Jussel: Denver pro teams: Please do something — and now!
All right, already. Somebody do something!
Folks in too many front offices are fiddling, while Denver’s teams are doing a slow burn.
■ Case in Point 1: The Broncos.
In just more than one week, offensive tackle Ryan Clady will settle in to make just about $10 million for the next season as a franchised player, then sit back and wait for the really big bucks to come in the next season as the most sought-after free agent in football.
Clady, as all good Bronco fans know, is only the most important cog in protecting the Lord and Savior, Peyton Manning.
If Clady isn’t a Bronco in 2014, Manning will be protected by the likes of you ‘n’ me. Good luck with that.
Better buckle down in some corner of Dove Valley this week and get into serious discussions: agent and bean counter and find a common ground.
■ Case in Point 2: The Nuggets.
Andre Iguodala is now proud and happy to be a Golden State Warrior.
I was never really sold on him making $15 or $16 million a year to play on the Denver team. He wasn’t really a leader in the locker room, instead an observer.
He was a good defender, but couldn’t shoot straight from the 3-point or free-throw line — a decent player who wasn’t worth the huge contract he was receiving. And he wasn’t worth re-signing at that price.
But the Nuggets’ new brain trust, Josh Kroenke, Tim Connelly and Brian Shaw, have to replace Iguodala and do it quickly before the free agents have dried up and blown away.
I have seen suggestions ranging from signing shooting guard Monta Ellis to small forward Andrei Kirilenko to point guard Chauncey Billups – and not just one of those, but maybe all three would fit into Iguodala’s salary slot.
Whatever, Nuggets. Just do something!
■ Case in Point 3: The Rockies.
The Los Angeles Dodgers just traded three so-so prospects, one of them 27 years old and one of them just demoted from Double-A to Single-A, for starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco. The Dodgers will pick up Nolasco’s remaining contract of $5.7 million for the rest of the season, then he will be a free agent.
The Rockies had been reportedly talking with Miami about Nolasco, but obviously didn’t make an offer that matched the Dodgers.
The Rockies have lost five games in five attempts since bringing in Roy Oswalt (three losses) and calling up Drew Pomeranz (two losses). Oswalt has shown the ability to strike people out in bunches, but also give up hits by the bushel. Pomeranz can’t throw a freaking strike!
Think Nolasco could have stepped in for one of those two?
Think the Rox will still be in this race in another month as the Dodgers go about the business of upgrading and winning at the same time?
Rockies, do something. And do it now!
■ Case in Point 4: The Colorado Avalanche.
Again, new leadership in the form of Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy.
As has been the case for years, plenty of salary-cap space.
A new talent in center Nathan MacKinnon has arrived after being the top selection in the draft.
The team is loaded with young talented centers and wings. Perhaps overloaded with MacKinnon’s arrival.
But their defense stinks, ranking near the bottom of the league in virtually every category.
And their only move during the free-agency period was to sign defenseman Andre Benoit. Benoit wasn’t even a frontline defenseman last season in Ottawa, seeing significant time only after an injury to one of the team’s top four defensemen.
The team needs defensive help and needs to move one of the entrenched centers in a trade, and they need to do it before the start of training camp, so the young kids can learn to play nice with each other.
Avs, do something!
Broncos, Nuggets, Rockies, somebody, anybody, do something!
The clock is ticking.
Rick Jussel is a former Daily Sentinel sports editor (think Dark Ages) and Grand Junction High School journalism teacher who belongs in the Armchair Quarterback Hall of Fame, if only there was one.