AFC Notes: Broncos, Ravens, Flacco

Sad news out of Denver as Annabel Bowlen, the wife of longtime Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, announced that she has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

I recently learned that I’ve joined my husband Pat and the millions of others who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease,’’ Annabel said in a statement to Mike Klis of 9NEWS. “Since Pat’s diagnosis, I have gained a vivid understanding of this disease’s progression and its effect on those living with it as well as their families. My family and I have been—and will remain—dedicated supporters of Alzheimer’s awareness, treatment and research funding.’’

News that both Annabel and Pat Bowlen have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is devastating to the Broncos community, but Klis hears that it will have no effect on how the franchise is run or on Pat’s long-standing succession plan. Joe Ellis, the team’s president and CEO, has been acting as the controlling owner delegee of the Broncos since Bowlen relinquished day-to-day responsibilities following the 2013 season and will continue to do so.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is entering a pivotal season, as Joel Corry of writes. If Lamar Jackson is indeed the future in Baltimore, then Flacco should approach this season as an audition for the rest of the league, in Corry’s opinion. In 2019, the Ravens can save $10.5MM against the cap by releasing Flacco, with $16MM left in dead money. If Flacco can stave him off for another year, he’ll carry a $28.25MM cap number in 2020, though the Ravens could also cut ties to save $20.25MM against just $8MM in dead money.
  • More from Corry, who notes that Chargers cornerback Jason Verrett can change his fortunes with a big year in 2018. Knee issues have limited Verrett to four games over the last two seasons, but he earned Pro-Bowl honors in 2015, his only healthy season. Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller, a fellow first-round pick in ’14, stepped up after the Bears declined his fifth-year option and earned a four-year, $56MM deal from Chicago. Verrett, who is entering his walk year, could boost his stock in similar fashion with a quality showing this year.
  • Former Chiefs great Tamba Hali sounds like he’s ready to retire.
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