Denver Broncos re-sign C Dan Koppen to 1-year extension
The team did not announce terms of the contract but according to a source familiar with the situation, the Broncos re-signed Koppen to a one-year extension.
Koppen originally signed with the Broncos last October after D.J. Walton, who has been the team’s starting center since he was drafted in 2010, was placed on the injured reserve with a broken and dislocated left ankle. The 11-year veteran started 12 games while appearing in 15 total contests at center, just as Peyton Manning and the Broncos found a consistency in their offense to finish the 2012 season with the best record in the AFC at 13-3.
But Koppen was not initially re-signed after his contract expired in March, since the team expected Walton back this season. However, Walton needed further surgery this offseason to replace the hardware in his injured ankle after doctors discovered an infection. The Broncos expect Walton back in October, barring any setbacks. But he could end up missing the entire 2013 season if there are further setbacks or complications from his rehab following the recent offseason ankle surgery.
Since Koppen had been just sitting there on the free agent market since his release by the team, and is a veteran center with a built-in comfort level with the Broncos offense following last season, he appeared as the most likely option to replace Walton again.
Backup Manny Ramirez has worked at center for the Broncos during the offseason practices, but they can now expect Koppen to immediately take over at the spot during training camp.
The 33-year-old Koppen spent the first nine years of his career with the New England Patriots, who originally selected him out of Boston College in the fifth round of the 2003 NFL draft. He went to two Super Bowls in each of his first two seasons in New England. Koppen was also named to his first and only Pro Bowl during his stint with the Patriots in 2007.
Koppen fractured his ankle in the first Week of the 2011 season, and was later released in the final cuts by the Patriots ahead of the 2012 season. He started 132 of 136 career games and missed only eight regular season contests during his NFL career.