2011 NFL Free Agency: Rumors, Reports And More

The Denver Broncos are active during free agency.

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27 Total Updates since July 25, 2011
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Denver Broncos Reportedly Interested In Matt Roth

While most of the fuss of NFL free agency has died down with the major moves already over, there are still some quality players available out there to be had. One player of note for the Denver Broncos is defensive end/ linebacker Matt Roth, formerly of the Cleveland Browns. According to the NFL Network's Jason La Canfora, the Broncos are one of three teams interested in the former Iowa Hawkeye. The others are the New Orleans Saints and the Arizona Cardinals.

Roth would certainly be a great pick up (20 career sacks), but the issue is whether he really wants to play in a 4-3 defense. He'd need to play exclusively as a defensive end in that system, which the Broncos are back under with John Fox and Dennis Allen calling the defensive shots. He's played as an outside linebacker for the last three years between the Miami Dolphins and the Browns.

If the Broncos convinced him to sign, Roth would likely start over Robert Ayers on the defensive line. However, there will likely be a rotation set up to keep all of the guys fresh. This is certainly a situation to keep an eye on, especially since the Osi Umenyiora story line has fizzled.

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Ty Warren Joins Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos picked up free agent defensive tackle Ty Warren on Tuesday night. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the deal is two years and worth $10 million. Warren will receive $2.5 million in guaranteed money.

Warren was let go by the New England Patriots last week and had several visits around the league to shop his services, including to Kansas City and to Houston. It looks like the Broncos are intent on starting him at defensive tackle, given the money they have invested in him.

Having played as a 3-4 defensive end in New England, Warren will need to move in for John Fox's 4-3 defense. Will Kevin Vickerson start beside him or will recently-acquired Brodrick Bunkley be next to him? More than likely there will be a rotation among Warren, Vickerson, Bunkley and Marcus Thomas, so the question of who the starter is doesn't look quite that large.

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Denver Broncos Interested In Giants' Osi Umenyiora, According To Report

While they continue to pursue former first-round picks who have largely disappointed during their stints so far in the league, the Denver Broncos may be in on the New York Giants' Osi Umenyiora, according to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News. The Broncos are reportedly one of five teams interested in acquiring the 29-year-old defensive end. However, two of those teams, the Ravens and the Seahawks, apparently aren't that interested in him.

The New York Giants want a first-round pick for him, which could be too expensive for the Broncos to trade away. Umenyiora does have an injury history and while he would certainly help the pass-rush, would he alone help turn around the defense? He would also want a new contract, which the Broncos would have a hard time fitting in under the salary cap. And trading a first-round pick that conceivably could be in the top half of the round wouldn't be great.

Unless the Giants back off their first-round selection demand, it would be best for the Broncos to move on. But lower the offer and the Broncos could add more to the pass rush with Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller already looking to help out where the team struggled last season. Umenyiora had 11-1/2 sacks in 2010 and 10 forced fumbles. He has 60 career sacks.

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Jamaal Anderson Scheduled To Visit Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos have lost out on Brandon Mebane and Amobi Okoye on the defensive line. Maybe if they look at defensive end their luck will change. Former Atlanta Falcons defensive end Jamaal Anderson, released last week, is scheduled to visit the Broncos, according to Pro Football Talk. He is also reportedly set to visit the Houston Texans.

Anderson hasn't lived up to being the eighth overall selection in the 2007 NFL Draft. HE has just 4-1/2 sacks in 60 career NFL games for the Falcons. He has failed to show any ability to rush the passer in an effective way. But it would be too early to write off the 25-year-old defender. At 6-foot-5, 288 pounds, Anderson would certainly add size up front for the Broncos.

Elvis Dumervil will make his return to the defensive line after missing all of last season. Robert Ayers is expected to take over the other defensive end position.

