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FFL: Preseason | NFL: Week 1

Broncos turn over coach/quarterback duo again

Wed Feb 13 4:25pm ET
By ARNIE STAPLETON
AP Pro Football Writer

Players: Joe Flacco, Mark Sanchez, Emmanuel Sanders, Demaryius Thomas, Case Keenum, Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck, Brock Osweiler, Trevor Siemian, Chad Kelly, Paxton Lynch

In this Oct. 7, 2018, file photo, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, in Cleveland. A person with knowledge of the trade tells The Associated Press, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019, that the Denver Broncos have agreed to acquire Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco in exchange for a fourth-round pick in this year's NFL draft. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because neither team announced the deal.(AP Photo/Ron Schwane, File)


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) In just about every season he's been in charge of football operations in Denver, John Elway has had to address major concerns at one or both of the two most consequential positions in the NFL: head coach and quarterback.

This offseason, he made changes at both spots, hiring Vic Fangio and acquiring Joe Flacco in a trade that will become official next month when the league's new year begins.

Here's a look at Elway's head coaches and quarterbacks:

-2011 (Coach No. 1, QBs No. 1, 2).

Elway hires John Fox, but a trade of QB Kyle Orton fizzles and Orton wins the job in camp. A month later, the Broncos appear to join the ''Suck for Luck'' crusade for Stanford standout Andrew Luck but Tim Tebow sparks a run that wins the middling AFC West at 8-8, and his 80-yard TD toss to Demaryius Thomas in OT stuns the Steelers in the playoffs. The giddiness subsides in a 45-10 loss at New England. Soon, Tebowmania would be replaced by Manningmania.

-2012: (QB No. 3).

After luring the biggest free agent prize in NFL history in Peyton Manning, Elway trades Tebow to the Jets. He has Russell Wilson in for a pre-draft visit but instead selects Brock Osweiler as Manning's understudy. Manning leads Denver to a 13-3 record and the AFC's top seed. But Flacco's 70-yard TD toss over safety Rahim Moore in the final minute of regulation and Fox's ''take a knee edict'' to play for overtime doom Manning to another early playoff exit.

-2013:

Manning again leads the Broncos to a 13-3 mark on the strength of an NFL-record 606-point season but injuries catch up to them in a stinging 43-8 loss to Seattle in the Super Bowl. Sifting through the rubble of yet another Super Bowl blowout, Elway signs free agents Aqib Talib, T.J. Ward, DeMarcus Ware and Emmanuel Sanders, and that foursome becomes the building blocks for a championship team two years later.

-2014:

Manning leads Denver to a 12-4 record but he starts to show signs of aging and gets hurt down the stretch. Again he's one-and-done in the playoffs, this time losing to his old team, the Colts. Afterward, Manning admits he's unsure if he'll return in 2015. Fox won't. He and Elway agree to a mutual split the next day and Fox heads to Chicago. Manning decides to put off retirement but takes a $4 million pay cut with the chance to earn it all back, which he will.

-2015: (Coach No. 2, QB 4).

Elway lures Gary Kubiak back to Denver as Fox's replacement and his former backup and ex-coordinator maneuvers the Broncos through a minefield of issues in another 12-4 season. Kubiak benches an injured Manning for Osweiler for seven games but brings him back for the playoffs. Denver's defense carries Manning across the finish line with a 24-10 win over Carolina in Super Bowl 50, the franchise's third title, all with Elway at the helm as either QB or GM.

-2016: (QBs 5, 6 and 7).

Manning retires a month after the Super Bowl and Osweiler bolts for Houston in free agency, sending Elway on a long search for a worthy successor. He trades for Mark Sanchez and moves up in the draft to select Paxton Lynch out of Memphis only to watch the steady Trevor Siemian, his 2015 seventh-rounder, beat them both out. The Broncos, however, stumble to 9-7, missing the playoffs and Kubiak steps down afterward.

-2017: (Coach No. 3).

Elway interviews Kyle Shanahan but chooses Vance Joseph as his head coach, something he'd quickly regret, flirting with the idea of re-hiring Mike Shanahan before the year is even out. For the second straight summer, Siemian beats out Lynch and Osweiler returns to Denver after failures in Houston and Cleveland. All three quarterbacks take turns starting in a dismal 5-11 season. Elway decides to keep Joseph rather than hiring his old coach for a reunion tour.

-2018: (QB No. 8 and 9).

Elway signs free agent Case Keenum to a two-year, $36 million deal and trades Siemian to the Vikings to make way for Lynch to win the backup job. But Lynch can't even beat out another seventh-rounder in Chad Kelly and gets cut after starting just four games in two seasons. The Broncos jettison Kelly, too, after his trespassing arrest at midseason following a single snap, a kneel-down. A 6-10 finish costs Joseph his job after two years.

