Panthers release Hangartner; is he another center option for Denver?

Obviously, yesterday's signing of Ryan Lilja (which is pending a physical) is quite a coup for John Elway & Co., following the season-ending injury to Dan Koppen.

But given that J.D. Walton may not be back at all this season, the lack of center experience for Manny Ramirez and C.J. Davis, and the apparent developmental struggles of Philip Blake, can we be sure the Broncos are done adding depth there?

Accordingly, another possibility has popped up, in the form of Geoff Hangartner (PFR), who was just released by Carolina.

Like Lilja, Hangartner has played both guard and center during his career, but unlike Lilja, center has been his primary position.

And while Lilja is familiar with Peyton Manning from their time together in Indianapolis, Hangartner spent the first four years of his career playing for John Fox with the Panthers, including two with Dave Magazu as his position coach.

Hangartner, who was expected to be the Panthers' starting right guard, was due a salary of $1.575M in 2013, followed by a $2.45M figure in 2014.

While it understandably required a salary greater than the veteran minimum to lure Lilja out of retirement, it would seem to follow that Hangartner will end up signing someplace for around the minimum.

Could that someplace be Denver?

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