Broncos make push for O-linemen, D-linemen as free agent discussions begin

Posted at 1:02 PM, Mar 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-07 15:11:18-05

DENVER -- Gentlemen, start your ATMs.

The free agent negotiating period began Tuesday at 10 a.m. 

The Broncos started the legal tampering period -- an oxymoron that allows for teams to talk to free agents but not finalize deals until Thursday at 2 p.m. -- by chasing line help and reportedly kicking the tires on a running back.

With $35 million to spend, subtracting the drafted rookie money pool, the Broncos sit in position to sign multiple players, including a premier addition. The anticipated plan remains aggressive pursuit of offensive guards and defensive linemen, while exercising patience in the left tackle market.

The Broncos have interest in Washington's defensive lineman Chris Baker, joining the Redskins and Buccaneers. As a national NFL analyst told Denver7 on Tuesday night, Baker makes sense because he's a "run stuffer" who plays with a high motor. These are the type of players line coach Bill Kollar wants given his aggressive, demanding style. 

Baker, who played for the Broncos as an undrafted free agent in 2009, emerged as a reliable contributor for Washington. He played the last five seasons for Washington, starting 27 of the past 32 games.

Dallas' Ronald Leary and Green Bay's T.J. Lang sit atop the wish list at guard. Leary went undrafted because of a degenerative knee condition, but capitalized on opportunity with the Cowboys. He proved solid until losing his job to La'el Collins in 2015. Leary wanted a trade before last season, but stayed put and regained his job after Collins suffered an injury. Leary's back has been an issue in the past, so any team offering big money must be comfortable with his health. Lang plans to visit teams in free agency. Past injuries suggest his health will be a component of any free agent bid. Other guards available include Detroit's Larry Warford and Minnesota's Brandon Fusco. 

On the offensive side, The Sporting News reported the Broncos have interest in running back Danny Woodhead. Woodhead produced for new Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy in San Diego, including a career-high 80 receptions in 2015. A former star at Chadron State in Nebraska, Woodhead has battled injuries. He has failed to play more than three games in two of the past three seasons. 

Woodhead fractured his fibula in 2014 and tore his ACL a year ago. 

As for quarterback Tony Romo -- no story is complete without his mention -- the Broncos are prepared to express interest if and when he becomes a free agent. The sooner the better as it allows Denver a chance to slot money and fill multiple needs. 

Stay with Denver7 as I will be updating this story throughout the day and hosting the 6 p.m. sportscast. 


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Want Broncos news? Denver7 Broncos insider Troy E. Renck is your source. He talks to the players, covers the games and reports scoops on Denver7 and the Denver7 app. He is a CU grad who has covered pro sports in Colorado since 1996, including 14 years at The Denver Post. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and’s Broncos page. Troy welcomes most of your emails at