Josh McDaniels's Jarvis Green sign & cut raise doubts about Broncos coach's evaluation skills

The Broncos made several surprising moves en route to finalizing their roster. For instance, who thought a team with a lack of reliable receivers would dump Brandon Stokely? But by far the most startling was the decision to ditch D-lineman Jarvis Green after signing him to a fat contract. It was an expensive move, and one that doesn't reflect well on Josh McDaniels going into a hugely important season for his future as an NFL head coach.

Few league experts saw the Green cut coming. Note that in an Associated Press roundup published late yesterday, Green was still listed among the players who would be called upon to make up for the absence of injured super-sacker Elvis Dumervil, even though he was already long gone by then.

As pointed out by the Denver Post, Green will earn $3.255 million from the Broncos this year despite doing nothing for them, since his $2.5 million signing bonus and $755,000 salary -- part of a four-year, $11.76 million contract -- was guaranteed.

How could McDaniels have been so wrong? Does he automatically assume that anyone who once wore a New England Patriots uni, as Green did, has got to be better than ballers already on the Broncos' squad? Or was he was he under the illusion that past reputation alone would upgrade the team's admittedly anemic pass rush and run defense?

Whatever the case, the person who outperformed Green for the job, Ryan McBean, is no one's idea of a future Pro Bowler -- at least not based on his play to date. And even if McBean makes all of us forget that Elvis has left the building for 2010, the millions flushed down the toilet thanks to the Green deal would still constitute a tremendous waste.

Sure, it's better that McDaniels figuratively admit to making an error than to put up with mediocre play from Green. But even so, this gaffe can't help making Broncos lovers wonder about his eye for talent -- especially given the Tim Tebow acquisition, which still has tongues wagging league-wide.

Granted, Tebow looked better during preseason than many of his doubters anticipated, albeit nowhere near good enough to displace Kyle Orton as starting QB. If he and other McDaniels hires don't blossom, though, it could spell doom for the Broncos' chances to exceed expectations this season -- and to lengthen McD's tenure as head coach.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts