Nov 6, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA;  Los Angeles Rams punter Riley Dixon (11) punts the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the second quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos sign P Riley Dixon

The Denver Broncos signed punter Riley Dixon to a contract on Tuesday.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed by the Broncos, who selected Dixon in the seventh round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Dixon spent two seasons with Denver before playing for the New York Giants (2018-21) and the Los Angeles Rams (2022).

Dixon, 29, averaged a career-best 48.4 yards per punt while playing in all 17 games last season.

He has averaged 45.8 yards per kick in 114 career NFL games.

–Field Level Media

Bengals running back Samaje Perine  tries to slip a tackle by Bills linebacker Matt Milano.

Reports: RB Samaje Perine signing with Broncos

The Denver Broncos added to their running back depth chart by agreeing to a two-year deal with free agent Samaje Perine on Tuesday, multiple reports said.

The deal is worth $7.5 million and another $1 million in incentives, according to NFL Network.

No contract can become official until Wednesday, the first day of the new league year.

Perine ran 95 times for 394 yards and two touchdowns and caught 38 passes for 287 yards and four touchdowns for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2022.

Perine had been with the Bengals since 2019 after brief stints with Washington (2017-18) and Miami (2019). He was a fourth-round pick by Washington in the 2017 draft.

In 76 career games (11 starts) in his six-year career, Perine has amassed 1,592 rushing yards and seven touchdowns, plus 101 receptions for 736 yards and six receiving touchdowns.

The Broncos waived running back Melvin Gordon during 2022 and dealt with injuries at the position to Javonte Williams, Latavius Murray, Mike Boone and Marlon Mack. Murray is a free agent, and Boone has already agreed to sign with the Houston Texans.

–Field Level Media

Oct 30, 2022; London, United Kingdom;  Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) throws the ball in the first half against under pressure from Denver Broncos defensive end Dre'Mont Jones (93) during an NFL International Series game at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

DT shuffle: Dre’Mont Jones to Seahawks, Zach Allen to Broncos

Dre’Mont Jones agreed to a three-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks, the free agent defensive tackle told CBS Sports on Monday.

With Jones leaving Denver, the Broncos found an instant replacement, agreeing to a contract with free agent Zach Allen, per multiple media reports.

Multiple media outlets put the value of Jones’ contract at $51 million. The $17 million average annual value would be the largest ever received by a free agent joining the Seahawks under the leadership of coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider, according to ESPN.

Jones’ pact includes a guaranteed $23.5 million, per the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Jones, a Cleveland native, reportedly drew interest from the Browns before landing with the Seahawks.

Allen reportedly is getting a three-year, $45.75 million contract that guarantees him $32.5 million.

Jones, 26, became a full-time starter for the Broncos in 2022, his fourth NFL season. The 26-year-old matched his career high of 6.5 sacks, set a career high of 47 tackles (nine for loss) and added 10 quarterback hits and one forced fumble in 13 games, all starts.

Jones missed the final four games of the season due to a hip injury.

The 2019 third-round draft pick out of Ohio State has career totals of 22 sacks, 133 tackles (28 for loss), 38 quarterback hits, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery across 56 games (29 starts).

Allen, 25, had career highs with 5.5 sacks and eight passes defensed last year while making 47 tackles (10 for loss) in 13 games, all starts. It was his fourth NFL season, all with the Arizona Cardinals, who selected him in the third round of the 2019 draft out of Boston College.

In 45 career NFL games (35 starts), Allen has 11.5 sacks, three fumble recoveries, 138 tackles (21 for loss), 15 passes defensed and one interception.

–Field Level Media

Nov 20, 2022; Baltimore, Maryland, USA;  Baltimore Ravens guard Ben Powers (72) takes the field with a member of the U.S. military for introductions before the game against the Carolina Panthers at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jessica Rapfogel-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Broncos to spend $139.5M adding RT Mike McGlinchey, LG Ben Powers

The Denver Broncos added right tackle Mike McGlinchey and left guard Ben Powers, who agreed to massive deals Monday, multiple outlets reported.

