Broncos sign FA Steve Vallos to fill void at center

7/28/13 in NFL   |   IvanRogers   |   1352 respect

The Denver Broncos entered training camp without fourth-year center J.D.  Walton, who remains sidelined after undergoing an ankle surgery in June. The team’s offensive line took another hit on Sunday with Walton’s presumed replacement Dan Koppen suffering a torn ACL and being ruled out for the 2013 season.
The team moved quickly to address their depleted depth at center, by signing free agent center Steve Vallos. Broncos Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway announced the move on Sunday, just hours after revealing Koopen’s unfortunate status for the coming season.
The sixth-year player Vallos has bounced around the league since being selected in the seventh-round of 2007 NFL draft by the Seattle Seahawks. Vallos has seen action in 44 career games (including nine starts) with Seattle (2007-09), Cleveland Browns (2010-11), Philadelphia Eagles (2012) as well as the Jacksonville Jaguars (2012), and will now be playing for his fifth team in the NFL.
Although Vallos spent his rookie season on the Seahawks’ practice squad, he played in all 32 games (with 8 starts) for the team over the next two seasons. After being claimed off waivers by the Browns in 2010, Vallos combined to play in just eight games for the team in a two-year stint. Since then, Vallos has appeared in no more than four games combined for the Eagles and Jaguars, including one starts for the latter team last season.
However, Vallos allowed just 1.25 sacks and has been called for just two penalties over his entire NFL career, according to STATS Inc.
The 6-foot-3, 310-pound Vallos also opened a school-record 48 games during his collegiate career at Wake Forest University. As a senior, Vallos also earned All-America and All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors to conclude his Wake Forest career.
The Broncos could still look at the trade market or waiver wire to add additional help at center. With the Broncos investing millions of dollars into left tackle Ryan Clady this offseason, to protect the blindside of quarterback Peyton Manning, the team will not want their offensive line to fall apart in the middle to a lack of focus at the position.
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