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Denver Broncos Release Renaldo Hill

The Denver Broncos trimmed more excess weight off of their salary cap number on Saturday by releasing safety Renaldo Hill. The Broncos were Hill's fourth team since he entered the league in 2001. Joining the Broncos in 2009, Hill started 31 games for the Broncos, picked off four passes and had 10 passes defended. 

Hill had been due $2.4 million, but the additions of safeties Rahim Moore and Quinton Carter made him extraneous. After not practicing during the first couple of days, Hill will now look to land in a new place.

As for the secondary, Brian Dawkins won't practice until his restructured contract is finished. That provides Carter and Moore the opportunity to play with the first-team defense. Sooner or later, both of them could find themselves as part of the starting secondary.

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Denver Broncos Sign WR David Anderson

On Saturday, the Houston Texans placed defensive tackle Amobi Okoye and wide receiver David Anderson on waivers. The Broncos, an interested party, did want Okoye, but he was snatched up by the Chicago Bears. Instead, the Broncos wound up signing Anderson, who was flying to Denver on Saturday night.

Coloradans may be familiar with Anderson from his career with the Colorado St. Rams (2002-2005). He went on to the NFL as a seventh-round draft pick by the Houston Texans in 2006. He's been a rarely used receiver in Houston, having a career best year in 2009 (38 receptions, 370 yards).

The Broncos could use depth at the wide receiver position. The top three slots are for Brandon Lloyd, Eddie Royal and Eric Decker. Demaryius Thomas is out for several weeks into the regular season and most of the other receivers on the training camp roster are less than exciting. The team did sign several undrafted rookie free agent wide receivers.

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Amobi Okoye Placed On Waivers By Houston Texans, Could Fit With Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos' search for a new defensive tackle could take them to a college teammate of current Bronco Elvis Dumervil. The Houston Texans placed 24-year-old Amobi Okoye on waivers on Saturday after he was unable to find a trading partner with the Texans, reports the Houston Chronicle's John McClain.

Okoye was the 10th overall selection by the Texans in the 2007 NFL Draft and played that season as a 20-year-old. At 16-years-old, Okoye played for the Louisville Cardinals as a freshman and played three seasons with Dumervil on their defensive line.

Okoye recorded 5-1/2 sacks as a rookie in 2007 and has 11 in his career. However, that inconsistency to provide a pass-rush made him expendable to the Texans. Reuniting with his former college teammate could be a good move, and at 24 Okoye still has time to improve his weaknesses.

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Ty Warren Will Visit Denver Broncos, According To Report

Just because the Denver Broncos missed out on defensive tackle Brandon Mebane that doesn't mean they won't find a worthy player to join the defensive line. In the New England Patriots' roster shuffle over the last week, defensive tackle Ty Warren was released and will visit with the Broncos on Saturday night, according to Mike Klis of the Denver Post.

As Klis points out, Warren has played in a 3-4 defense while with the Patriots, but the Broncos are moving back to a 4-3 front. If he signed, how quickly would he adapt to a new role in the interior of the defensive line? At 30, Warren has been in the league since 2003, when he was selected 13th overall out of Texas A&M, and has played defensive end.

Warren has 20 1/2 sacks in his career, 7 1/2 a career-high in 2006. However, he played just one game in 2010 due to a hip injury.

If Warren signed, he would start with Kevin Vickerson at defensive tackle, while Ryan McBean would also receive playing time there.

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Broncos Show Interest In FB Vonta Leach, According To Report

Are the Denver Broncos looking to make an upgrade at fullback? According to Mark Berman of FOX 26 in Houston, the Broncos are one of five teams interested in Houston Texans' fullback Vonta Leach. Leach's agent has only confirmed the Texans as one of the interested teams. The other three are the Cowboys, the Giants and the Ravens.

Leach was a Pro Bowler and an Associated Press First-Team All-Pro in 2011. Leach paved the way as Arian Foster's lead blocker during the running back's 1,616-yard breakout season. He is little used outside of being a blocking back, but the Broncos could use that to help their rushing game, which was at the bottom of the league in 2010.