McGlinchey and the Broncos agreed to a five-year deal worth $87.5 million, including more than $50 million guaranteed, per NFL Network.

The Denver Post and ESPN reported Powers would get a four-year deal worth $52 million, including $28.5 million guaranteed.

Both deals become official Wednesday, the first day of the new league year.

New head coach Sean Payton and general manager George Paton identified offensive line upgrades as one of the team’s priorities when discussing how to improve the Broncos in 2023.

McGlinchey, 28, started all 69 games he played in with the San Francisco 49ers the past five seasons. The Niners selected him No. 9 overall in the 2018 draft out of Notre Dame.

Powers, a left guard with the Ravens, will replace Broncos free agent Dalton Risner. In the event Risner returns or Denver finds a preferred left guard, Powers also started at right guard during his second season in Baltimore.

Powers was a fourth-round pick out of Oklahoma in 2019.

Backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham also agreed to terms with the Broncos. He’ll reportedly ink a two-year, $10 million deal to back up Russell Wilson in Denver after playing for the New England Patriots and Las Vegas Raiders.

New England drafted Stidham in the fourth round of the 2019 draft. He has 77 completions in 131 attempts with six touchdowns and seven interceptions in his career.

–Field Level Media

May 23, 2022; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos cornerback Ronald Darby (23) during OTA workouts at the UC Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Broncos release Graham Glasgow, Ronald Darby, Chase Edmonds

The Denver Broncos made a series of cap-saving moves Friday by releasing offensive lineman Graham Glasgow, cornerback Ronald Darby and running back Chase Edmonds, several outlets reported.

The release of Glasgow saves Denver $11 million, Darby saves the franchise $9.6 million and Edmonds saves it $5.9 million, according to reports.

Glasgow, 30, was entering the final year of a four-year, $44 million contract. He has played guard and center during his seven-year NFL career with the Detroit Lions (2016-19) and Broncos (2020-22). He appeared in all 17 games for Denver last season, starting 13.

Darby, 29, was a starting cornerback for the Broncos before suffering a season-ending torn ACL in Week 5. In two seasons with the Broncos, Darby had 67 tackles, a forced fumble and no interceptions across 16 games (all starts). He previously played for the Buffalo Bills (2015-16), Philadelphia Eagles (2017-19) and Washington (2020).

The Broncos acquired Edmonds, 26, from the Miami Dolphins on Nov. 1 in the trade that sent outside linebacker Bradley Chubb to Miami. Edmonds then suffered a high ankle sprain during Week 11 and returned in late December.

Edmonds only made five appearances and one start for the Broncos, taking 26 carries for 125 yards and catching six passes for 61 yards without a touchdown. In 70 career games (18 starts) with the Arizona Cardinals (2018-21), Miami and Denver, Edmonds has 401 rushing attempts for 1,796 yards and 11 touchdowns along with 144 receptions for 1,078 yards and six scores.

–Field Level Media

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross talks with Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, October 18, 2020.

Dolphins Owner Stephen M Ross 06

Judge clears portion of Flores v. NFL discrimination suit to proceed

Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores’ discrimination lawsuit was cleared to move forward by a federal judge in New York on Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan said Flores could advance systemic discrimination claims against the Denver Broncos, Houston Texans and New York Giants.

However, the claim against his former employer, the Miami Dolphins, and co-plaintiff claims from Ray Horton and Steve Wilks, are being funneled to arbitration. The ruling puts the matter directly into the hands of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who can elect to serve as arbitrator in the case or opt to appoint one.

Douglas Wigdor, Flores’ attorney, summarized the district court ruling as a win and a loss.

“We are pleased that Coach Flores’ class claims of systematic discrimination against the NFL and several teams will proceed in court and ultimately before a jury of his peers,” Wigdor said in a statement. “We are disappointed the court compelled arbitration of any claims before Mr. Goodell as he is obviously biased and unqualified to rule on these matters. We expect him to delegate those matters to a truly neutral arbitrator as a matter of fundamental fairness.”

