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Mason's Mailbag: Ring of Fame, Broncos draft possibilities and more

Posted Feb 19, 2017

A Presidents Day weekend mailbag begins with a question about the Broncos' own Hall of Presidents, so to speak -- their Ring of Fame.

You can tweet questions to me with the hashtag #AskMase or use the submission form to your right (if you're viewing on a standard browser) or at the bottom of the page if you're on the mobile site.

Not like John Lynch wasn't an amazing player but, why did he make the Ring of Fame before Champ Bailey? Do you think he will make it next year? Also do you think Brian Dawkins could as well?

-- Andrew Carnes

The biggest reason is that Lynch is eligible, but Champ Bailey is not, having retired during the 2014 season. He must wait five years after the end of his playing career until he joins the Ring of Fame, which would place his potential induction in 2019.

The eligibility rule was waived for John Elway in 1999, but that was a one-time deal, and is unlikely to ever be repeated.

"I don’t think we would consider that," Broncos President/CEO Joe Ellis said last May when he announced the 2016 Ring of Fame class. “We considered that for one guy who I think everyone would justifiably argue is the greatest player in franchise history and had a special place in our owner’s heart and deserved that award at that time."

As for Brian Dawkins, I don't see it happening. One of Pat Bowlen's considerations for Ring of Fame selection was to play at least four seasons with the Broncos. Dawkins comes up short, having played three seasons in Denver before retiring.

We attend Bronco training camp each year before heading back to Thailand where we live. In setting our flight schedule, do you have any guess as to when they will start this year at Dove Valley for camp?

-- Jim Armitage

It's all based on the rules and the calendar. Teams can hold their first full-team training-camp practices two weeks before their first preseason game.

If the Broncos are not selected to play in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio, their preseason opener would fall at some point between Thursday, Aug. 10 and Sunday, Aug. 13, which would put the first practice of training camp anywhere from Thursday, July 27 to Sunday, July 30.

Is John Ross a legit possibility for the Broncos at pick #20?

-- Collin Michaels

Given the heavy investment in the Broncos' two starting wide receivers and the depth of quality receiving prospects in the draft, I don't see them taking the Washington wide receiver at that point. I think the value is much better for prospects like East Carolina's Zay Jones and Eastern Washington's Cooper Kupp, both of whom should be available on Day 2.

Although Hasson Reddick's instincts and quick transition to inside linebacker was impressive during Senior Bowl week, his position shift still makes him a project who may not be as ready in his rookie season as you'd like a first-round pick (who isn't a quarterback) to be. So I don't see Reddick as a Broncos first-rounder, and believe his ideal value is in Round 2.

Did Terrell Davis and Mike McCoy play together at Long Beach before that program closed? Also, were they also rookies together in Broncos camp?

-- Daniel McNally

Yes, and yes. They were together for Long Beach State's final football season in 1991; McCoy went 87-of-165 for 938 yards and posted a 7-to-3 touchdown ratio, while Davis rushed for 262 yards on 55 carries. McCoy moved on to Utah while Davis ended up at Georgia before reuniting during the Broncos' 1995 offseason and training camp.

Though I think we have overexamined the jerseys. You have said multiple times that we are the only team with orange jerseys the Browns and the Bengals both wear orange.

-- Jonathan Erickson

No, I have said that the Broncos "are the league's only team using orange as their primary home jersey color." The Bengals and Browns have orange alternate jerseys, not primary jerseys.

Do you see the Broncos making any trades this offseason?

-- J.D. Phillips

Given that the Broncos have made 16 offseason trades, including those involving draft picks, since John Elway joined the Broncos' front office in 2011, the answer is yes.

This may be a long shot, but hear me out on this one. With the uncertainty of the Chiefs resigning Eric Berry. Could you see the Broncos pursing him in this upcoming Free Agency if he does enter. I know we recently re-signed Stewart to a new contract but I can see the Broncos doing what the Cardinals did with Deone Bucannon and move one of our safeties down to a linebacker spot and have an even more elite defense. Am I thinking crazy or is this a logical question? Thanks Mase!

-- Ethan Stanton

It's logical in a vacuum, but not when viewed in light of other needs and the constraints of the salary cap.

The logic of such a proposal dies when you consider the outlay required to Berry -- which I expect to be above $10 million of average annual value -- and the presence of other, more pressing issues for the Broncos to address in free agency. $10 million-plus to Berry means $10 million that you're not spending to upgrade the offensive line and defensive line, two areas that were glaring trouble spots for the Broncos last year. Furthermore, you have two young safeties in Justin Simmons and Will Parks that showed promise, with Simmons in particular looking like a dynamic center-field-type safety that the Broncos have not had.

We have seen before where coaches rest their key players during regular-season games. Do you accept the decision to rest key players in regular-season games? I firmly believe resting players is very important to have them fresh and ready for playoffs.

-- Nelson James

Not in a small-sample-size sport like football, unless your postseason spot is already locked into place. Otherwise, the sport generally does not afford you the margin of error that allows a team to roll the dice in such a manner.

This is one of those ideas that sounds good in theory until you start examining the implications, and then trying to figure out which game to rest a bunch of starters, and fret over whether that one might end up being the difference between a postseason trip or being home for the New Year, etc.

If rosters were expanded, perhaps this would be more of an option -- you could see some starters getting more built-in time to rest during games, with rotations at all positions, not just along the defensive line. Sit a quarterback for a series or two, for example -- this would be roughly the equivalent of the Rockies giving Nolan Arenado a breather on a getaway day during a 162-game season. But a 46-man game-day roster limit prevents you from having this luxury, which would allow for more top players to get respites of longer than a play or two -- perhaps a series or even a quarter.

Submit a question for the next Mailbag!

The analysis, opinion and speculation in this story represents that of the author, gathered through research and reporting, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Denver Broncos organization.

Mason's Mailbag


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