The Broncos had Spencer Larsen, a converted linebacker, playing fullback last season, but he was troubled by an ankle injury all season long, being placed on injured reserve in late December.

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Brandon Mebane Is Too Expensive For Denver Broncos, According To Report

The Denver Broncos are set to host defensive tackle Derek Landri on Friday, but they are reportedly already out on a different defensive tackle. Seattle Seahawks free agent Brandon Mebane has apparently priced himself out of the Broncos' range, according to AP writer Arnie Stapleton.

Rumors of the Broncos' interest in Mebane first surfaced on Wednesday afternoon, but apparently Mebane and his agent have already informed teams of his asking price. While that has yet to become public knowledge, the Broncos do need to address their running back hole in the free agent market and do need to settle on Kyle Orton's future in Denver.

However, ESPN's John Clayton, who first reported the Broncos' interest in Mebane, still thinks Denver could land the defensive tackle.

With teams able to officially sign free agents on Friday night, the Broncos should have a few new players on the roster by the end of the day. Will there be another defensive tackle to go with Kevin Vickerson on the line?

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Derek Landri To Visit Denver Broncos On Friday

While the Denver Broncos are interested in defensive tackle Brandon Mebane, they will look at other players as well to help out on the line. One of those players, reports Fox Sports' Adam Caplan, is defensive tackle Derek Landri.

Landri is entering his fifth season in the NFL after three years with the Jacksonville Jaguars and one year with John Fox and the Carolina Panthers in 2010. Landri was a fifth-round selection by the Jaguars in 2007, but he was a reserve during his time with the team. Acquired off waivers, Landri joined the Panthers and started all 16 games in 2010.

He finished the season with career highs in tackles (31) and sacks (3). Landri, 6-foot-3, 281 pounds, turns 28 in late September and would likely serve better as a rotation guy, but that depends on who else the Broncos bring in to compete for the spot opposite Kevin Vickerson.

Friday is the first day that players can sign new contracts.

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Broncos Interested In Brandon Mebane, Reports John Clayton

ESPN's John Clayton finally joined Twitter and he's already providing plenty of NFL news during this free agency period. Clayton reports that the Denver Broncos will make a play for defensive tackle Brandon Mebane while Seattle and New Orleans are looking for his services. Mebane has spent his four-year career with the Seahawks after his selection in by them in 2007's third round.

Mebane benefited from the new collective bargaining agreement by gaining unrestricted free agency as a fourth-year player. But he may want to stay in Seattle.

Defensive tackle is a huge need for the Broncos, which makes this interest of no real surprise. He would instantly start on this revamped 4-3 defensive scheme and hopefully shut down the run. He does have 10 career sacks but he will be utilized more for his ability to stuff the run.

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Broncos Miss Out On RB DeAngelo Williams As He Agrees To New Deal With Panthers, According To Report

The Denver Broncos and Willis McGahee may be closer to consummating a deal now that top running back DeAngelo Williams has reportedly agreed to a five-year, $43 million deal. NFL Network's Michael Lombardi reports that Williams will receive $21 million dollars in guaranteed money. The Broncos would never have been able to give him that money, so it was best to move on.

Williams was considered a strong possibility for the Broncos because of his connection with John Fox, his coach for the entirety of his career in Carolina until he was let go at the end of the 2010 season. Williams would have been the feature back and helped by Knowshon Moreno.

Now the Broncos will likely pursue Willis McGahee with great intent. He would help the Broncos in the red zone, something that they struggled with on the ground last season. Moreno, though, wants to prove that he is capable of carrying the ball in every situation.

The dominoes could start falling soon.

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Denver Broncos Announce Addition Of 17 Undrafted Rookie Free Agents

The Denver Broncos announced the signing of 17 undrafted rookie free agents on the first official day of training camp. They added four wide receivers, three linebackers, tow offensive tackles, two defensive tackles, a running back, a fullback and a quarterback.

Chances are good that one of these players will stick with the team for the Opening Game. It's happened for the last eight years.

