DENVER (CBS4) – A year ago during the NFL’s free agency period a fax machine fiasco left a sour taste in the mouths of Broncos fans. It might be for that reason that the Broncos brass are taking a no-nonsense approach in this year’s dealings, former receiver Ed McCaffrey said.
Last March defensive end Elvis Dumervil was apparently all set to agree to a new deal the Broncos had offered him, but somehow a fax machine being used to validate the agreement didn’t get the proper documentation from Dumervil’s agent to the Broncos before an NFL deadline and Dumervil had to be released.
There has been no such embarrassment this time around. On Day 1 of free agency the Broncos signed cornerback Aqib Talib and safety T.J. Ward. Then on the second day they signed highly sought after defensive end DeMarcus Ware. And now they likely have a new No. 2 wide receiver in Emmanuel Sanders. The Broncos have committed more than $130 million to free agents so far in 2014.
McCaffrey told CBS4’s Vic Lombardi on Xfinity Monday Live that the moves Executive V.P. of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway has made are reeking of confidence.
“I think the guy that impressed me the most in free agency so far is John Elway. I think the way he is negotiating, he’s showing complete indifference, which means he’s done his homework, he knows his numbers — you’re going to take it or you’re going to leave it and he’s not going to mess around. He knows what he wants and he goes out and gets it,” McCaffrey said.
Two years ago after Elway was asked about signing Peyton Manning, Elway famously said “There is no Plan B” when asked about what would happen if Manning was unable to play. McCaffrey joked that by the looks of things now, Elway is showing that he definitely does have a “Plan B.”
“Maybe it was because of the Dumervil thing a year ago. He has a very direct, honest approach to these negotiations and he has a backup plan in case the first guy that he gives an offer doesn’t commit.”
To some, it seemed that wide receiver Eric Decker’s departure during free agency was a foregone conclusion. McCaffrey said that’s probably because Decker’s agent and the Broncos have been involved in negotiations for some time and were both aware of what kind of a deal Decker would have gotten if he had stayed.
“The Broncos have a cap, they have things they are trying to do. They have to evaluate every position, and it didn’t work out from a numbers standpoint. I’m sure if he had agreed to the deal maybe Emmanuel Sanders agreed to they could have kept him, but it wasn’t going to happen,” he said.
McCaffrey graded the signing of Sanders as a “great pickup.”
“He’s a legitimate playmaker,” he said. “Sanders adds some speed, and I think they are hoping he can stretch the defense. They will use him in the slot a little more than they used Decker I think.”
See more video with Ed McCaffrey, including his thoughts on whether running back Knowshon Moreno will stay or go, in the Xfinity Monday Live section.
– Written by Jesse Sarles for CBSDenver.com