Flores was 24-25 as head coach of the Dolphins, who fired him in what was later revealed as part of a plan by ownership to lure Sean Payton, then under contract with the New Orleans Saints, to Miami. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was fined, suspended and the Dolphins lost their first-round pick in the 2023 draft as a result.

Flores’ lawsuit claims that from owners to general managers and beyond, “systemic racial discrimination in the hiring, retention and termination of NFL coaches and executives” is pervasive in the league.

The NFL said on Wednesday they look forward to moving ahead with arbitration as laid out in the collective bargaining agreement.

“We intend to move forward promptly with arbitrations as directed by the Court and to seek to dismiss the remaining claims,” the league said in a statement provided by spokesperson Brian McCarthy.

Historically, the NFL goes to great lengths to avoid the discovery phase permitted in a public court system jury trial.

The NFL argued in court that all of the matters should be limited to resolution by arbitration as part of a confidential review and hearings. The matters related to Wilks, and the Arizona Cardinals, and Horton’s claim against the Tennessee Titans, along with Flores’ dispute with the Dolphins all are covered by the terms of their employment contracts with those teams, Caproni ruled Wednesday.

But Flores can forge ahead seeking a jury trial against the other three teams.

“This case shines an unflattering spotlight on the employment practices of National Football League teams,” Caproni wrote in the ruling. “Although the clear majority of professional football players are Black, only a tiny percentage of coaches are Black.”

Flores spent last season as senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He interviewed with the Cardinals for their head-coaching vacancy but withdrew to become defensive coordinator of the Vikings in February.

Flores accuses the Broncos and Giants of inviting him for what he considered “sham” interviews. Flores revealed that he received a congratulatory text intended for Brian Daboll from the Giants that was sent by Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. But Flores hadn’t interviewed with the Giants yet. The team hired Daboll.

He also claims the Texans retaliated against him for filing the lawsuit.

–Field Level Media

Feb 12, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, US; Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton on the sidelines during Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Sean Payton: Broncos, Russell Wilson expect scrutiny after losing season

New Broncos head coach Sean Payton began to put his plans for 2023 on the table over dinner with Russell Wilson.

“There was a group of people at our table, Joe Montana was at our table,” Payton said at the NFL Scouting Combine on Tuesday. “Russell was interested in where we’re going. I was looking forward to hearing from Joe Montana. Certainly for Russell’s standards and for Broncos standards, that wasn’t what was expected. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. When our offseason program begins, we’ll get a little bit more involved in how we see these roles developing for coaches, for players.”

Payton said his primary focus since returning to the NFL as a head coach has been on completing his coaching staff. He said Wilson has been in constant contact with former Saints quarterback Drew Brees, hoping to pick his brain about offensive philosophy and how to best focus his offseason training.

“Beyond people, every little detail matters. In an obsessive way,” Payton said of his plan to change the culture in Denver. “That has to exist in every other area of the building — equipment room, training room, cafeteria. Pretty soon then, the entire building moves in concert. And that’s pretty cool when that happens. It requires a little bit of unselfishness from all of us. If we’re all moving in one direction, chances are it’ll benefit all of us that are moving.”

Wilson, 34, was traded to the Broncos from the Seahawks after 10 seasons in Seattle. He signed a five-year, $245 million contract but had his worst statistical season.

The ramifications included Denver firing Nathaniel Hackett before the season ended and the Broncos paying a massive salary plus a first-round pick to the Saints to hire the 59-year-old Payton.

Revelations about Wilson having an office on the second floor of the team facility and using his own personal quarterbacks coach received a thumbs down from Payton upon his arrival. He said his comments have been overblown, but also serve as a reminder that scrutiny follows losing.

