daniels on Wednesday.
Daniels has spent his entire career with new coach Gary Kubiak. He would be a cheap replacement for Julius Thomas, who is headed to the Jaguars. Daniels is obviously a downgrade, but the Broncos aren't going to be nearly as pass happy under Kubiak as they were during Peyton Manning's 2012-2013 seasons.