The Broncos will sign free agent guard Ronald Leary “assuming no last-minute snags,” tweets Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. Leary will ink a four-year deal worth $35MM, with $20MM in guarantees, per Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link).
The Cowboys were never expected to retain Leary, who was blocked at guard by La’el Collins and Zack Martin, so instead he’ll head to a club in dire need of offensive line reinforcements. Guard was thought to be top priority for Denver this offseason, and they’ve now landed one of the top three guards on the market. Thought to be targeting $8MM per season, Leary will instead blow past that figure and nearly reach the $9MM mark.
Leary, who entered the NFL in 2012 as an undrafted free agent from Memphis, has spent his entire career with the Cowboys. He started in 35 straight appearances over his first three seasons, but he dealt with a groin injury in 2015 and Collins usurped his No. 1 role. With Collins on the shelf for most of this season, Leary made 12 starts in 13 games and ranked an impressive 25th in overall performance among Pro Football Focus’ 76 qualified guards.
While Denver now appears to be set on the interior offensive line with Leary, Matt Paradis, and Max Garcia, tackle is still a problem. The Broncos are still talking with Russell Okung after declining his option, and could need a new right tackle as well if they decide to release Donald Stephenson.
Hypothetically, Leary could be blocking for a familiar face in 2017, as the Broncos are viewed as a logical destination for free agent quarterback Tony Romo. Romo had been under center in Dallas for the entirety of Leary’s run with the club.
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