AFC West: Tyler Brayton

The Denver Broncos still have an interest in St. Louis tight end Daniel Fells and Dallas defensive tackle Jason Hatcher, but they are tight against the salary cap and it might stall the team’s attempt to sign them, according to an NFL source close to the situation.

The Broncos wanted to sign both players on their visits Friday, but didn’t have the cap room to do it. The Broncos have other priorities and want to make sure they can sign those players first. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Friday that Denver agreed to terms with running back Willis McGahee. But that deal is not final because of Denver’s cap situation.

The Broncos have been handcuffed because a proposed trade of quarterback Kyle Orton to Miami didn’t happen. The Broncos still hope to trade Orton to clear cap room.

I wonder if the Broncos rue the decision of former coach Josh McDaniels to extend Orton’s contract another year last summer? Had McDaniels -- who made many questionable managerial decisions in his 23 months in Denver -- not extended Orton, Denver would have the necessary cap room to sign players and it would have the clarity at the quarterback position it currently doesn’t enjoy.

Meanwhile, the Denver Post reports former Oakland and Carolina defensive end Tyler Brayton could reunite with new Denver coach John Fox.

UDPATE: The Denver Post is reporting the Broncos will visit with Ty Warren, who was just cut by the Patriots. I could also see him getting interest form the Chiefs. Warren has New England connections to Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli and defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel.
The Oakland Raiders are among the NFL teams that were inspirations for the league as it presents a new rookie pay scale.

Since 2000, the Raiders have drafted 13 players in the first round. They contracted for a total $164,105,636 in guaranteed money before any of them played in an NFL game. That is an average of $12,623,510 per player. The Raiders have selected six players in the top 10 of the draft since 2004 -- Rolando McClain, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Darren McFadden, JaMarcus Russell, Michael Huff and Robert Gallery -- who signed for $136,686,636 in guaranteed money for an average of $22,781,106 per player. The Raiders’ first round guaranteed money total is among the highest in the NFL since 2000.

A major reason why Oakland had paid out so much is because it has often drafted high in the past decade. That's the basis of the NFL's new rookie pay proposal. It wants to streamline the pay scale. The NFL reportedly wants to cut almost 60 percent of guaranteed pay for first-round draft picks and divert the savings to veterans' salaries and benefits in an attempt to solve the month-old lockout.

I caught up with NFC South blogger Pat Yasinskas to discuss which players from Carolina could end up in Denver with new Denver coach John Fox.

Let’s talk a look:

Receiver Steve Smith: The Panthers could trade Smith and he is close with Fox and Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, who was with the Panthers before Denver. But Denver is in good shape at receiver, so the aging Smith may not be a priority.

Linebacker Thomas Davis: He is a free agent and Fox has long been a fan of this former first-round pick. I could easily see Davis sliding in as Denver’s weakside linebacker.

Running back DeAngelo Williams: This is an interesting situation. Williams is a free agent. If the Panthers opt to re-sign Williams, Jonathan Stewart or Mike Goodson could become available. I wouldn’t be surprised if Fox added one of them to his backfield.

Defensive end Tyler Brayton: If Brayton is salary-cap causality in Carolina, the former Colorado star could be decent depth in Denver.

Middle linebacker Jon Beason: A Fox favorite, the Panthers' longtime anchor of the defense is entering the final season of his contract. Perhaps Fox will try to deal for him.

Cornerback Richard Marshall: He is an underappreciated player. If Champ Bailey leaves as a free agent, Marshall could be an inexpensive option.

Linebacker James Anderson: He is a free agent and he could be an inexpensive option as Fox tries to bolster his front seven.

Defensive end Charles Johnson: He had 11.5 sacks and he could be an attractive free agent for Fox.

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