Tuesday kicked off the new NFL league year, and with it, free agency.
The Denver Broncos made like return specialist Trindon Holliday and took the kick back to the house.
Denver made a splash early and continued to be one of the busiest teams throughout the first day of free agency.
Here's a rundown of all the moves they made and visits planned for the Broncos:
Denver started the day by getting cornerback Dominique Rogers-Cromartie and running back Rashard Mendenhall to agree to visit Dove Valley in an attempt to lure them to play for the orange and blue.
Rogers-Cromartie is a fifth-year starting corner that's played for the Arizona Cardinals and most recently, the Philadelphia Eagles. He's a talented and underrated player, who recorded 51 tackles and three interceptions last year in Philly. He'll visit the Broncos facility Wednesday according to multiple reports.
Mendenhall is a 5'10” 225-pound bruiser that loves to run between the tackles, but he's battled injuries lately including a torn ACL in 2011 and a bum Achilles tendon last year. He managed to carry the ball a mere 51 times for 182 yards last season, the second-worst output of his professional career. Still, Denver is determined to sign Mendenhall, and according to Pro Football Talk, it could happen soon.
Mendenhall has scheduled visits to both Arizona and Denver, but as it turns out, he may be canceling the first flight to Phoenix. If he is indeed signed, the Broncos will most likely drop either Willis McGahee or Knowshon Moreno. What happens next remains to be seen.
Then, around 4 p.m. MT, the Broncos signed their first free agent of the day in offensive guard Louis Vasquez. Vasquez played four years with the San Diego Chargers and according to Denver PR man Patrick Smyth, in 3,435 career snaps he's been called for a miniscule one penalty. Vasquez stands at 6'5” and weighs in at 335 pounds, a massive new guard for the offensive line. He also teamed up with backup guard Manny Ramirez at Texas Tech, which should help with chemistry early on. He signed a four-year, $23.5 million deal and rumor has it that Chris Kuper may be cut following the move. Kuper is coming off multiple ankle injuries and a torn triceps, and it looks like his days in Denver are numbered.
The Broncos went out and contacted many more players; defensive tackle Terrance Knighton, linebackers Stewart Bradley and Shaun Phillips, wide receivers Wes Welker and Greg Jennings, safety Louis Delmas and defensive end Dwight Freeney. Possibly more.
Some of them – Knighton and Bradley – have scheduled visits, while the interest in other free agents likely varies. According to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, there is no visit set up yet for Delmas, though Denver definitely has expressed interest in the fourth-year safety.
At 10:30 p.m. MT, ESPN's Adam Schefter announced that the Broncos are close to signing Knighton, who played with Denver defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio in Jacksonville. Knighton is a fifth-year pro that had 32 tackles with two sacks and two forced fumbles for the Jaguars last season. He's a 6'3” 330-pound monster that will help Kevin Vickerson plug up the middle of the defensive line.
Vickerson, in his eighth professional season, is 6'5” 290 pounds and signed a two-year deal to stay in the Mile High City after three years there.
On the Elvis Dumervil front, the Denver Post is reporting that the defensive end is willing to negotiate but both sides are still far apart. Dumervil's been a very good pass-rusher, even if he's been somewhat inconsistent over his seven seasons in Denver.
Also, on Monday, the Broncos released D.J. Williams and Caleb Hanie, while they re-signed David Bruton.