New starting option at center emerges for Broncos in free agency

Is Sam Mustipher going to start at center for the Broncos?

Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos / Quinn Harris/GettyImages

Slowly but surely, the Denver Broncos have been adding pieces all over the roster and one area they've added quite a few players is along the offensive line. Somewhat quietly, the Broncos have made more additions to the offensive line than any other position group, and the latest move could end up having implications on the starting lineup.

The Broncos have added veteran center Sam Mustipher, formerly of the Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears. Although Mustipher didn't play much with the Ravens last season (202 snaps in nine games), he was a full-time starter for two full seasons with the Chicago Bears in 2022 and 2023. He also started seven games for the Bears in 2020 and played over 2,600 snaps in three years with Chicago.

On the surface, this one-year deal looks like a depth move for the Denver Broncos, but Mustipher might actually be more of a factor than meets the eye. His starting experience is going to provide both Alex Forsyth and Luke Wattenberg with a new bar to clear. It's one thing to have a competition between two unproven guys, but now you add a player into the mix who has started a lot of games at the NFL level, and things get a little more interesting.

Mustipher is a former undrafted free agent out of Notre Dame who is actually brothers with former Denver Broncos defensive lineman PJ Mustipher. Maybe most notably, Mustipher played college ball at Notre Dame where he was the starting center and teammates with current Denver Broncos starting right tackle Mike McGlinchey.

Although the Broncos are having a competition for the center position (we assume), one interesting factor with adding players like Mustipher is that the Broncos seem to also plan on having a competition for the starting quarterback position. One of the worst things that you can have in a quarterback competition is poor depth on the offensive line so the guy running with the second unit is getting a horrible look every rep.

The Broncos don't have 10 All Pros on the offensive line, but they have brought in a lot of guys with actual NFL starting experience to back up the players they have in the starting lineup right now. Mustipher is merely the latest.

The Broncos brought in offensive tackle Matt Peart, tackle/guard Calvin Throckmorton, and they also brought back guard/tackle Quinn Bailey. On top of those guys being brought in, the Broncos really like a couple of developmental tackles they signed last year in Alex Palczewski and Demontrey Jacobs. The offensive line should have nice depth this coming season, and Mustipher is the latest solid addition to that group.