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Published on 03/03/2010 at Wed Mar 03 12:37.
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UPDATE: Elvis Dumervil has been tendered a first and a third round draft pick according to the Broncos official website. This doesn’t mean Dumervil is out the door, but it also doesn’t mean other teams won’t try.

Kyle Orton and Chris Kuper are the first to receive tenders for the Denver Broncos this off-season. It’s fitting that they both received first round tenders from Denver. Tony Scheffler received a second round tender, Mike Klis of the Denver Post is reporting.

The Broncos have tendered three of their six restricted free agents. They slapped first-round tenders on starting quarterback Kyle Orton and right guard Chris Kuper. The Broncos also gave a second-round tender to tight end Tony Scheffler.

According to Adam Schefter and Vic Lombardi via Twitter, Brandon Marshall has also been tendered a first round pick.

Adam_Schefter:  Come and get him: Broncos placed the first-round tender on WR Brandon Marshall.

VicLombardi: The Broncos tendered Brandon Marshall. It would take a 1st rd pick for another team to sign him. Ditto for Orton and Kuper.

The fact that Marshall has been tendered only a first indicates that the Broncos are open to letting him go. That or they’re hoping that another team will do all the contract negotiations for them and then match the offer. I still don’t know how the Chicago Bears plan on dealing with this without a first round pick.

The fact that Dumervil was given the highest tender should hopefully spell out his return. Therefore you can (hopefully) expect him to be signed to a long term contract. Breathy easy Denver fans.

Above are the five out of the six restricted agents the Broncos Were able to offer tenders to. The sixth player being defensive linemen LeKevin Smith, was not tendered and will be an unrestricted free agent.

Since this is going to be an uncapped year the unrestricted players are going to make a lot less than they would have during a capped year.

The tenders on Orton and Kuper mean if another team is able to sign them away, it would have to give the Broncos a first-round pick in the upcoming NFL draft. Orton is guaranteed a $2.621 million salary as a fifth-year player while Kuper would get $2.521 million as a fourth-round player

As for Scheffler:

The Broncos tender to Scheffler included roughly $600,000 in goodwill. Because Scheffler was drafted in the second round in 2006, the Broncos could have designated him as a “same round” restricted free agent, which would have given him a $1.176 million salary. Instead, the Broncos designated him as a “second round” tender which guarantees him a $1.759 million.

If the old system was still in affect these players would be unrestricted free agents and would be capable of signing much larger contracts than the ones tendered to them.

Who stays and who goes Bronco nation? Air it out!

  • Plato

    It's ironic that the uncapped year keeps the players from making tons of money.

  • guest

    i thought that the highest tender was a first and third, where did i get that from? is that compensation for something else?

  • MrEast

    The highest tender is a first and a third. Denver just opted not to give Marshall the highest tender probably due to trade flexibility.

    Whereas Dumervil was given the highest tender, and Denver should do everything in their power to keep him right where he is.

  • dr.gonzo

    Keep Doom, and as much as i hate to say it trade B-Marsh its for the best.

  • SivNiz

    I’m extremely pleased with this, 1st priority was Doom, 2nd Marshall, 3rd Kuper.

  • steeplebomb

    Can someone clarify the rules here? I assume that the Broncos have a limiter amount of total tenders they can play on their RFA's, right? Or could they theoretically put the max amount (1st, 3rd) on every RFA if they wanted to?

  • dogheadbrew

    It looks food to me. I would rather have BM on the team than not, but a first for him is livable. IF it comes to that. He's been a monster for three years, but we have zero playoff appearances to show for it.

    Side note, how would the rest of the league like to see BM in a Saints Uni?

  • MrEast

    Technically yes you could do that, but it wouldn't be smart to tender everyone at the highest. You usually tender the players you want to keep at the highest (or sign them asap) possible.

    The reasoning behind Marshall's tender is to provide some flexibility when it comes to other teams offers. More teams are likely to send offers to Marshall if his tender is just a first round pick. Teams picking in the lower part of the first round may find Marshall worthy of his tender and make an offer.

    Now Denver is left with two options, either match the offer, or take the compensation. I believe the Broncos tendered Marshall at a first to see what they can get. If McX doesn't feel that what they have been offered is worth losing Marshall over they'll most likely match the offer and Marshall will stay a Bronco.

    In the big picture this is exactly where the front office wants to be. No matter what Denver will either get a first round pick or keep Marshall, basically a win-win situation.

  • MrEast

    I'm not sure if they have a shot at Marshall because of the final eight rule. I will have to check on it though.

  • steeplebomb

    Got it, thanks. I'm surprised by Kuper getting a 1st and Scheff getting a 2nd. Are they that good? Especially in Scheffler's case it surprises me that they (it seems) want to keep him.

