The Denver Broncos reportedly targeted Mitch Morse as Matt Paradis’ replacement before he signed his free agent contract.
The Denver Broncos have been bracing for Matt Paradis’ eventual departure all offseason, and unfortunately, the two sides couldn’t work out a deal to bring the former sixth-round pick back into the fold.
Paradis explored the free agent market and appeared to be down to the Broncos and New York Jets before ultimately shocking everyone with his decision to sign with the Carolina Panthers.
Prior to free agency, the highest paid center in the NFL on an average annual basis was Ryan Jensen of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who signed for $10.5 million per season last year.
That deal was topped before unrestricted free agents hit the market when Maurkice Pouncey signed a new deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers at $11 million per year.
That deal was topped almost immediately by Mitch Morse, who signed with the Buffalo Bills to snap the ball to Josh Allen for $11.125 million per year.
While Paradis’ injuries were cause for concern, it was widely assumed he would top even that kind of deal, but all he got from the Panthers was $9.676 million per year, putting him just above Weston Richburg as the sixth-highest paid center in the NFL.
The Broncos were in on Paradis until the end, offering him a one-year contract to come back and prove his health was not going to be an issue, but he justifiably opted for the multi-year contract.
The Broncos were also reportedly trying to sign Mitch Morse before he settled on a deal with the Buffalo Bills.
Since both Morse and Paradis signed, Connor McGovern has taken to Instagram to let everyone know he’s up for the challenge of filling Paradis’ big shoes.
The Broncos have clearly moved on to the next with McGovern now preparing for OTAs like he will be the number one center this season, and that’s just fine. McGovern, though, is one of many players on Denver’s roster with an expiring contract after this season.
How long is the team going to go year-to-year? Are they going to try to extend McGovern, who has proven himself capable as a starter at either right guard or center, before the year starts?
Considering the rising price of centers, it might not be a bad idea to try.
Still, it’s interesting to see the Broncos go after Morse and offer Paradis a contract. Is this a hint that they are going to have interest in a center early on in this draft?
I think there’s a really good chance of it, or at least a guy who could play guard and/or center.
This year’s draft class has a number of really good offensive linemen, so expect the Broncos to find one who can plug and play in the first three rounds.