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Broncos combine notes: Billy Turner remains on radar, but not Antonio Brown

GM John Elway leads Broncos coaches, scouts and personnel executives to NFL convention of rookies and agents.
Credit: AP
Denver Broncos offensive tackle Billy Turner (77) lines up against the Los Angeles Rams during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

KUSA – As the Broncos contingent led by John Elway convene on Indianapolis this week for the NFL Combine, there will be two orders of business.

One, is getting a feel for free agency. Two is scouting and interviewing up to 60 rookie prospects for the upcoming NFL Draft.

Elway beat just about all Broncos to Indianapolis as he began NFL competition meetings on Monday. Adding some form of replay to subjective judgment calls like the pass interference missed in the NFC Championship Game was discussed  Monday, although it was characterized as a scratch-the-surface informational meeting.

Here are some topics of interest for Broncos fans this week:

Credit: AP
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) celebrates after catching a touchdown pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger during the first half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Don Wright)

Antonio Brown

The Broncos aren’t interested in the Steelers’ controversial receiver. Among the non-starters is Brown wants to renegotiate his current contract that pays him $15.125 million in 2019; $11.3 million in 2020 and $12.5 million in 2021.

To pay that kind of money, AND give up a high-round draft pick – AND have to pay even more to keep Brown happy? It doesn’t make sense. The Broncos need another veteran receiver to add to their group that includes Emmanuel Sanders coming off an Achilles injury, Courtland Sutton, DaeSean Hamilton and Tim Patrick. But it won’t be Antonio Brown.

John Brown would make more sense. He developed a strong receiver-quarterback relationship with Joe Flacco in Baltimore last season. From what I've been told, the Broncos are not scared off by John Brown’s sickle cell trait, and a source close to Brown says the receiver is not afraid of Denver’s mile-high altitude as a possible home -- provided the team expresses interest.

There are several other free-agent receivers for the Broncos to consider, including Tyrell Williams, Golden Tate, Donte Moncrief, Pierre Garcon and Jamison Crowder. 

Credit: AP
Denver Broncos offensive tackle Billy Turner (77) lines up against the Los Angeles Rams during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

Billy Turner

The Broncos continue to talk with the agent of the versatile offensive lineman with hopes of signing Turner back before he hits free agency.

Problem is, other teams are quietly interested. There is a belief Arizona and Minnesota could be among those who express interest in Turner. Arizona’s offensive line coach is Sean Kugler, who was the Broncos’ offensive line coach last year. There is also Arizona defensive coordinator and former Broncos head coach Vance Joseph who can vouch for Turner.

Minnesota recently hired Gary Kubiak and Klint Kubiak to run the Vikings’ offense after they worked the past year in Denver.