Quietly, Denver Broncos' center Lloyd Cushenberry has played very good football in the 2023 NFL season. A potential contract extension and price seems fair for both sides. Cushenberry was pretty awful the first few years of his career. When he got hurt last year, he never returned to the starting lineup even after he was healthy.
Former Bronco Graham Glasgow held the fort down at center in Cush's' absence. Well, in 2023, first-year OL coach and former Sean Payton draft pick, Zach Strief has really done a nice job with the OL. Denver's unit is one of the better ones in the NFL, and literally, every single player along the OL besides Mike McGlinchey is having a very strong season.
That speaks volumes about the improvement that we've seen from Cushenberry, who was drafted back in 2020 to replace Connor McGovern, who departed for the New York Jets, where he currently still plays. Cushenberry is a free agent at the end of the year, and I think that Denver would like to retain him if the price is right.
Well, according to spotrac.com, the market value for the former LSU Tiger is $6.9 million per year. The total contract that the website suggests is four years, $27.7 million. Would this be a fair contract to bring back Cushenberry? If this exact contract was agreed to, it'd actually rank pretty high among all center contracts in the NFL.
Centers aren't exactly signing record-breaking contracts. A $6.9 million per year deal would rank, as of now, 8th-richest in the NFL. There is a steep dropoff after the top center contracts which include players like Jason Kelce, Frank Ragnow, Ryan Jensen, Corey Linsley, among others.
The total value of this deal would rank 6th in the NFL. When you see these top-10 rankings, you'd expect that he'd be playing at that kind of level, right? According to ESPN, Cushenberry ranks 10th among all interior offensive linemen in pass block win rate, meaning he's a total beast in pass blocking. Check out these statistics as well:
Guys, the Denver Broncos have an elite center on their hands, so this market-value-derived contract from Spotrac.com is a deal that would make a ton of sense for both sides. This would also tie up even more money in the offensive line, which is something that has been a theme with Sean Payton in the past.