The Denver Broncos signed just one player on the opening day of NFL free agency. Offensive guard Ronald Leary agreed to terms with the Broncos on a four-year, $35 million contract, with a reported $20 million in guarantees.
Soon to be 28 years old, Leary was the Dallas Cowboys left guard for the past four years and an integral part of the best offensive line in football. Due to a degenerative knee condition, Leary went undrafted out of Memphis back in 2012.
http://www.scout.com/nfl/broncos/story/1761628-what-will-it-take-for-rom... Viewed as a third-round caliber talent, the Cowboys signed Leary as a priority college free agent. The 6-foot-3, 320-pound Leary went on to start 47 games for the Cowboys, paving the way for prolific runners like DeMarco Murray and Ezekiel Elliott.
Leary will immediately step in as Denver's starting left guard, which means Max Garcia will likely move to the right side of the O-line. On Thursday, GM John Elway revealed why the Broncos valued Leary.
"Ronald is a big, physical and athletic guard who plays with an attitude," Elway said via the team website. "Upgrading the offensive line was a priority for us this offseason, and we’re excited to add Ronald to our team.”
Although the Broncos tried to get Russell Okung back, he ultimately chose the Los Angeles Chargers. Every year, Elway and the Broncos look for value in free agency, and there might still be some tackles on the market who fit the bill, like Kelvin Beachum and Andre Smith.
The Broncos were in the early running for former Green Bay star T.J. Lang, before signing Ronald Leary. Denver likes Lang as a possible tackle, and could meet with him this weekend, if he doesn't sign elsewhere first.
We'll see if day two of free agency plays out any better for Elway and the Broncos. They could really use some clarity on the Tony Romo front, but Dallas could be willing to show excruciating patience.
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Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.