Denver Broncos’ GM John Elway was true to his word. At the NFL Combine back in February, Elway said that he wanted to “talk” to free-agent OL Connor McGovern about re-signing with the club.
Fast forward to day one of the legal tampering window, and the Broncos paid big money to an interior offensive lineman — but it wasn’t McGovern. It was ex-Detroit Lion Graham Glasgow, whom the team agreed to terms with on a four-year, $44 million deal.
However, a report from 9NEWS’ Mike Klis provided additional insight on what the Broncos tried to get done with McGovern, though the exact details remain unknown.
McGovern has been an underrated stalwart for the Broncos. After red-shirting his rookie year under the Gary Kubiak regime, McGovern finally saw some playing time down the stretch in year two.
It was year three in which he became an entrenched starter. And now, coming off a 2019 season in which he started all 16 games at center without being penalized once and never missing a snap, you’d think that if the Broncos were going to pay out $11M/year to an interior player, it’d have been McGovern.
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Alas, that’s not how it shook out and we don’t know the exact reason why. The Broncos did have an offer on the table for McGovern, per Klis, but when Glasgow agreed to terms, the offer was pulled. Perhaps that’s a lesson to McGovern about one in the hand being worth two in the bush.
We don’t know why the Broncos prioritized Glasgow over McGovern, when the team had significantly more first-hand intelligence on the homegrown McGovern. We do know, thanks to The Athletic’s Nicki Jhabvala, that O-line Coach Mike Munchak influenced the Glasgow decision and at the very least, rubber-stamped the deal.
Per Klis, McGovern is as good as gone now, though Jhabvala’s tweet contradicts that notion. It’s unclear exactly where the Broncos plan to play Glasgow, but there appears to be room for only one of them financially and the team has thrown in with the outside addition.
McGovern could end up being the next interior O-linemen to get big money on the open market. Or, it could be, that he missed the boat by not accepting whatever offer the Broncos had on the table early on Monday.
Regardless, fans are likely to bid adieu to McGovern, who was the Broncos’ 2016 fifth-round pick out of Missouri. He was a consistent and durable starter who quite possibly deserved better than he got from the Broncos as an unrestricted free agent.