After signing wide receiver Demaryius Thomas to a five-year contract today, the Broncos issued a statement publicly denying that they colluded with the Cowboys to limit the earnings of Thomas and Dez Bryant, as the NFLPA has alleged. “The suggestion that our club may have colluded with another team about a negotiation is completely false and without any merit,” the Broncos said, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Earlier tonight it was reported that the union is now unlikely to pursue collusion charges against the two teams. Here’s more from around the NFL..
- In an appearance on CBS Sports Radio, free agent guard Evan Mathis said that he expects his options to be clearer in a week or two, as training camps around the NFL begin to get underway. “There’s no rush at all,” according to Mathis (Twitter links via Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald).
- Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer looked at how the deals for Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas might affect Bengals star A.J. Green. The $14MM/year precedent sound reasonable for Green, but the Bengals still shouldn’t expect agent Ben Dogra to accept a carbon copy of those deals. Green has said that he is willing to play out the 2015 season on his current deal and Dehner writes that his patience could pay off.
- Having recently announced his retirement from the NFL, former 49ers defensive end Justin Smith is considering heading back to the NCAA, according to Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel, who says Smith may join the Missouri coaching staff as an assistant. Chase Goodbread of NFL.com has the details.
- Thomas should send a thank you note to Bryant, Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post writes. Kiszla doesn’t believe that Broncos GM John Elway would have been willing to ink Thomas to a deal before seeing what Bryant got, because he wouldn’t want to pay a dollar more for DT than the Cowboys did for Dez.
- Some Ravens fans have slammed the team’s decision to give punter Sam Koch a multi-year commitment with $7MM in guaranteed money, but Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun believes that the deal makes sense for both sides. Koch doesn’t boom 60-yard punts down the middle of the field but he does nullify opposing return games and pin the opposition inside the 20-yard line with his directional punts. Koch is one of the most reliable and most respected players in the Ravens locker room and even with his new deal, he is not one of the league’s five-highest paid punters in terms of average salary per year.
Luke Adams contributed to this post.