ENGLEWOOD, Colo.—The Denver Broncos agreed to terms Tuesday with two-time Pro Bowl guard Evan Mathis, signing the former first-team All-Pro to a one-year deal worth $2.5M, with incentives that could push to deal as high as $4M. Mathis will almost certainly be inserted as a starter at left guard to add veteran leadership to the left side of the offensivoe line.
“Evan Mathis is an accomplished veteran who has played at a very high level for the last several seasons,” Elway said via press release, “He will immediately make our team better, and we are excited to have him as part of the Denver Broncos.”
Elway had hinted to Sport’s Illustrated’s Peter King that a move could be in the works. We’re looking at all options,” Elway told King in yesterday’s MMQB column, “If we can find a player who can help us there as the season approaches, we’ll look at it.”
According to a source close the organization; Mathis and the Broncos had been negotiating throughout the last several days. As early as yesterday, Mathis’ agent had hinted Seattle was the most likely landing spot for the former Eagle.
Mathis will immediately add experience to a line that could have potentially seen three first-year starters, and will immediately reshape the offensive line. With Mathis expected to replace rookie Max Garcia at left guard, expect Garcia and free agent signing Shelley Smith to be backup guards in 2015. 27-year-old Ben Garland could be in serious trouble.
With practices coming against the San Francisco 49ers, and the Broncos third preseason game scheduled for this Saturday, expect the Denver offensive line to feature Ty Sambrailo at left tackle, Evan Mathis at left guard, Matt Paradis at center, Louis Vasquez at right guard, and Ryan Harris at right tackle, although the Broncos might take a week to let Mathis assimilate the playbook before inserting him in a live game.
The move could instantly reshape the narrative of this Denver Broncos season. The signing of Evan Mathis makes 2015 less about development, and more about winning now. It could be time for the fourth-straight 'Super Bowl or bust' season in Denver.
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