Here is the complete list:

Brandon Bing, CB, Rutgers
Marshall Williams, WR, Wake Forest
Mark Dell, WR, Michigan State
Mario Fannin, RB, Auburn
James Rogers, CB, Michigan
Chris Harris, CB, Kansas
Colby Whitlock, DT, Texas Tech
Deron Mayo, LB, Old Dominion
Curt Porter, OT, Jacksonville State
Adam Weber, QB, Minnesota
Jamel Hamler, WR, Fresno State
Ronnell Brown, DT, James Madison
Derek Domino, WLB, South Dakota State
D'Andre Goodwin, WR, Washington
Adam Grant, OT, Arizona
A.J. Jones, WLB, Florida
Austin Sylvester, FB, Washington

Miami Hurricanes fullback Patrick Hill had been reported earlier as a Broncos signee, even mentioned by former teammate and current Broncos Orlando Franklin.

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Denver Broncos, Willis McGahee Appear To Have Mutual Interest

Will the Denver Broncos and running back Willis McGahee find that each are a good match for one another? We already know that McGahee has interest in the Broncos, but were the Broncos interested in him? Late Tuesday night, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the Broncos are looking into McGahee.

As acknowledged earlier, McGahee would be reunited with his running back coach from his time with the Buffalo Bills, current Broncos running back coach Eric Studesville. At age 30, McGahee is a bit of a risk, but he wouldn't be relied upon to shoulder the entire load. A reinvigorated Knowshon Moreno appears ready to prove his worth.

But DeAngelo Williams still lurks in the background. His decision is likely down to Carolina or Denver, but there's no indication yet if he is leaning in any particular direction right now.

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Willis McGahee Reportedly Interested In Broncos; DeAngelo Williams Also In Play

Though free agents can't sign with any NFL teams until Friday, they are allowed to talk and visit with teams. After the Baltimore Ravens announced on Monday that they will release running back Willis McGahee on Thursday, I speculated that the Denver Broncos should look at him to pair with Knowshon Moreno.

According to Aaron Wilson of Ravens Insider, McGahee definitely has interest in talking with the Broncos about joining the team. There is no word yet if the Broncos feel the same way. That may be a result of the team's interest in former Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams. ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports that Williams will either return to the Panthers or sign up for a second round of playing with his former coach and current Broncos head coach John Fox.

If Williams does sign with the Broncos, there will be tough battle with Knowshon Moreno during training camp to emerge as the starter. Adding McGahee would likely mean Moreno, who has slimmed down this offseason, would remain the starter.

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Jamel Hamler Signs With Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos signed Fresno State wide receiver Jamel Hamler (via @RavensInsider) on Tuesday to add to their growing pool of undrafted rookie free agent additions. Hamler is the third rookie wide receiver the team has drafted, which seems a bit odd. It's not exactly an area of need.

Hamler declared for the NFL Draft as a junior after finishing with 54 receptions, 812 receiving yards and six touchdowns. He had five touchdowns on 37 receptions in 2009 (503 yards).

Could the Broncos hit on one of these receivers and find a diamond rough, just as they did with Rod Smith all those years ago?

Here is an updated list:

Brandon Bing, CB, Rutgers
Marshall Williams, WR, Wake Forest
Mark Dell, WR, Michigan State
Patrick Hill, FB, Miami
Mario Fannin, RB, Auburn
James Rogers, CB, Michigan
Chris Harris, CB, Kansas
Colby Whitlock, DL, Texas Tech
Deron Mayo, DE, Old Dominion
Curt Porter, OT, Jacksonville State
Adam Weber, QB, Minnesota
Jamel Hamler, WR, Fresno State

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Broncos Sign Minnesota QB Adam Weber

The Denver Broncos added Minnesota Gophers quarterback Adam Weber as an undrafted rookie free agent on Tuesday morning. Weber tweeted: "I'm headed out to Denver to join the Broncos!" This now brings the Broncos' reported total of undrafted rookie free agents to 10 (two players were erroneously reported as signed last night).

