ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Even as dementia began to rob him of some of his fondest memories over the past few years, Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen reported to work every day to oversee multimillion-dollar upgrades to the team’s training facilities and roster.
So his absence from Dove Valley headquarters on Wednesday as players reported for physicals on the eve of training camp was as jarring as the announcement that the 70-year-old Bowlen was giving up control of the team because of Alzheimer’s disease.
“This place will never be the same,” a choked-up general manager John Elway said. “... It’s going to be very hard to not see him walk through the front doors every day.”
Yet, Elway and team president Joe Ellis pledged to continue Bowlen’s legacy and winning culture he fostered during his long stewardship of the franchise.
Chiefs, running back Jamaal Charles reach deal
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles has agreed to a contract extension with the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chiefs announced the deal Wednesday night.
The two-year extension runs through the 2017 season, a person familiar with the contract said on condition of anonymity because the team didn’t disclose terms of the contract.
The six-year NFL veteran ran for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns last year to help the Chiefs reach the playoffs. He also had 70 catches for 693 yards and seven more TDs as Kansas City went 11-5 before losing to Indianapolis in an AFC wild-card game.
“Jamaal is an elite player in the National Football League,” Chiefs General Manager John Dorsey said in a statement released by the team. “It was important for us to keep him here in Kansas City long-term.”
Gronk cleared to play at Patriots training camp
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Rob Gronkowski was a training camp spectator last summer while recovering from surgery.
This summer, after another operation, the New England Patriots star tight end is expected to be on the field for the first practice Thursday.
“He’s been cleared to play,” coach Bill Belichick said Wednesday.
That’s welcome news to his teammates after a season in which Gronkowski played just seven regular-season games. He missed the first six following back surgery about a month before camp and the last three, plus both playoff games, with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.