    On a not related note, have you seen anything lately about the possibility of a lockout year after next? It seems that's the elephant in the room for a ton of these decisions.

  • MrEast

    I agree about Kuper, it must mean they want to keep him. However, Scheffler has to be tendered at least in the round where he was drafted in.

    Also keep in mind if you tender a player and no one makes an offer, you still have to pay him what the tender's worth. Hence it makes no sense why the Raiders tendered Standford Routt a first and a third (he hasn't had a interception in his 6 seasons in the NFL).

    As for the lockout, it is definitely the elephant in the room. If things keep going like they are it will happen. Every day I believe more and more that this is the last season of football we might see for awhile. It all depends on if the players and owners can reach an agreement, which has been impossible as of late.

  • mikebirty

    Pretty predictable. So who's gonna sign their tender first? My money's on Orton

  • Estes2SD

    Mr. East
    Thanks for the article and the information. I knew this Uncapped offseason was really going to help keep some of our key players around, I just had a difficult time explaining it to other foothball fans.

    I love also how ther Raiders organization is the only organization that could screw this up. Also – Orton for $2.6 mil seems like a good deal.

  • SivNiz

    I too was confused by the Kuper tender but I all for keeping our offensive line in place.

  • MrEast

    I concur, with the exception of left guard. If Denver can land Logan Mankins it would be one solid line.

  • Tom9798

    Mr. East . . . Let me present two scenarios . . .

    First . . . and not arguable . . . Marshall will be gone . . . possibly Dumervil (that would be our loss) . . . . Scheffler gone . . . great hands, great routes, good blocker . . .

    Second . . . Orton and Kuper get picked by other teams . . .

    Now we need to replace our Pro-bowl wide-receiver and defensive end, our tight end that has great hands and proven ability, our QB and OF guard . . . .

    So . . . are we a better team now? . . . . or has this just become a re-building season that I wasn’t aware was going to happen?

    On the sunny side of the road (since I don’t like clouds without a solution) . . . .

    There is a wealth of defensive and offensive lineman in this draft . . . that if one had foresight . . . . could meld a force for years to come . . . .

    Whatcha think?

  • TheTroglodyte

    Scheffler only really plays in 9 or 10 games a year and has never been a producer. He is talented but considering his talent, has utterly failed under two different coaches and systems. Also, he is just an average blocker at best and he is just as likely to drop an easy catch as he is to make a spectacular one. He has concentration issues.

    As Charles Barkley would say, you are only as good as you play.

  • MrEast

    It's absolutely hilarious about what the Raiders do. It has to be some sort of clerical error that Thomas Howard was tendered a second and Standford Routt a first and a third. This is the way Al Davis thinks.

  • MrEast

    It is quite arguable that Marshall isn't gone, but it is probable.

    Whereas I don't see Kuper “getting picked” because most teams would consider a first too high for Kuper. As for Orton I see a similar situation, a team would have to be very desperate for a quarterback to give up a first for him.

    When it comes to Scheffler, what TheTroglodyte said is exactly my thoughts on him. There really wasn't much a difference between Scheffler and Richard Quinn this year.

    You're definitely right about the wealth of linemen on both sides of the ball this draft. I really hope Denver is able to capitalize off of this and build the foundation of a true franchise.

  • guest

    it does become somewhat of a rebuilding year in that scenario. although i wouldnt be totally upset. we'd have 4 first rd picks and 2 seconds. If we have a bad draft with all that, then i would be upset. I doubt we would use all 4 1sts, i am sure we would try to move down with one or two- or package some and move up for one of the premier dl's.

    that being said, we're not going to lose orton, and i think kuper would be a reach for a team as well. given his health/production, i dont see sheff gone for a second. we may trade him, but i bet the highest someone offers is a third. the only player that gets an offer is marshall, imo. the others may be traded, sure, but we wont see first rd compensation.

  • SivNiz

    Plus denver still has first rights to each tendered palyer

  • anthony33

    Mr. East.
    Also, even if another team makes a run at an Orton or Kuper, the Broncos still have the option to match the offer and keep the player… correct?? Slapping a tender does not mean the team wants to get rid of you, but rather to let the market determine your value… correct?

    While I am sure the players would have liked an offer from the Broncos, it sounds like the Bronx did exactly the right thing here, especially with Marshall.

  • MrEast

    You are correct. The Broncos are allowed to match any offer they receive.

    The problem with that is (and a key contributor to Kyle's paranoia) the poison pill possibility. Which is a team could make an offer that Denver cannot match and thus looses the player.

    This happened to Steve Hutchinson a few seasons back. The Vikings offered Hutch a contract that guaranteed him 13 million for his first year and made him the highest paid player on the offensive line. Since the Seahawks highest paid player on the line was Walter Jones they could not afford Hutch and let him go.

