Peyton Manning (18) calls out signals to center Dan Koppen (67) in the third quarter against the New Orleans Saints at Sports Authority Field. The Broncos went on to win 34-14. (Byron Hetzler-USA TODAY Sports)

Broncos Sign Center Dan Koppen to Replace J.D. Walton


In the snap of a finger, the Denver Broncos have a new center. Ok, they have an old new center.

In the wake of J.D. Walton’s second ankle surgery, which took place on Monday, the Broncos have agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent Dan Koppen.

Koppen will enter his 11th year in the NFL after spending his first 10 seasons with the New England Patriots. The 6-2, 300-pound center out of Boston College opened in 12-of-15 regular season contests for Denver last season as well as in the playoff game against the Ravens after taking over for Walton in week 5, when he went down with a dislocated ankle.

Walton could potentially miss the entire 2013 season, as it was announced on Wednesday.

Kopeen ranks first among offensive lineman in NFL history with a .794 career regular-season winning percentage among those who have played at least 100 games.

Most importantly, Koppen knows the Denver system and worked closely with Peyton Manning last year. If the team had not signed Koppen, Manny Ramirez likely would have taken over the starting role.

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