All signs point to an agreement between the NFL and the players any time now.
Once the new collective bargaining agreement is in place, it will be a crazy few days of activity before training camp begins.
Recently, Broncos General Manager Brian Xanders (BX) joined Dave Logan and Dave Krieger on 850 KOA to talk about getting ready for the season once the labor issues are resolved.
850 KOA: When things get back to normal, how do you go about preparing for free agency?
BX: We’ve had more time than ever to work on it. We’re always done with the final pro free agency grades and rankings at the end of January. We did that. We had a meeting in February right before the combine. So we’ve had all these UFA (unrestricted free agent) meetings. Then we had the lockout come. In May, we went back and recalibrated our team needs and said alright, we need some defensive tackles, running back and went through every specific column. Now here we are in July and we’ve been meeting specifically on how many UFA’s we need and how many college free agents we need. It’s really combing through the numbers one last time. We’re ready to go and feel really good about our board.
850 KOA: What will the affect be of a compressed period of time to sign free agents, assuming that is what happens? Do you already have a strategy for how much time you will spend talking to any particular free agent without risking other guys of interest signing elsewhere while you’re talking to the initial player?
BX: What we’ve done to combat that is put seven phones in our draft room and allocated different pro scouts and I’m bringing our college director in. We’re going to split it all up and really hit the phones hard to express our interest and try to get those first day visits. If we can’t get the first day visit, we’ll try to get the second day visit. Hopefully within three or four days, we’ll be done with unrestricted free agents. The dominoes will fall quick and at the same time, we have to do college free agents and sign our drafted rookies. There’s a lot going on and we’re ready for it. The other unknown we’ve been talking about is impact on the market. There are only so many starting spots open post-draft. There are 256 players drafted. Now, there are 450 free agents hitting the market. They’re going to be scrambling for those starting jobs. It’s going to be important for the agents and the teams to act quickly.
850 KOA: Because of the time crunch, do you see a situation arising where there is no time to bring a free agent in, visit with him, and wine and dine him as teams have done in the past?
BX: I think that could happen. I think before an agent puts a player on a plane, he’ll want a deal done possibly. What could be interesting is they might have a period where teams can sign their own (free agents) first and also work on undrafted college free agents, and then have pure free agency. It’s going to be a wide open process and I think you’re right, there are going to be a lot of deals done on the phone once we’re allowed to talk to them.
850 KOA: There was a lot of talk after the draft about the Broncos needing to sign at least one defensive tackle in free agency. What is your take on the defensive tackle situation? Are you o.k. with the guys you have or do the Broncos need to add there?
BX: I would think we need to add there. I think we need to sign one or two, and depending on the price, maybe three across the whole defensive line. We’re going to address that as we go. A lot of it is going to be based on the pricing and how fast these guys go on day one (and) day two. We can’t really speculate on that until we get the rules.
On your mark…get set…it’s almost time to go.
It’s time to talk about what you want to see the Broncos do. I know many of you have been doing that throughout the lockout but I’d love to get your thoughts now that we’re on the brink of activity again.
Thanks for reading and posting.