    Vengefully later the Seahawks put a poison pill on the contract of then Vikings receiver Nate Burleson. The contract stated that if Burleson was to ever play five or more games in the state of Minnesota his full $49 million contract would be guaranteed. Since the Vikings play half of their schedule in the state of Minnesota they could not match the offer and lost Burleson. Kyle will probably writing more about this later.

    A similar situation you might be more familiar with is Brett Favre's trade to the Jets. The Packers put a stipulation in that if Favre was traded to any NFC North team the Jets would compensate with three first round draft picks. This is not exactly a poison pill, but clever like one.

  • MrEast

    See the above comment I posted about poison pills. It's something to be aware of (and something we will most likely see from one team this offseason).

  • Tom9798

    Great comments . . . just playing advocate . . .

    Seems I have a higher opinion of Sheffler than most and believe he didn't fail in the previous season and has been under-utilized in this system . . .

    I don't think Kuper is going anywhere . . . I think a couple teams could use Orton . . . but maybe not at a 1st tender . . . who knows? . . . would certainly change our draft picture . . .

    Let's play crazy predictions . . .

    Marshall, Sheffler and Dumervil all go to the San Francisco 49er's . . .

    Got something crazier than that?

  • guest

    bowlen trading mcd for shannahan.

  • dogheadbrew

    Kuper, Orton and Doom are safely Broncos next season in my approximation. Most of the teams that need a QB are going to look to the draft (or the Eagles). Orton is growing on me as a very competent care taker, but I doubt many other GMs would give up a first for him. Scheffler is 50-50 in my mind. I like him, but I really like Gramm(sp?) and we will be a blocking TE world here. An extra 2nd is a nice bit of leverage for the draft too. Doom is great, but I don't think he's shown enough to make another team pay that price for him.

    For all three of them to go to SF, the 49ers will need to pick up some more picks.

  • Tom9798

    LOL . . . don't be teasing . . .

  • Tom9798

    Doom to the Redskins instead of Peppers . . .

  • MrEast

    To give a player an offer sheet you must own the pick yourself, rather than holding another teams. As in Denver can't extend an offer sheet to another player for their 11th overall pick they hold from Chicago.

  • Tom9798

    Interesting . . . is Denver obligated to use the 11th pick only in the draft?

  • dogheadbrew

    Really? So Seattle couldn't give us back our original pick with an offer to Marshall (or Kyle or Kris)? That means of the 32 1st round picks, only 29 are available for tenders. Plus a good depth of draft, plus a decent number of other RFAs out there. How much movement do you see happening in general?

  • MrEast

    It's hard to gauge the range of movement that will happen this offseason, but I don't think it will be much different than usual. I believe we'll see a little less movement because teams won't want to give up the kind of picks needed to sign these players. Therefore high tenders might end up backfiring and costing the teams a great deal of money.

    What I'm interested to see if any teams are clever/evil enough to pull a poison pill contract. I'd put money on it happening this offseason.

  • MrEast

    Yes. Unless they can get another team to extend an offer sheet using their pick, and then trading Denver the player they just traded for.

    This gives me an idea of an article explaining this more in detail. Thanks Tom!

  • JoeDoGG

    I have never heard this phrase tendered what doest that even mean

  • Tom9798

    You're welcome, Mr. East . . . rather binding, don't you think? . . . can Denver use the 11th to trade up or down in the draft?

  • MrEast

    It refers to market value. The Broncos tendered Brandon Marshall as a first round pick because they believe that is a suitable compensation. Tendering a player also binds you to pay him a certain salary.

    Teams can gamble and tender a player they want to get rid of at a higher level and hope they receive the compensation they want, or no one offers, and their stuck having to pay him.


    Let's say Denver wanted to get a first round pick out of Scheffler, so they tender him at a first round level. This means any team with a first round pick they own themselves can make an offer for Scheffler.

    Denver would be gambling that a team would want Scheffler enough to give up their first round pick. If a team does, Denver gets the pick and the team gets Scheffler and they are bound to pay him the salary bound to first round tenders.

    If no one offers a suitable compensation package to Denver they would be left with paying Scheffler.

    Teams can offer compensation packages lower than what the player was tendered for as well in hopes the team will accept.

    I hope that helps somewhat.

  • MrEast

    Denver can do whatever they like in the draft with that pick, just not in restricted free agency.

  • JoeDoGG

    Ok now I understand. Thanks for the explanation.


  • MrEast

    However it is a little stupid to say that they can't use their pick in restricted free agency because trades are a separate entity. Denver can simply trade for whoever they want with whichever pick they have.