There was some talk earlier today that the Denver Broncos were going to let the free agent market settle before diving in, but I guess not. John Elway struck quickly and signed offensive guard Louis Vasquez, formerly of the San Diego Chargers.
Vasquez was considered the second best guard on the free agent market and at 330 pounds, he is one of the best run blockers in the NFL. With his addition, the Broncos now feature a huge right side of the offensive line with Orland Franklin at the tackle spot.
We’ve been talking all offseason about how the Broncos have to get better in short-yardage situations and the focus has been on the running back position. The Broncos are still expected to add a big back, but the signing of Vasquez will go a long way to solving that problem. He has been described as a road grater and just eats defensive linemen for lunch.
Vasquez played all 16 games for the Chargers and had one penalty called on him, which is almost unheard-of for an offensive guard. The Broncos got better when they signed Vasquez but they also severely wounded a division rival, which is a huge bonus.
In addition to the Vasquez move, the Broncos have multiple guys flying into Denver for visits. Those players include cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromarite, linebacker Stewart Bradley, running back Rashard Mendenhall and defensive tackle Terrance Knighton. These may not be top of the line free agents, but that would all fit perfectly with what the Broncos want to do on both sides of the ball.
The Broncos have made two things clear on day one of free agency: they know they are close to winning the whole thing and they are going to do everything in their power to get it done. Secondly, they understand that the position players are sexier in free agency, but it is the offensive and defensive lines that ultimately win football games.
The Vasquez signing will get buried behind the other signings on Tuesday, but it was a brilliant first move from Elway and the Broncos.
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