Posted Tue Mar 12th by Ian Henson
The first free agent signing for the Denver Broncos of the 2013 Free Agency period stays true to the trend that the Broncos have followed thus far in the last three years under John Elway. That being low key moves that make sense and moves that hardly anyone had thought of.
Denver has signed guard Louis Vasquez to a four-year contract reportedly worth $23.5-million with $13-million guaranteed over the course of the first two season.
Vasquez will start immediately and could possibly mean the end for ailing veteran Chris Kuper, but the end does not mean that it will be an immediate end.
Much like the reports that the Broncos are willing to part with Elvis Dumervil due to the large amount of money due to him this season; Kuper is due $5.415-million in 2013, though $2.745 of that would count as dead money if he were cut this year.
Kuper ($5.415-million) currently is the Broncos sixth highest paid player, behind Peyton Manning ($20-million), Elvis Dumervil ($13.623-million), Champ Bailey ($11-million), Ryan Clady ($9.828-million) and Von Miller ($5.727-million).
As I said earlier I don’t think that Vasquez presence means that Kuper is being cut this season necessarily, his age does indicate something though. Vasquez is 26-years old, Clady, Zane Beadles, J.D. Walton and Orlando Franklin are all 26-years old or younger. An interesting move to protect the teams huge investment in Manning who turns 37 this month and later Brock Osweiler who turned 22-tyears old in November.
Vasquez comes to Denver from the San Diego Chargers where he played for four seasons starting 54 games after being drafted in the third round of the 2009 draft. According to STATS Inc. he has allowed just 11 sacks and one penalty during his career. He started every game for San Diego in 2012, a statistic that Kuper has failed to log since 2008.
Tough decision, but as the team proved last season with Dan Koppen, they are willing to pay an expensive veteran to assure that it is in fact, ‘Next man up’.