Guest of the League
GSOFFL Est. 2010
FFL: Preseason | NFL: Week 1

Fans arrive in droves to honor Bowlen at public tribute

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.''

Player Notes
Ezekiel Elliott Jul 15 4:21pm ET

Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott has privately said he intends to hold out of training camp unless he gets a new contract, according to Pro football Talk's Mike Florio via a league source.

David Johnson Jul 15 4:03pm ET

Arizona Cardinals RB David Johnson's receiving skills 'should come back to the forefront' after being 'all but ignored last season,' in the opinion of Darren Urban of AZcardinals.com.

Fantasy Spin: This has been the assumption among fantasy owners since Arizona hired Kliff Kingsbury, but it always helps to get it confirmed from a scribe that covers the team like Urban does. Johnson's goal of a 1,000/1,000 season may be a bit too much to ask, but this figures to be the 27-year-old's best shot of hitting those marks since his incredible 2016 campaign. He's well worth a pick in the top half of the first round of most fantasy drafts.

Alex Smith Jul 15 3:33pm ET

Washington Redskins QB Alex Smith (knee) will no longer be required to wear the external fixator that he had worn for eight months since suffering his devastating knee injury in November of 2018.

Grady Jarrett Jul 15 3:03pm ET

Atlanta Falcons DT Grady Jarrett reportedly reached an agreement on a four-year contract worth $68 million on Monday, July 15. Jarrett had been designated as the team's franchise player.

Ezekiel Elliott Jul 15 2:23pm ET

Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott has privately said he intends to hold out of training camp unless he gets a new contract, according to Pro football Talk's Mike Florio via a league source.

Fantasy Spin: Elliott still has two years left on his rookie contract, so this is a bit different than Melvin Gordon's situation. Unlike most of the running backs in the NFL in today's game, the two-time Pro Bowler has slightly more leverage here due to the lack of depth Dallas has at the position and how important he is to the Cowboys' offense. It's unlikely he'll hold out into the regular season though. However, if he does, rookies Mike Weber and Tony Pollard would likely split touches.

Robbie Gould Jul 15 12:50pm ET

The San Francisco 49ers agreed to a two-year deal with kicker Robbie Gould on Monday. The sides avoided a potential franchise tag controversy by guaranteeing Gould $10.5 million over two years with a team option for two additional seasons. There were rumors that Gould was unhappy in the Bay and preferred returning to his hometown Chicago, but that is now moot. Gould, 36, has been a steady boot throughout his career with an 87.7 field goal percentage and a 78 percent success rate on attempts of 40-plus yards. Since joining the Niners in 2017, hes converted 72 of 75 field goal tries (96 percent). With the 49ers offense expected to improve in 2019, Gould should be a solid fantasy kicker.

From RotoBaller

Josh Allen Jul 15 12:10pm ET

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen had a higher interception rate than touchdown rate and a completion percentage of just 52.8% during his rookie year. Going into his sophomore season, Allen seems very aware of the mistakes he made as a rookie and is eager to fix them. During an interview on XM NFL Radio last week, Allen said, "I know theres a lot of things that I missed on last year" and he described these misses as "A lot of dumb plays." He then went on to describe his goal of "Learning from those and then going into next season and trying to apply what Ive learned onto the field." Allen is a popular sleeper going into the 2019 season and if he can indeed cut down on the miscues, there's a good chance he could tap into some of that sleeper potential. He's a great target in two-QB leagues.

From RotoBaller

Kendrick Norton Jul 15 10:13am ET

Miami Dolphins DT Kendrick Norton (arm) will have his sixth, and likely final surgery, Monday, July 15, after he lost his arm in a car accident. He could be discharged from the hospital by next week.

Grady Jarrett Jul 15 9:53am ET

Updating an earlier report, Atlanta Falcons DT Grady Jarrett has some hope in beating the 4 p.m. ET deadline to sign a long-term deal Monday, July 15.

Derrick Morgan Jul 15 8:53am ET

Free-agent LB Derrick Morgan (Titans) announced his retirement Monday, July 15.

