Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Broncos agree to terms with Montgomery
By Jeff Legwold
The Denver Broncos moved to bolster their offensive line Tuesday as former Washington Redskins center Will Montgomery agreed to terms on a one-year deal, according to two team sources.
Montgomery, who is set to enter his ninth season and has spent time at guard in his career, started every game for the Redskins over the last three seasons. Montgomery gives the Broncos more flexibility as they make a decision on how to replace Zane Beadles at left guard. Montgomery also played in Carolina for Broncos head coach John Fox in 2006.
Beadles had been the starter there since his rookie season in 2010 but signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars shortly after free agency opened last month. This past week at the NFL's annual spring meetings Fox said the Broncos will "work a million combinations" in the offensive line during offseason workouts and perhaps training camp before making the decision.
The Broncos could move right tackle Orlando Franklin to left guard and with Ryan Clady's return to left tackle use that opportunity to move Chris Clark to right tackle. Fox said Franklin was prepared to play guard last season, but the team elected to move Manny Ramirez to center and keep Beadles at left guard with Louis Vasquez at right guard.
Franklin started at guard during his college career at the University of Miami and there were scouts who believed he would eventually be a better guard in the league than tackle. So, even with Montgomery's signing, the Broncos will give plenty of thought to moving Franklin and playing Clark at right tackle.
However, Montgomery gives them more options. They could also simply plug Montgomery in at center and play Ramirez at left guard. Ramirez played at right guard in 2012, but the Broncos wanted better play on the interior following that season and signed Vasquez to a four-year deal a year ago.
With about $6 million worth of workable salary-cap space before Montgomery's signing, the Broncos had been talking to representatives of a smattering of offensive linemen. Broncos executive vice president of football operations/general manager John Elway said last week the team would be looking to sign a veteran to a shorter deal and did not want to use up too much of the remaining room.
Montgomery had been released by the Redskins just after free agency opened last month, a move the team made to save $1.93 million against the salary cap. The Redskins were also looking to get more physical on the inside, having played with zone run scheme under former coach Mike Shanahan, which put a premium on movement skills rather than man-on-man power.
"We're going to try a lot of things and guys are going to work at multiple spots," Fox said last week. “We want to be ready to do what we need to do, like I've said you only take seven guys into a game for five spots, if something happens there is about three different re-coils for that."