With four out of five offensive line starters rehabbing from injuries this offseason, the Denver Broncos made a proactive move at the start of this NFL Free Agency period by signing G Louis Vasquez. Mike Garafalo of USA Today first tweeted the news around 4:45 p.m. Eastern.
NBC Sports listed Vasquez on their Top 100 NFL Free Agents list at number 50, and second amongst all guards. He has started 54 games since being selected in the third round of the 2009 draft by the San Diego Chargers, including all 16 in 2012. Although the Chargers offensive line was criticized as a unit last season for their poor play, he remained the lone bright spot.
Vasquez is set to make $23.5 million over four years, with $13 million guaranteed for the Broncos. This move allows them flexibility to keep Orlando Franklin at the tackle position and give Chris Kuper all the time he needs to recover from an injury-riddled 2012.
The move also weakens a rival in the AFC West as the Chargers need to scramble to fill the hole vacated. Executive vice president of player personnel John Elway not only recognized the need, but knows that anytime that you can hinder someone in your own division, it becomes a double victory.
With Vasquez, QB Peyton Manning will be able to get with him early in camp to work on rhythm and repetitions, which is a big part of the offense. Today, the Broncos became stronger and it didn’t even have to be a big-time free agent to make that happen.
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