Wharton spent his first eight seasons in Carolina, which of course means he's well-acquainted with John Fox and line coach Dave Magazu. He visited with the Panthers on Tuesday, but left without a deal.
Originally drafted by Carolina in 2004, the former Gamecock has started all 99 regular season games in which he's played, all of them with the Panthers.
In the 2006 opener, Wharton tore two ligaments in his left knee, and was lost for the season.
A toe injury limited him to nine games in 2010, his last spent with Fox and Magazu, who came to Denver the following season.
The injury that cost him his one season with the Bengals occurred three snaps into the preseason, and was to his right knee.
Wharton, who turned 32 in May, was scheduled to earn a salary of $2.675M in each of the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Presumably, the Bengals were waiting for him to be medically cleared before cutting him, as the Broncos appear to have done with Joe Mays.
During his last season in Carolina, Wharton achieved a +3.3 overall grade from PFF over 1,025 snaps, most of them taken at left guard. In Week 14 of that year, he started at left tackle in place of Jordan Gross, earning a +1.6 grade in 67 snaps.
Were the Broncos to sign Wharton, we're guessing he'd land a veteran minimum salary of $840K with no guarantees, and perhaps hasten the departure of Chris Kuper and his $4.5M salary.