The Broncos let left guard Orlando Franklin walk on a five-year, $36.5 million contract to the division-rival Chargers on the opening weekend of free agency. Meanwhile, last season’s starting center Will Montgomery remains a free agent without a home.
That leaves the Denver offensive line in a state of flux. The Broncos are looking for possibly three new starters up front, with only left tackle Ryan Clady and right guard Louis Vasquez locked into their jobs. Coach Gary Kubiak mentioned four free-agent centers whom he’s been in contact with, including aforementioned Montgomery, old pal Chris Myers, Rams castoff Scott Wells, and veteran Samson Satele.
While center is a concern, the Broncos also need to figure out their right-tackle situation. Chris Clark started three of the final four games of 2014 on the right side and may be a candidate to keep his job. Last year’s third-rounder Michael Schofield should provide competition, but Mike Klis of the Denver Post would be shocked if the Broncos didn’t use the No. 28 overall pick in next month’s draft of a day-one starting right tackle.
Protecting statuesque 39-year-old Peyton Manning is of utmost importance.
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