Login  |   Register
On Now
Coming Up
  • Sat., Jan. 21, 2017 1:00 PM MST East-West Shrine Game East-West Shrine Game, Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida.
  • Sat., Jan. 28, 2017 12:30 PM MST Senior Bowl Senior Bowl, Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama
  • Sun., Jan. 29, 2017 6:00 PM MST NFL Pro Bowl NFL Pro Bowl, Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida
  • Sun., Feb. 05, 2017 4:30 PM MST Super Bowl LI Super Bowl LI, NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
  • Wed., Feb. 15, 2017 12:00 AM MST First day to designate Franchise or Transition players First day for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
  • Tue., Feb. 28, 2017 12:00 AM MST Combine Timing and Testing The Combine begins in Indianapolis and runs through March 6.
  • Wed., Mar. 01, 2017 2:00 PM MST Deadline to designate Francise or Transition Players Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
  • Tue., Mar. 07, 2017 12:00 AM MST Teams may negotiate with their own Unrestricted Free Agents

    During the period beginning at 12 noon, New York time, on March 7th and ending at 3:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 9th, clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2016 player contracts at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 9. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 9.

    During the above two-day negotiating period, no direct contact is permitted between a prospective unrestricted free agent and any employee or representative of a club, other than the player’s current club.

  • Thu., Mar. 09, 2017 12:00 AM MST 2017 League Year and Free Agency begin

    The 2017 League Year and Free Agency period begin at 4:00 p.m., New York time.

    The first day of the 2017 League Year will end at 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 9. Clubs will receive a personnel notice that will include all transactions submitted to the League office during the period between 4:00 p.m., New York time, and 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 9.

    Trading period for 2017 begins at 4:00 p.m., New York time, after expiration of all 2016 contracts.

  • Sun., Mar. 26, 2017 12:00 AM MDT Annual League Meeting Annual League Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona.
Print
RSS

A Long Time Coming

Posted Aug 21, 2012

Safety Jim Leonhard hit the practice field Tuesday for the first time as a Denver Bronco after eight months of recovering from a knee injury.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Seventeen days after signing with the Broncos, safety Jim Leonhard finally hit the practice field with his teammates.

"It’s been a long time," Leonhard said. "A lot of hours of rehab since I’ve been on this field. It really felt great to get back out there."

The second safety to return to the practice field in the past two days -- joining Quinton Carter -- Leonhard participated in individual drills, but was held out of team portions of the session.

"I just got my feet wet a little bit," he said.

It was Leonhard's first practice since suffering a knee injury in December, which caused him to end the 2011 season on injured reserve.

Leonhard said it was hard to stay patient for his eight months of recovery after surgery, but now that his knee is "absolutely" pain-free and "feels better than it did before (he) hurt it," he's hoping the wait will pay off.

“It’s going to be a little touch-and-go right now, just trying to get my legs back under me," he said. "These guys have been in training camp for three weeks now and I’ve missed an entire offseason coming off of a surgery. It’s going to take a little time to get back to 100 percent and feel totally comfortable with everything, but I liked what I felt today and I think it’s going to continue to go up from here.”

As for when he will be able to play at full-speed, Leonhard said he will put his trust in Head Athletic Trainer Steve Antonopulos and his staff to make the decision. In the meantime, he has been frustrated without a chance to prove himself to the coaching staff.

But Head Coach John Fox said that in addition to a workout prior to Leonhard's signing, the safety's game tape does plenty of the proving for him.

In seven seasons with the New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens and Buffalo Bills, Leonhard has accumulated 309 tackles, six interceptions, 24 passes defensed, two forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries, according to press box totals. He has also fielded 82 punts and returned 12 kickoffs in his career.

"There’s a lot of evidence on tape of what he can do," Fox said. "It was just a matter of him having a little time to heal, and we gave him that time.”

Now, Leonhard is free to join a defense that was a big part of why he came to Denver in the first place.

“I think there’s a lot of youth and a lot of talent," Leonhard said. "We can be a great defense. We really can. That’s what gets me excited. Sitting on the side and seeing guys make plays, that’s the frustrating part. But you’re excited to get back out there and do it with them. I think we’re going to be a great defense, and I just want to have my own little role in that, whatever it is.”