Robbie Gould Jul 15 8:33am ET

Updating an earlier report, San Francisco 49ers PK Robbie Gould's deal includes a $3 million signing bonus and fully guaranteed salaries of $3.15 million and $4.35 million. The option clause must be exercised by the 17th week of the 2020 season, which would fully guarantee Gould $2.25 million and another $2.25 million April 1, 2021. If the option is picked up, the deal would include a $4.5 million base salary in 2021 and a $4 million base salary in 2022.

Robbie Gould Jul 15 8:23am ET

San Francisco 49ers PK Robbie Gould agreed to a long-term deal before the deadline for franchise tag players Monday, July 15. The deal is a two-year, $10.5 million fully guaranteed deal with an option clause that can turn it into a four-year, $19 million deal with $15 million guaranteed.

Fantasy Spin: Gould is a back-end PK1 that could have some upside if Jimmy Garoppolo continues to progress the way he was before the knee injury.

Jadeveon Clowney Jul 15 8:23am ET

Houston Texans LB Jadeveon Clowney will not get a deal done before the deadline Monday, July 15, for franchise tag players to sign long-term contracts.

Grady Jarrett Jul 15 8:23am ET

Atlanta Falcons DT Grady Jarrett is unlikely to sign a long-term deal before the deadline for franchise tag players to do so Monday, July 15.

Christian McCaffrey Jul 15 3:03am ET

Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey might see a little more help in the backfield, as head coach Ron Rivera searches for a secondary runner. '(McCaffrey) him touching the ball was no concern,' Rivera said. 'It was just the extra plays. So we have to look at that and find a way to take that load from him.' The team re-signed RBs Cameron Artis-Payne and Elijah Hood, they drafted RB Jordan Scarlett, signed Elijah Holyfield as an undrafted free agent and have RB Reggie Bonnafon in the mix as well.

Fantasy Spin: McCaffrey will remain a first-round fantasy selection who will be the bellcow in Charlotte, but a little more rest, particularly late in games with the outcome already decided would not be a bad thing for C-Mac's long-term health. Fantasy owners shouldn't be terribly concerned.

Robbie Gould Jul 15 2:43am ET

San Francisco 49ers PK Robbie Gould was offered the $4.971 million franchise tag on Feb. 26, but he still has not signed the deal. Gould, who requested a trade back in April, is unsure that playing for the 49ers is best for him and his family. The deadline for a multi-year deal is 4 p.m. ET on Monday, July 15, and he said he was not going to commit to making a decision by then.

Jadeveon Clowney Jul 15 2:33am ET

Houston Texans DE/LB Jadeveon Clowney was offered the $15.967 million tag on March 4, but he has yet to sign it. He has been looking for a long-term extension, and the deadline to sign franchise-tagged players to a multi-year contract is coming up on Monday, July 15 at 4 p.m. ET.

Nate Sudfeld Jul 15 1:40am ET

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nate Sudfeld is considered a lock to make the final roster according to the Newark Star-Ledger. Sudfeld is expected to start the season as the primary backup to starter Carson Wentz. The rest of the Eagles quarterback room is Cody Kessler and fifth-round pick Clayton Thorson. Neither player should push Sudfeld for QB2 duties, but if Sudfeld struggles in the preseason, the Eagles could end up with three quarterbacks on the roster.

From RotoBaller

Marquez Valdes-Scantling Jul 14 10:23pm ET

Green Bay Packers WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling said he has been working out with retired WR Randy Moss four days a week to prepare of the upcoming season.

Fantasy Spin: Valdes-Scantling is in the mix to to be the No. 2 receiver in Green Bay, and if he ends up starting across from Davante Adams, he will immediately become a WR4 with upside.

Antonio Callaway Jul 14 9:23pm ET

Cleveland Browns WR Antonio Callaway has improved his game, according to QB Baker Mayfield, and Mayfield said he is 'very happy' with what he's seen out of Callaway during spring practices.

Fantasy Spin: Callaway has a good chance to open the year as the No. 3 receiver because of his ability to stretch the field, but he will be an all-or-nothing fantasy option in that role. He's a late-round lottery ticket, at best.