The Broncos went 5-12 and Wilson was 4-11 as the starter with 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

“That’s what happens when you lose, everything gets looked at closely,” Payton said. “And we’ll have a way of doing things. It’ll be what I’m most familiar with and what’s best for the players.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 27, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals safety Chris Banjo (31) against the Los Angeles Chargers at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

S Chris Banjo retires, begins NFL coaching career

Safety Chris Banjo announced his retirement from the NFL on Sunday, with a job waiting for him on the coaching staff of the Denver Broncos.

In a tweet on his 33rd birthday, Banjo said he was thankful for the “journey … memories … and teammates turned family.”

Banjo, undrafted out of SMU, signed with the Green Bay Packers in 2013. He also played for the New Orleans Saints under new Broncos head coach Sean Payton and spent the past four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals.

He is joining Payton’s newly assembled staff in Denver as assistant special teams coach. Last season with the Cardinals, he played 81 percent of snaps in his 13 appearances.

In 131 career games (seven starts), Banjo had 143 tackles, eight passes defensed, three interceptions, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.

–Field Level Media

November 13, 2022; Santa Clara, California, USA; Los Angeles Chargers offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos hire Joe Lombardi as offensive coordinator

Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton announced 15 additions to his coaching staff on Saturday — eight with ties to his tenure in New Orleans, including offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi.

Lombardi was fired after two seasons as the Los Angeles Chargers’ offensive coordinator.

Lombardi spent 12 seasons with the Saints as an offensive assistant (2007-08) and quarterbacks coach (2009-13; 2016-2020). He also was the OC for the Detroit Lions in 2014-15.

Vance Joseph, as previously reported, returns to Denver as defensive coordinator after serving as the Broncos’ head coach from 2017-18. He spent the next four seasons as the Arizona Cardinals’ DC.

Payton reached back to his time as the Saints’ head coach (15 active seasons 2006-2021) to relationships formed with seven former New Orleans staffers and one player, Chris Banjo.

A 10-year NFL defensive back, Banjo played in New Orleans from 2016-18. He appeared in 13 games as a safety last season for Arizona. Banjo begins his coaching career as Denver’s assistant special teams coach.

In addition to Lombardi and Banjo, those with ties to Payton in New Orleans are assistant head coach Mike Westhoff, tight ends coach Declan Doyle, pass game coordinator John Morton, offensive line coach Zach Strief, outside linebackers coach Michael Wilhoite and head strength and conditioning coach Dan Dalrymple.

Dalrymple joined Payton’s initial Saints staff in 2006 and spent 16 seasons there through 2021.

Denver also announced the hirings of special teams coordinator Ben Kotwica, wide receivers coach Keary Colbert, inside linebackers coach Greg Manusky and Paul Kelly as assistant to the head coach.

Payton has retained Marcus Dixon as defensive line coach and Christian Parker as defensive backs coach. Korey Jones remains the assistant strength and conditioning coach.

–Field Level Media

Nov 6, 2022; Phoenix, Ariz., United States;  Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph talks into his headset during the first quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at State Farm Stadium.

Nfl Cardinals Vs Seahawks Seattle Seahawks At Arizona Cardinals

Reports: Broncos hiring Vance Joseph as DC

The Denver Broncos are hiring former franchise head coach Vance Joseph to be their defensive coordinator, multiple outlets reported Thursday.

Joseph, 50, was selected over former NFL head coaches Rex Ryan and Matt Patricia, among others, for the open post under new head coach Sean Payton. Joseph replaces Ejiro Evero, who left to become the DC of the Carolina Panthers.

Joseph interviewed remotely with the Philadelphia Eagles on Wednesday for their defensive coordinator post. He reportedly was scheduled to interview Thursday with Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie.

Instead, Joseph returns to the Broncos, five years after he was fired as head coach. Joseph went 11-21 in two seasons in 2017-18. He had been the defensive coordinator with the Arizona Cardinals since.

Joseph returns to Denver under new ownership and a new management team.

Joseph was released from his contract with the Cardinals last Thursday, the same day they introduced Jonathan Gannon as their new head coach. Joseph interviewed with Payton and the Broncos for eight hours on Friday.

Joseph also was the defensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins in 2016.

–Field Level Media