Elway: Broncos may try Bradley Roby at safety, will sign free agent center

The Broncos may try Bradley Roby at free safety and will sign a veteran free agent center to compete with Matt Paradis, as John Elway tells Mike Klis. Speaking at the annual league meeting in Phoenix, Elway says of Roby,

He can tackle, he's tough, and that safety has to be a cover guy there. There are a lot of different combinations you need to play because the game is changing. Instead of having a strong safety, you want both of them to play center field.

That's an interesting way of putting it. Roby could replace Rahim Moore, but Elway likes the idea of two free safeties. And yet, T.J. Ward is a strong safety-slash-nickel linebacker who posted a putrid minus-7.2 grade in pass coverage last season, according to PFF. But, Ward did grade out far better in coverage in his previous three seasons, and he'll be operating within a different scheme going forward.

Earlier in the offseason, it was speculated that Kayvon Webster might get a shot at free safety, but Klis swatted that rumor away in Mutombo-like fashion. Denver needed a way to get Webster onto the field, so went the thinking. Shifting Roby to safety would presumably accomplish that, with Webster potentially taking over as the nickel corner.

Meanwhile, Elway goes on to tell Klis that the Broncos don't feel pressured to sign a center, but will eventually do so:

There's plenty of guys out there and there's plenty of time. Hopefully, Paradis is the answer. Obviously, he's young. What you have to keep in mind is we think we're going to get 10 (draft) picks and we only have 53 (roster) slots. So it's hard to bring these guys in and give them a lot of money up front to compete because what do you do if one of those young guys prove they're ready? We'll do something. We're just not in a rush.

Denver has/had been tied to Rodney Hudson, Stefen Wisniewski, Chris Myers, Samson Satele, and 2014 starter Will Montgomery, but only Hudson has found a new home for 2015. Wisniewski was reportedly seeking a deal just a notch or two below Hudson's ($8.9M/year w/Raiders), but that's clearly not in the cards. Meanwhile, Gary Kubiak says newly signed Shelley Smith could play center and adds former longtime Rams and Packers center Scott Wells to the mix in another conversation with Klis.

Kubiak also suggests Chris Clark's time in Denver isn't quite up yet, and he plans to try Joe Don Duncan at fullback. Although Kubes says Clark and Michael Schofield will compete at right tackle, Klis thinks it's a foregone conclusion that the Broncos draft a tackle at #28. But selecting a player out of positional desperation tends to provide lackluster results, so let's hope Denver is able to take the best player remaining there, rather than reach to fill a hole.

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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