Report: Broncos trying to lure Lilja out of retirement

Apparently, the Broncos are no more excited by the possibility of having Manny Ramirez start at center than the rest of us. That is to say, they're not super into the idea.

According to Alex Marvez of Fox Sports, the team has extended an offer to recently retired 31-year-old Chiefs center Ryan Lilja (6-2, 290).

Lilja was a guard for most of his eight-year career, but excelled at center for Kansas City in 2012.

Following a season-ending injury to center Rodney Hudson, Lilja slid over from left guard to play 781 snaps in 12 games at the pivot, grading out at an impressive plus-7.8 (-3.1 pass block, -0.5 screen block, +9.5 run block, +1.9 penalty) by PFF's measure.

According to PFF, Lilja allowed one sack, five QB hits, and seven hurries over that period.

The undrafted KSU Wildcat spent three seasons in Kansas City before undergoing toe and knee surgery and retiring last December.

Prior to his stint with the Chiefs, Lilja spent five seasons as Peyton Manning's left guard in Indianapolis, starting 59 of the 66 games in which he appeared.

Although Lilja does not have deep experience at center, he at least has those twelve fine games from last year on his resume, or twelve more than does Ramirez.

Of course, his familiarity with Manning can't hurt, and who can blame him for retiring from the misery of a 2-14 season? In Denver, he'd have the potential to play a key role on a SB contender.

Denver's health woes at center began last September, when J.D. Walton suffered a severe ankle injury. They continued in June, when it was discovered that Walton's surgically repaired left leg was infected. The best-case scenario for Walton in 2012 has been described as a late-October return.

Dan Koppen, who stepped in for Walton in 2012 and was re-signed upon discovery of the infection, suffered a torn ACL on Sunday and is done for the year.

The inexperienced Ramirez and C.J. Davis are the next men up on the depth chart, while the team added the journeyman Steve Vallos on Sunday.

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

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