Weber as a four-year starter for the Gophers from 2007 through 2010. He completed 57 percent of his passes and had a 72:51 touchdown-to-interception rate. He did run the ball quite a bit his first two years, but didn't do much of it after that.

His college teammate is current Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker, which may have had some impact on this signing decision. The Broncos are expected to sign another quarterback should Kyle Orton be traded. Weber is more likely to wind up on the practice squad than on the active roster at any point in this upcoming season.

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Broncos Draft Picks 2011: Von Miller Receives Substantially Less Than 2010 No. 2 Overall Pick Ndamukong Suh

The new collective bargaining agreement includes a rookie wage scale, which is designed to shift more money to veterans rather than rookies who have yet to play a down. Denver Broncos linebacker and No. 2 overall pick Von Miller is one of the top rookies hit by this new rule.

According to Lindsay H. Jones of the Denver Post, Miller's rookie contract will be a standard four-year deal with an option for the fifth. His total compensation will be under $30 million. He received less than half of what the Detroit Lions gave defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh as the No. 2 overall pick in 2010. He received $60 million over five years, $40 million of which was guaranteed.

But Miller will find a richer contract awaiting him at the end of the deal if he is as great of a player as we all hope he will be. And that, after several months, begins now.

UPDATE: The Broncos have $8,118,404 in their rookie pool allotment, more than any of the of the AFC West teams. This is, as ESPN's Bill Williamson points out, a result of having to pay the No. 2 overall pick.

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Broncos Sign Four More Undrafted Rookie Free Agents

The Denver Broncos were busy on Monday receiving promises from undrafted rookie free agents. During the first phase of the night, the Broncos concentrated on adding players in the secondary, at receiver and in the back field. Then when most everyone was asleep, the team struck on both sides of the line and at linebacker.

The new additions were DL Colby Whitlock, DE Deron Mayo, LB Nick Bellore and OT Curt Porter. Deron Mayo is the younger brother of New England Patriots LB Jerod Mayo. He's a bit undersized at 5-foot-11, which could mean a move to linebacker. However, we'll wait until Aug. 4, the start of the new league year, to find out what happens with him.

Here is an updated list of the Broncos' promises/signings:

Brandon Bing, CB, Rutgers
Marshall Williams, WR, Wake Forest
Mark Dell, WR, Michigan State
Patrick Hill, FB, Miami
Mario Fannin, RB, Auburn
James Rogers, CB, Michigan
Chris Harris, CB, Kansas
Colby Whitlock, DL, Texas Tech
Nick Bellore, LB, Central Michigan (Bellore tweeted the Jets on Tuesday morning)
Deron Mayo, DE, Old Dominion
Curt Porter, OT, Jacksonville State

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Broncos Continue Undrafted Free Agent Signings

The Denver Broncos' foray into the undrafted free agent market has a consistent pattern emerging. It started with Rutgers CB Brandon Bing's announcement that he was a Bronco and more announcements followed. NEPatriotsDraft.com has a complete list for every team (and is constantly updating it). Here are the Broncos' additions at the moment:

Brandon Bing, CB, Rutgers
Marshall Williams, WR, Wake Forest
Mark Dell, WR, Michigan State
Patrick Hill, FB, Miami
Justin Jones, TE, Toledo erroneous report
Mario Fannin, RB, Auburn
James Rogers, CB, Michigan
Chris Harris, CB, Kansas (announced after original publish time)

Clearly the Broncos are concentrating on the secondary, looking for depth at wide receiver and want to bring size to the back field. Hill is a stout 5-foot-8, 255 pounds. Rogers is a corner, but he also played receiver for the Wolverines.

These signings won't be official until Tuesday morning, which means these are more like "promises" right now.

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Broncos Set To Release Correll Buckhalter, According To Report

The Denver Broncos can't officially cut any player until Thursday evening, but they have already informed running back Correll Buckhalter that he will be released when that time period begins, according to Fox 31's Josina Anderson. She also reports that the team could re-sign him for less money.

Buckhalter was due $1.92 million in 2011 after a disappointing 2010 season. He had 59 rush attempts for 147 yards and two touchdowns in 15 games. He was used as a receiver out of the backfield, catching 28 passes for 240 yards and two touchdowns.

Buckhalter was part of a crew of running backs that included Laurence Maroney, LenDale White and Lance Ball as a way to prop up the running game (though in White's case he never saw any action) that faltered with Knowshon Moreno as the back.

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Broncos To Sign Rutgers CB Brandon Bing

Undrafted rookie free agents and NFL teams were allowed to start talking with each other on Monday night, but signings won't become official until Tuesday morning. Like most teams, the Denver Broncos are already hitting the market.

According to Rutgers cornerback Brandon Bing, he will be a Bronco come Tuesday morning. He tweeted this announcement is an understated way (h/t to Lindsay Jones): "Denver Broncos".

The Broncos drafted safeties Rahim Moore and Quinton Carter in April's NFL Draft to help fix an aging secondary. Brian Dawkins has lost a step and may not have more than a year or two left in him. Cornerback Andre Goodman has missed significant time to injury. Bing adds speed to secondary, as he has run a 4.28 40-yard dash and had a couple in the 4.3's during the NFL combine. He could be utilized as a kick/punt returner.

This is just the tip of the iceberg for the coming free agent avalanche.

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Ryan Harris Among Denver Broncos' Unrestricted Free Agents

The 2011 NFL Free Agency period is set to kick into action on Tuesday and provide plenty of wild times for clubs. The Denver Broncos don't have many unrestricted free agents heading into this free-for-all, but, as expected a couple of players did join the previous list with the new collective bargaining agreement. ESPN has compiled a list of all unrestricted free agents and here are the Broncos':

Player Position Accrued Seasons
Fields, Ronald DT 6
Maroney, Laurence RB 5
Eckel, Kyle RB 4
Harris, Ryan OL 4
Thomas, Marcus DT 4

 

Fields and Maroney are unlikely to come back since the team has placed defensive tackle and running back as their top priorities in the coming free agent market.

Ryan Harris and Marcus Thomas are unrestricted free agents as the new CBA grants that status after four accrued seasons in the league. There's a chance either could return, but with rookie Orlando Franklin seems to have ousted Harris out of the right tackle position. Thomas has been expecting to move on since March, at least.

For more on the Broncos, visit Mile High Report. For more NFL news, check out SB Nation's NFL hub.

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2011 NFL Free Agency Rules: Rules, Schedule And Areas Of Need For Denver Broncos

Now that the NFL Lockout is over, it's finally time for teams to get back into the business of roster construction and training camp. What does the schedule for the rest of the week look like as league business starts to pick up once again? ESPN has a tentative timeline on what will happen.

On Monday, teams will receive a list from the NFL listing all the free agents this summer. In addition, rosters will now reach 90 players during training camp.

Tuesday is when the real fun begins. First, team facilities will be opened to players. Teams can discuss trades with each other (maybe we'll have a Kyle Orton trade soon). Teams can reach agreements with rookies, undrafted players and all other free agents.

On Wednesday, players will begin reporting to training camps. The Broncos will open camp in Dove Valley on Wednesday. Then on Thursday afternoon, teams can start cutting players. This could potentially lead to the greatest rush of transactions in league history when all is said and done.

Friday will be the day when these deals and trades can become official, but not until 4 p.m. MT.  Then on Aug. 4 the players must have recertified the union and approved the CBA in order for the league year to finally begin.

The Broncos will need to make a number of moves during this period. Specifically for free agency, the Broncos need to add players at defensive tackle and at running back. Stay tuned for more info as it comes in.

For more on the Broncos, visit Mile High Report. For more NFL news, check out SB Nation's NFL hub.

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