Broncos to re-sign Dan Koppen

As reported by Aaron Wilson, and announced by the team, the Broncos will re-sign center Dan Koppen in response to the continuing health problems of J.D. Walton.

Walton underwent surgery on Monday to replace hardware in his ailing ankle; an infection had apparently caused swelling in the area after the team's minicamp.

Koppen was originally signed by the Broncos to a one-year deal at the $825K minimum last September, just a few weeks before Walton suffered a fracture and disclocation of his left ankle.

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Infection sends Walton to further surgery, likely to PUP list

According to Jeff Legwold, Broncos center J.D. Walton underwent another operation Monday on his ailing left ankle and may be lost for the season. A few minutes after his original tweet, Legwold adds that the team hopes to get Walton back by late October or early November.

Cecil Lammey of ESPN Denver suggests this could prompt the team to bring back Dan Koppen, who remains an unrestricted free agent.

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Average backup OL are fine for the Broncos

Happy Wednesday, friends.  I had a Twitter discussion last week with longtime reader Kriss Bergethon, in which we disagreed about whether it was feasible for the Broncos to acquire more quality veteran offensive line depth.

I was sitting in the Phoenix airport as we were tweeting, and I’ve been meaning to get back to this, as I think it’s a good opportunity to think about a couple of concepts in roster construction.

Kriss felt that the Broncos should seek to acquire more veteran linemen, and that’s a defensible position on the surface.  You should always want your team to maximize the quality of its 53 guys on the roster.  There are also a number of starter-caliber veterans on the street, who could probably be had for close to the minimum at this point, as their market seems to have dried up.

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Running back roulette

Second-round pick Montee Ball made a lot of fans in Denver happy when he chose Mike Anderson’s old number 38, as an homage to ‘Sarge’. The Broncos are hoping that he can also recreate the kind of tough-nosed performances that made Anderson such a fan favorite during his time in Denver.

As a young man who started off his life as a Broncos fan, he’s already taken the right first steps.

One thing you can count on - any team of John Fox’s will try and use a committee approach to the game. Said OC Adam Gase,

Coach Fox has always been great mixing in the multiple backfields and using different guys. He did it in Carolina. We'll do the same thing here.

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Ball, Webster sign; only Williams remains

The Broncos have signed second-rounder Montee Ball and third-rounder Kayvon Webster; only first-rounder Sylvester Williams remains unsigned.

Broncos cut Willis McGahee

Denver released veteran running back Willis McGahee on Thursday, as the team continues to go younger (and cheaper) at the position.

The 31-year-old back had been due a $2.5M salary this season and would have counted for $3M against the cap. According to Spotrac, McGahee's release will leave $500K in dead money on the books for each of the 2013 and 2014 seasons, while freeing up $2.5M in cap space in 2013 and $2M in 2014.

McGahee had not attended the team's voluntary OTAs, instead choosing to work out in Miami, before this week claiming "family obligations" were the cause.

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McGahee largely an observer as minicamp opens

Willis McGahee was back at Dove Valley on Tuesday, as expected, although he cited "family obligations" as the cause for his having missed all of Denver's (non-mandatory) OTAs.

Like they had during his absence, second-year back Ronnie Hillman and 2013 second-rounder Montee Ball received the bulk of the day's reps, with the veteran only seeing the field for what he called "a couple" of snaps.

Still, McGahee says he expects to be the starter come Week 1, even while acknowledging his place "on the bubble."

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Broncos resume contract talks with Clady

Just a few hours ago, it was reported that the Broncos had not discussed a long-term deal with Ryan Clady since last July. According to Lindsay Jones, the team was waiting for their All-Pro left tackle's surgically repaired right shoulder to show progress in rehab before restarting contract talks.

It may be they've received positive reports to that effect, as Ian Rapoport reports that Denver contacted Clady's representatives today to discuss the parameters of a new contract. The Broncos applied their franchise tag to the 26-year-old BSU alum in March; the tender is worth $9.828M for one year, but Clady has not yet signed it. He said earlier today that he's likely to join the team for training camp; in February, Clady said he'd like to be paid similarly to fellow tackles Joe Thomas and Jason Peters.

Mandatory minicamp starts Tuesday; Clady won’t be there

Denver's mandatory minicamp runs from Tuesday through Thursday. It's expected that Willis McGahee, who was absent for OTAs, will be in attendance, but that Ryan Clady will not.

Clady has still not signed his $9.828M one-year franchise tender, and as such, is not contractually required to attend.

Asked Monday on 102.3 ESPN Denver about whether he'll be at training camp next month, the sixth-year tackle said, "More than likely I'll be there."

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Pondering Quentin Jammer as Denver’s matchup safety

Happy Thursday, friends.  As you could probably tell yesterday, I’m pretty fired up about the Broncos' signing of DB Quentin Jammer.  I think it portends to be the acquisition that fills the team's last major hole, which was a defender who can cover a good TE man-to-man.

I could still go for a Dan Koppen-type as a backup interior lineman, but at this point, I’m just getting into luxury items.

Jammer has played corner for the last eleven years, and it’s funny: “Chargers fans” never really liked him that much, because he was a high first-round pick, and he never made enough big plays for their liking.  He was their own Robert Ayers - a pretty good football player who was overdrafted by a round.  To stupid fans who can’t let sunk costs go, and only focus on that which is relevant today, (i.e. what the player brings to the table every Sunday), that is very saddening.

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