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Published on 03/05/2010 at Fri Mar 05 00:34.
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Baltimore Ravens free agent DL Justin Bannan will visit with the Denver Broncos Friday. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Baltimore Ravens free agent DL Justin Bannan will visit with the Denver Broncos Friday. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Free agency opened at 12:01 a.m. ET Friday, and the Denver Broncos wasted no time lining up linemen for workouts.

Cleveland Browns center/guard Rex Hadnot and Baltimore Ravens defensive lineman Justin Bannan highlight a crop of unrestricted free agents scheduled to visit Denver Friday, according to multiple reports. The Broncos do not have a starting-caliber center on their roster after releasing Casey Wiegmann in February, and Bannan boasts 310 lbs. of run-stuffing experience, having enjoyed being a part of the Ravens’ tenacious defensive line rotation with Haloti Ngata and Kelly Gregg.

The Denver Post reports that San Francisco 49ers tackle Tony Pashos has scheduled a visit, while the National Football Post reports that another Ravens defensive lineman, Dwan Edwards, is garnering interest from the Broncos.

The NFP also reports that Philadelphia Eagles DE Jason Babin is drawing interest from several teams, including — you guessed it — the Broncos.

Finally, Miami Dolphins cornerback Nathan Jones rounds out the scheduled visits reported thus far.  The Broncos’ interest in Jones makes sense: they found success fleecing the Dolphins’ secondary in the 2009 free agency, signing S Renaldo Hill and CB Andre Goodman. The two combined for 31 starts in 2010.

It’s clear the Broncos’ focus is in the trenches as free agency begins; Jones is the only known player visiting who isn’t an offensive or defensive lineman.

The most significant contributors to the Broncos last year weren’t newcomers from the draft or trade; they came from free agency. Josh McDaniels is showing he isn’t afraid to tap into this resource, even in 2010′s relatively shallow market. Keep it locked here for news of signings throughout the weekend.

Broncos pursue OL help in free agency [Denver Post]
Broncos going after Justin Bannan, Dwan Edwards [National Football Post]

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  • http://nation.theorangepage.com/blog Ian Henson

    Conservative with the spending, not a giant contract on the list… To me this points to more money for the draft (are we moving up or just moving towards more picks?).

    McDaniels/Xanders play free agency like McDaniels game plans on offense, short yardage and take whatever you can get. However, just judging by the defensive turn around last season, I can't argue.

  • dogheadbrew

    Adding to the line makes sense to me. We do have some talent at the skill positions, even if we do trade BM. Could some of this “value” player searching be based on the Marshal situation? If someone makes an offer we match, then we have to pay for him. If he gets taken then we have to pay for another 1st rounder (or a top 7ish pick in a trade?). Mr. Bowlen has shown willingness to pay his players, but he doesn't pay just to pay. And with a potential lockout coming it seems to be smart not to throw money in the wind now. Assuming the CBA hasn't been solved yet.

  • http://nation.theorangepage.com/blog Ian Henson

    Conservative with the spending, not a giant contract on the list… To me this points to more money for the draft (are we moving up or just moving towards more picks?).

    McDaniels/Xanders play free agency like McDaniels game plans on offense, short yardage and take whatever you can get. However, just judging by the defensive turn around last season, I can't argue.

  • dogheadbrew

    Adding to the line makes sense to me. We do have some talent at the skill positions, even if we do trade BM. Could some of this “value” player searching be based on the Marshal situation? If someone makes an offer we match, then we have to pay for him. If he gets taken then we have to pay for another 1st rounder (or a top 7ish pick in a trade?). Mr. Bowlen has shown willingness to pay his players, but he doesn't pay just to pay. And with a potential lockout coming it seems to be smart not to throw money in the wind now. Assuming the CBA hasn't been solved yet.