Last week, three teams agreed to terms with veteran players before any team technically was allowed to contact those veteran players.
Two of those players, quarterback Vince Young and receiver Roy Williams, joined the Eagles and Bears, respectively, not long after the issuance of the Personnel Notice officially listing them as being released. The third player, Willis McGahee, had yet to join the Broncos.
Amid reports of denials that an agreement in principle had been reached and explanations that the Broncos wanted to eyeball McGahee before offering him a contract, a league source tells us that McGahee has signed a four-year contract, worth approximately $10 million.
The effort by the Broncos — and by the media to throw the Broncos a bone in order to keep the Broncos out of trouble with the league office — had become laughable. Once word got out of the agreement with McGahee before he appeared on the official Personnel Notice and after the league office sent an e-mail to all teams reminding them of the rule against contacting players who have not yet appeared on the official Personnel Notice, the Broncos tried to cram the toothpaste back into the tube.
We realize that the Broncos don’t want to get into trouble, but we didn’t realize it’s the job of the media to help keep them, or any other team, out of it.
UPDATE: One of the reporters who has been pushing the Broncos’ position contends via text that our original report of the three-year, $7.5 million deal in principle must have been wrong because the deal signed today is worth nearly $10 million over four years. The easy explanation is that another year was added at roughly the same rate to cover tracks. Either way, our prior report was accurate, and we’re not going to pretend that it wasn’t as a favor to the Broncos or anyone.