Tue Jun 18 5:34pm ET
By PAT GRAHAM
AP Sports Writer
Fans gather for photographs at the foot of a statue during a five-hour memorial for Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen Tuesday, June 18, 2019 in at Mile High Stadium, the NFL football team's home in Denver. Bowlen, who has owned the franchise for more than three decades, died last Thursday. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Fans gather at the foot of a statue at a five-hour memorial Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen Tuesday, June 18, 2019 in at Mile High Stadium, the NFL football team's home in Denver. Bowlen, who has owned the franchise for more than three decades, died last Thursday. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Fans queue up to attend a memorial for Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at Mile High Stadium, the NFL football team's home in Denver. Bowlen, who has owned the franchise for more than three decades, died last Thursday. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Fans look at a wall of notes at a five-hour memorial for Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen Tuesday, June 18, 2019, at Mile High Stadium, the NFL football team's home in Denver. Bowlen, who has owned the franchise for more than three decades, died last Thursday. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Denver Broncos fan Clinton Mayfield holds up a card to mark the five-hour memorial for team owner Pat Bowlen Tuesday, June 18, 2019 in at Mile High Stadium, the NFL football team's home in Denver. Bowlen, who has owned the franchise for more than three decades, died last Thursday. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Fans file past a wall of flowers with a portrait of Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen placed in the center during a memorial Tuesday, June 18, 2019, at Mile High Stadium, the NFL football team's home in Denver. Bowlen, who has owned the franchise for more than three decades, died last Thursday. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
From left, Denver Broncos fans Clinton Mayfield, Ralph Williams and James Chavez head out of a five-hour memorial for team owner Pat Bowlen Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at Mile High Stadium, the NFL football team's home in Denver. Bowlen, who has owned the franchise for more than three decades, died last Thursday. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
DENVER (AP) Some wore full costumes and others sported jerseys, including one Denver Broncos supporter with "P. Bowlen" on the back. Quite a few devotees stood in the rain for about an hour before making their way inside the stadium.
The fans arrived in droves Tuesday to pay respect to owner Pat Bowlen, who died last week at 75 after a long battle with Alzheimer's, and just two months shy of his enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The public tribute to Bowlen at Broncos Stadium at Mile High featured all sorts of memorabilia, including his famous fur coat , Super Bowl trophies , vintage photos, videos and numerous footballs marking big moments. Then there was his desk, which was noteworthy for a piece of paper resting in his in-box . It was a to-do list containing three items: be No. 1 in everything; beat the Raiders; win the Super Bowl.
Of course, all three boxes were checked.
''He'd be incredibly overwhelmed by all this support and love,'' said Brittany Bowlen, who along with her siblings stood in line for hours greeting fans as they made their way through the exhibit. ''It's pretty astonishing, to see all these artifacts and things that were important to him in life. He'd be incredibly overwhelmed by the support. It would be moving for him.''
Super fan Jesse Esquibel wore some of his game-day outfit for the occasion, including a mask. He's known as ''Bronco Reaper,'' a name he selected after experiencing a few near-death encounters throughout his life. Another supporter wore an orange Darth Vader helmet.
''I wanted to show,'' Esquibel said, ''that Broncos fans are fans through and through.''
Peyton Manning was in attendance. So was John Elway. Longtime receiver Rod Smith recounted a golf game when he partnered with Bowlen and they took on coach Mike Shanahan and quarterback Brian Griese.
''We ended up winning. You should've seen his face - he was fired up,'' Smith said. ''In the weight room, didn't matter where he was, on the treadmill, Pat was competitive.''
Very much so.
Bowlen had as many Super Bowl appearances (seven) as losing seasons, and Denver went 354-240-1 since he bought the club in 1984. The team won Super Bowls in 1998, `99 and 2016.
''There's not a person in this community who's had a more profound impact on Denver and the state of Colorado and really the Rocky Mountain region than Pat Bowlen,'' Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said. ''I wanted to make sure I came and paid my respects to the family and the memory of a great man who's done a lot for all of us.''
A private funeral service will be held Monday, with Bowlen's good friend John Finney delivering the eulogy. Finney, who lives in Honolulu, has so many rich stories from their longtime friendship. Like how they used to paddle a canoe through giant waves in Hawaii, or how they opened a business together, or their trips on Bowlen's jet.
''He had a lot of friends from all walks of life here, from beach boys to bankers,'' Finney said in a phone conversation. ''He was devoted to the Broncos and devoted to winning.''
Finney recalled the time Bowlen came back to Hawaii soon after the Broncos were beaten 55-10 by the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl 24. Bowlen steered clear of their beach club for about a month, knowing he would be razzed.
''So Pat finally shows up after a long absence and (someone) says, `Great game, brah,''' Finney cracked. ''We're always teasing one another.''
A competitor with class, that was Bowlen's reputation.
''There was not a dishonest bone in his body,'' Finney said. ''He was so respected in the NFL, because the other owners could trust him. He wanted to be part of the betterment of the NFL, and it worked.''
On Feb. 7, 2016, Elway thrust the Lombardi Trophy into the air and hollered, ''This one's for Pat!'' That moment came 18 years after Bowlen had declared, ''This one's for John!'' following the franchise's first Super Bowl championship.
And on Tuesday, Beth Bowlen Wallace paid respect to the legion of Broncos fans that showed up by saying: ''This one is definitely for you all.''
August 5th: ADP Value
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins was selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft and has a high ceiling without a doubt, especially since he will be catching passes from No. 1 overall selection Joe Burrow. Both rookies have built a rapport already as the duo conducted workouts together during the offseason. Higgins finished his final season at Clemson with 59 catches and 13 touchdowns off of 1,167 yards. While he is a risky selection in redraft leagues this season due to his potential limited playing time, he is surely worth a first-round pick in dynasty formats as he will likely rack up plenty of receptions from Burrow for years to come.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd has begun catching passes from rookie signal-caller Joe Burrow as the team kicks off training camp. The 25-year-old has plenty of hype heading into the 2020 season after racking up over 1,000 yards in his previous two seasons. With A.J. Green seemingly healthy along with the addition of Clemson wideout Tee Higgins, Boyd could see things open up more on the offensive end, while also remaining the team's top pass-catcher.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green went through his first walkthrough under second-year head coach Zac Taylor on Tuesday. The veteran, who recently signed a one-year tender a few weeks ago, missed all of 2019 after injuring his ankle during training camp. While consistent ailments have been the theme for the 32-year-old over the past seasons, there is no denying his ability when healthy. He is no longer considered an elite wideout, however, he is worth a mid-round pick for those looking for an option with an enormous upside.
Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon is still without a new deal as the team heads toward the 2020 season. However, according to director of player personnel, Duke Tobin, the organization views the 24-year-old as a "cornerstone piece of the franchise." Mixon is looking for a contract that would pay him north of $8 million per year, a significant increase from the $1.2 million that he is expected to earn in the final year of his rookie deal. The former Sooner is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons and is projected by many to be a fantasy breakout by year's end.
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was quick to respond to Ed Werder's Twitter post regarding a potentially reduced role for the former rushing champ, quipping "we all gonna eat." Though Elliott is a shoo-in, first-round pick in fantasy drafts for the 2020 campaign, many still wonder how he will co-exist on an offense that has plenty of mouths to feed, notably Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and 17th overall pick, CeeDee Lamb. Elliott finished 2019 as a top-five back in the majority of formats. Under new head coach Mike McCarthy, who has overseen some productive runners throughout his career, the 25-year-old could be in store for another productive year.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas broke the single-season receptions record last year by racking up 149 catches, surpassing Marvin Harrison's 2002 mark of 143. While that accomplishment would be good enough for most throughout the league, the 27-year-old is aiming to exceed his 2019 total heading into the 2020 campaign. Thomas convincingly dominated the fantasy picture last season, and in addition to his catch total, he also accumulated over 1,700 yards while finishing fifth in yards after the catch. He is expected to finish as the top fantasy wideout this season, and will likely get snagged off the draft board within the top three picks, especially in PPR formats.
Updating a previous story, San Francisco 49ers WR Travis Benjamin was officially placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, Aug. 5.
Updating a previous story, Miami Dolphins WR Albert Wilson was officially placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, Aug. 5.
Miami Dolphins DT Davon Godchaux was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, Aug. 5.
Atlanta Falcons DT Tyeler Davison was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, Aug. 5. LB Ahmad Thomas was released.
Cleveland Browns TE Austin Hooper lived part of the summer with QB Baker Mayfield while the two worked out together.
Fantasy Spin: It certainly could help Hooper to at least be somewhat familiar with his new QB despite all the lost reps from canceled offseason programs following his signing as a free agent. Hooper is expected to be the No. 1 tight end over David Njoku and should be drafted as a top-tier option at his thin position.
Tennessee Titans LB Jayon Brown (undisclosed) passed his physical Wednesday, Aug. 5, and was activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list.
Buffalo Bills WR Stefon Diggs restructured his contract Tuesday, Aug. 4, according to a source. He'll receive an extra $3.3 million in 2020, an extra $7.7 million in guaranteed money but a decrease of $300,000 cash in 2021 and a drop from $25.55 million to $22.67 million in 2022-23 cash.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB LeSean McCoy probably will have a role in the passing game this season, according to head coach Bruce Arians.
Fantasy Spin: It appears like McCoy may be in line for the third down back job, but fantasy players should keep an eye on the situation. McCoy probably would see a handful of touches each games if he makes the roster but may only be a depth option in fantasy leagues.
Free-agent S Kentrell Brice (Bears) signed with the Arizona Cardinals Wednesday, Aug. 5. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
New York Jets LB Avery Williamson (knee) said he expects to be ready for the start of the regular season.
Las Vegas Raiders RB Jeremy Hill was released Wednesday, Aug. 5.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II was called "the main guy" in the running back room by his coach Bruce Arians. Arians said he is confident in Jones II and that the other guys are fighting for roles. The other guys include third-round draft pick Ke'Shawn Vaughn, who will lose valuable practice time after he hit the COVID-19 list, and veteran running back LeSean McCoy, who won't challenge for a lead back role at this point in his career. Jones II looks the part after an offseason spent bulking up and catching hundreds of passes to address a weakness in his game. The 23-year-old has RB2 upside in the 7th round but it's likely that Vaughn and McCoy cut into his ceiling in 2020, despite what Arians said.
Free-agent S Kentrell Brice (Bears) is expected to sign with the Arizona Cardinals as long as he passes a physical and tests negative for COVID-19, according to a source.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones will be the main ball carrier for the Buccaneers this season, according to head coach Bruce Arians.
Fantasy Spin: Jones rushed for 724 yards and six touchdowns last season and should improve those stats with more playing time and touches. He will be a part of one of the better offenses in the NFL and can be considered a No. 2 running back in fantasy leagues.