We don't usually see a high-profile player land with a new team in the last week of August. But that's what happened twice in a span of two hours on Tuesday evening.
We'll start in Denver, where Peyton Manning is no doubt sleeping better tonight. The Broncos signed two-time Pro Bowl guard Evan Mathisto a one-year deal, the perfect win-now move for the ultimate win-now team. The Broncos started three linemen without a snap of NFL experience in their most recent preseason game, a disaster in waiting with the 39-year-old Manning behind center.
Mathis remains an upper-tier guard, and he brings veteran leadership to a positional group that skewed far too green. Mathis and Louis Vasquez represent perhaps the best 1-2 guard punch in the NFL. Not a bad day's work by John Elway, who seems to know how to get every penny out of the salary cap.
The Broncos move was meat and potatoes. The Steelers provided some sizzle with their signing of quarterback Michael Vick. The team obviously wasn't happy to lose Bruce Gradkowski to a season-ending hand injury on Sunday, but Vick represents an upgrade at the position, even at 35 years old and in a state of decline.
Roethlisberger has been a warrior throughout his career, fighting through injuries that would put a less big Ben in the ICU. But the addition of Vick keeps hope in the building if Roethlisberger were to miss substantial time. Vick will never again be the guy he was in Atlanta, or even the QB who emerged from prison with the Eagles. But he still has something, and that could get magnified playing in the best offense he's ever been associated with.
Here's what else happened on Tuesday: