On Monday, the Denver Broncos rescinded their one-year tender for defensive tackle Ryan McBean and signed former Bronco and Peyton Manning teammate Brandon Stokley to a one-year contract.
McBean played all in 18 games (starting in 4) including the playoffs, netting 23 tackles and 4 sacks. As a restricted free agent, he was tendered an offer for 2012, but the offer was pulled back in a move the effectively amounts to his release from the team. He and teammate D.J. Williams are both facing lengthy suspensions from the league due to positive tests of performance enhancing drugs. Both players are appealing that ruling in federal court.
Meanwhile, Brandon Stokley is back with the Denver Broncos. His connections to the team run from 2003-2006 when he played with Peyton Manning in Indianapolis and 2007-2009 as receiver for the Broncos. During that stretch he caught 278 passes for 3,406 yards (a 12.25 average for those keeping score at home…a tick better than Wes Welker)and 27 touchdowns.
These two moves could be a strong indicator of what the Broncos plan to do next week during the NFL Draft.
Defensive tackle is now dangerously thin. That is not good news for the position that needed the largest overhaul going into the off-season. Expect the Broncos’ first-round pick to target a premier tackle who can step in and start immediately. Secondly, in case you missed it, the Broncos offense is going ridiculously pass-heavy. Don’t let that sway you into thinking that a high-round pick will be spent on a wide receiver with the additions of Stokley, Andre Caldwell, Jacob Tamme, and Joel Dreessen. Peyton Manning has made more than one man famous using his right arm. Expect him to do the same with the receiving core that’s in place prior to the draft.