The Broncos have announced the acquisition of Cardinals offensive lineman Jared Veldheer in exchange for a sixth-round pick in the upcoming draft (on Twitter). Troy Renck of Denver 7, ABC, first reported that the two sides were nearing a deal involving Veldheer and a late-round pick (on Twitter).
Veldheer, 30, is expected to step in and start at right tackle for the Broncos opposite former first-round pick Garett Bolles at left tackle. The Broncos were previously set to go with Menelik Watson at right tackle after he started the team’s first seven games there last season but was then placed on injured reserve with a calf injury.
Veldheer started 13 games for the Cardinals last season before being placed on injured reserve with a broken ankle. He’s appeared in 106 games over an eight-year career, making 101 starts. The Raiders originally selected Veldheer in the third round of the 2010 draft out of Hillsdale. He’s spent the bulk of his career at left tackle before shifting to the right side of the line last season.
The veteran offensive lineman is set to enter the final season of a five-year, $35MM deal signed with the Cardinals and is slated to have a cap hit of $10.16MM for the upcoming season. The Broncos entered the day with $21.28MM in available cap space, which ranked No. 12 in the NFL.
The addition of Veldheer helps round out the Broncos offensive line. Along with Bolles at left tackle, they’re set to return Max Garcia at left guard, Matt Paradis at center and Ronald Leary at right guard.
The deal creates $3.25MM in dead cap space for the Cardinals but does open up $6.9MM in available space. Newly-signed Andre Smith will likely take over at right tackle for the Cardinals with John Wetzel taking over as the team’s starting swing tackle. The Cardinals also helped beef up their offensive line this offseason by adding right guard Justin Pugh in free agency.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.