David Zalubowski/Associated Press
The Broncos had to shuffle their offensive line multiple times this past season. Things began to go downhill when Ryan Clady was lost for the season in minicamp due to a knee injury. It didn’t help later in the year when rookie tackle Ty Sambrailo was knocked out with a season-ending shoulder injury. Throw in various smaller injuries to other players, and you can see how the offensive line was just a big headache for the Broncos in 2015.
Clady is on the books for about $10 million in 2016, and we could see the Broncos ask him to take a pay cut in order to keep his roster spot. The veteran might be willing to take such a deal from the Broncos since they’ve shown loyalty to him through other injuries—and the fact that he may not be able to find a friendly free agent market.
Sambrailo will return from his injury, and he’ll return to his rightful spot on the offensive line. He’s best suited to play right tackle in the NFL, but the Broncos had to move him to the left side after Clady’s injury. The experience will do him some good, but in 2016 it’s best if he’s back at right tackle.
Matt Paradis seems to be locked in (for good reason) at center. The guard positions should be manned on the left side by Max Garcia and on the right side by Louis Vasquez.
What the Broncos need here is quality depth up front. That’s where free agency could come in. They were able to find players like Ryan Harris and Evan Mathis in the free-agent pool last year, and both veterans played key roles for the Broncos offensive line.
The Broncos would be wise to try to find similar veterans who could come in on one- or two-year deals to be emergency starters and valuable depth.
All quotes and injury/practice observations obtained firsthand. Record/statistical information provided via the Broncos media department unless otherwise noted. Advanced stats via ESPN's employees-only database.
Contract and salary-cap information provided by Spotrac. Transaction history provided by Pro Sports Transactions.