-2019: (Coach No. 4, QB. No. 10).

Elway hires Fangio, 60, who's never been a head coach. Kubiak, who has been a special adviser in the front office, wants to return to a coaching role, but his desire to bring along former lieutenants Brian Pariani and Rick Dennison is a deal-breaker. Fangio instead hires 49ers QB coach Rich Scangarello as his offensive coordinator and Kubiak leaves for the Vikings. Elway agrees to send the fourth-round draft pick he got in the Demaryius Thomas trade to the Ravens for Flacco.

Player Notes
Rashaan Melvin Mar 23 1:00am ET

The Detroit Lions signed free-agent cornerback Rashaan Melvin to a one-year, $3.5 million deal on Friday, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Melvin played for the Patriots in 2015 when head coach Matt Patricia was the defensive coordinator. The 29-year-old has been mostly a starter the last three seasons with the Colts and Raiders and had a career-high three interceptions with the Colts in 2017. He could be the replacement for Nevin Lawson, who signed with the Raiders earlier this week.

From RotoBaller

Mike Glennon Mar 23 12:50am ET

The Oakland Raiders signed free-agent quarterback Mike Glennon to a one-year, $2 million deal on Friday, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The 29-year-old will be with his fourth different team in the last four seasons and will serve as Derek Carr's backup in silver and black. Glennon has played in 27 games (22 starts) and is 6-16 as a starter in his five seasons in the NFL. He has 35 touchdown passes, 20 interceptions and an 84.0 quarterback rating. Glennon won't be fantasy relevant.

From RotoBaller

Morgan Burnett Mar 22 11:50am ET

The Pittsburgh Steelers informed safety Morgan Burnett that they will release him by April 1 per the player's request, according to his agent, Kevin Conner. Both parties discussed trade possibilities before the release, according to a source. Pittsburgh signed the safety to a three-year, $14.25 million contract last season that included a $4.25 million signing bonus. Burnett missed four of the first six games of 2018 due to injury and recorded 30 tackles and six pass deflections in a sub-package role in 11 games. The 30-year-old had previously played eight seasons with the Packers.

From RotoBaller

Malcolm Brown Mar 22 11:40am ET

The Los Angeles Rams are matching the Detroit Lions offer sheet for restricted free-agent running back Malcolm Brown on Friday. Brown's deal with the Rams is for two years with a $3.3 million base salary, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. He'll receive $2.1 million in practice guarantees ($1 million base guaranteed and a $1.1 million roster bonus to be issued April 15). Brown landed on Injured Reserve in Week 13 with a clavicle injury. He played just 15 percent of the offensive snaps and had 264 yards from scrimmage and one receiving touchdown. He's merely depth behind Todd Gurley.

From RotoBaller

Cody Latimer Mar 22 11:40am ET

The New York Giants re-signed wide receiver Cody Latimer to an undisclosed deal on Friday. Latimer played in the first three games and the last two games of the 2018 season but just one of the 11 games in between in his first season in New York because of injuries. He battled a knee injury and also spent two months on Injured Reserve with a pulled hamstring. Latimer finished with only 11 receptions for 190 yards and one touchdown and also averaged 24.6 yards on five kickoff returns. He might have more opportunities to make noise in 2019 with Odell Beckham Jr. out of the picture, but Latimer still doesn't have much fantasy upside.

From RotoBaller

Trevor Siemian Mar 22 10:45am ET

The New York Jets agreed to terms with free-agent quarterback Trevor Siemian on a one-year, $2 million deal on Wednesday, a source told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Siemian can make up to $3 million in incentives. The 27-year-old former Bronco didn't play at all with the Vikings last year while backing up Kirk Cousins. He was the starter in Denver in 2016 and 2017, completing 59.3 percent of his passes for 30 touchdowns and 24 interceptions. New York's addition of Siemian likely means that veteran Josh McCown, a 40-year-old journeyman quarterback, will leave in free agency or retire. Siemian won't have any fantasy appeal in his new digs while backing up Sam Darnold.

Jared Cook Mar 22 10:44am ET

The New Orleans Saints are expected to sign free-agent tight end Jared Cook, sources told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Cook, who turns 32 next month, had a career year with the Raiders in 2018, catching 68 passes for 896 yards and six touchdowns. The veteran can stretch opposing defenses down the seam and should open up more space for star receiver Michael Thomas on the outside. While it would be foolish to expect Cook to put up better numbers than he did in Oakland, he should remain a strong TE1 option in the high-flying offense of the Saints.

Clay Matthews Mar 22 10:23am ET

Updating previous reports, Los Angeles Rams LB Clay Matthews' two-year deal has a $9.25 million base value with $5.5 million guaranteed.

Morgan Burnett Mar 22 9:43am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers FS Morgan Burnett will be released by April 1, per the player's request, according to his agent, Kevin Conner.

Robert Griffin III Mar 22 8:23am ET

Free-agent QB Robert Griffin III (Ravens) re-signed with the Baltimore Ravens Friday, March 22, on a two-year deal. Financial terms weren't disclosed, and the deal is pending a physical.

Marcus Sherels Mar 21 10:20pm ET

The New Orleans Saints signed long-time Minnesota Vikings punt returner Marcus Sherels to an undisclosed one-year deal on Thursday, according to a source. The 31-year-old was the Vikings primary punt returner for the last eight years and averaged 12.0 yards per punt return in 2018 to finish in the league's top five for the third time in the last six seasons. He was also used occasionally as a kickoff returner and was a backup cornerback. New Orleans ranked in the league's bottom 10 teams in punt return yardage the last two years. Sherels won't be an option in most fantasy leagues with his move to the Saints.

From RotoBaller

O.J. Howard Mar 21 10:13pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE O.J. Howard (ankle) spent time running routes and catching passes from Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes Thursday, March 21.

Fantasy Spin: Howard was having a TE1 campaign in 2018 before an injury ended his season early, but he should be back at full strength well before the start of next season. He is a big-play weapon from the tight end spot and could finish as a top-five fantasy option at his position.

Robert Griffin III Mar 21 10:10pm ET

The Baltimore Ravens re-signed backup quarterback Robert Griffin III on Thursday to an undisclosed two-year deal. The 29-year-old will continue to back up starter Lamar Jackson in 2019. The former first-round pick can be an invaluable source for Jackson as he matures heading into his second season, but RG3 will continue to have no fantasy value.

From RotoBaller

Jordan Howard Mar 21 10:03pm ET

Chicago Bears RB Jordan Howard is unlikely to have a role in the offense if he remains with the team in 2019, in the opinion of Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.

Fantasy Spin: Howard has always struggled to make an impact in the passing game, and after regressing as a between-the-tackles runner last year, the Bears don't have much incentive to feature him in the offense. Feel free to take a flier on him in the final rounds of drafts, but don't count on him to be a contributor for your fantasy squad.

Justin Houston Mar 21 10:00pm ET

The Indianapolis Colts signed free-agent outside linebacker Justin Houston to a two-year deal worth $24 million on Thursday, a source told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Houston had nine sacks for the Chiefs last year, but he was cut with the team trying to get younger and defense while transitioning from a 3-4 base defense to a 4-3 scheme. The Colts also run a 4-3, but they project to use him as a defensive end for the first time in his career. The 30-year-old has dealt with a nagging knee injury in recent years but still has 18.5 sacks in the last two years. The veteran will certainly help boost a weak Indy pass rush from a season ago.

From RotoBaller

Jordan Reed Mar 21 9:33pm ET

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (toe) has been working out with teammates this offseason, according to RB Adrian Peterson.

Fantasy Spin: Reed managed to play in 13 games last season, but it didn't translate into much production on the field. Between constant health issues and slipping per-game numbers, Reed is no more than a late-round lottery ticket heading into 2019.

Cooper Kupp Mar 21 9:23pm ET

Los Angeles Rams WR Cooper Kupp (knee) said his recovery is where it is 'supposed to be' at this point in the process.

Fantasy Spin: Kupp is expected to be ready for the start of the 2019 season. He was Jared Goff's go-to target on third downs and in the red zone prior to the injury, and Kupp should be able to deliver WR2 numbers, especially in PPR formats.

Hunter Henry Mar 21 9:23pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers TE Hunter Henry (knee) is expected to be ready for the start of OTAs, according to general manager Tom Telesco.

Fantasy Spin: Assuming he doesn't suffer any setbacks, Henry should open the year as the starting tight end for the Chargers and a low-end TE1 candidate for fantasy owners.

Stephen Gostkowski Mar 21 7:03pm ET

Free-agent PK Stephen Gostkowski (Patriots) is making progress in contract talks with the New England Patriots. Gostkowski has also received interest from other teams.

Fantasy Spin: Gostkowski struggled at times this past season but still can be a weekly starting option in all fantasy leagues.

Mar 21 6:43pm ET

Free-agent DT Al Woods (Colts) met with the Detroit Lions Thursday, March 21.