Login  |   Register
On Now
Coming Up
  • 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.
  • Mon., Apr. 03, 2017 12:00 AM MDT Clubs with new head coaches may begin offseason workouts Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2016 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.
  • Fri., Apr. 21, 2017 12:00 AM MDT Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign Offer Sheets Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign Offer Sheets.
  • Wed., Apr. 26, 2017 12:00 AM MDT Deadline for prior club to exercise Right of First Refusal to Restricted Free Agents. Deadline for prior club to exercise Right of First Refusal to Restricted Free Agents.
  • Thu., Apr. 27, 2017 12:00 AM MDT 2017 NFL Draft The 2017 NFL Draft begins in Philadelphia and runs through April 29.
Print
RSS

Bradley Finds Comfort in Denver's System

Posted Mar 13, 2013

Linebacker Stewart Bradley returns to a 4-3 defensive scheme with the Broncos.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- When the Cardinals signed Stewart Bradley as a free agent from the Eagles in 2011 for a contract that could have paid him $25 million, they counted on him making a smooth transition from Philadelphia's 4-3 alignment, in which he started at middle linebacker, to the Cardinals' 3-4 as an inside linebacker.

It didn't work out as planned; Bradley started just once in two Arizona seasons. By February, he was realistic about his future, and left for his honeymoon in Australia knowing that when he returned, he likely wouldn't have a job.

"It wasn't a surprise," Bradley said, having learned the Cardinals released him while going through customs. "The amount of money I made in those two years and the way things panned out, it was expected."

By last year he was mostly a special teamer, and played only 39 snaps on defense, according to Pro Football Focus -- 19 of which came in the regular-season finale.

Free agency and the draft are about finding the right fit, starting schematically and working from there. Just because Bradley and the Cardinals didn't mesh doesn't mean he won't work out in Denver -- especially since the Broncos allow him to return to the 4-3 with a chance to earn playing time at a position he knows well.

"I think the priority was finding a system where I felt comfortable with the coaches and I wanted to be on a team that was going to be a winning situation," Bradley said. "Being in a 4-3, obviously, it's something in which I've played a majority of my career, so it's a nice thing."

Bradley's arrival makes middle linebacker the most fascinating position battle looming this offseason, as he steps into a scrum for playing time with Nate Irving and Steven Johnson, neither of whom has started in the NFL. It's also possible that Bradley could push Danny Trevathan for playing time as one of the two linebackers when the Broncos go into their nickel package, with Wesley Woodyard manning the other side.

So there's a chance for Bradley to make an impact beyond special teams -- and that sealed the deal. At a minimum, he can provide veteran depth, a valuable commodity for a team that started the regular season with at least one former NFL starter in reserve at each position group on offense and defense: offensive line, wide receiver, running back, quarterback, tight end, defensive line, linebacker and secondary.

"I talked to some other teams," Bradley said. "But overall, this was the best fit."