If Lloyd Cushenberry's job wasn't in danger by the arrival of third-round rookie Quinn Meinerz, the Denver Broncos' incumbent center is now officially skating on thin ice.
According to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Broncos on Tuesday signed former Minnesota Vikings C Brett Jones, creating a potential three-way starting competition on the doorstep of training camp.
Jones, a native of Saskatchewan, entered the NFL in 2015 following a two-year stint in the Canadian Football League, where he achieved All-Star status. The 6-foot-2, 315-pound lineman would appear in 30 games (14 starts) for the New York Giants before being traded to the Vikings in August 2018. He made 31 appearances and started five games for Minnesota, including two contests last season.
Jones, 30, is the fourth such player this offseason to reunite with Broncos rookie general manager George Paton. The team previously signed ex-Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, running back Mike Boone, and defensive tackle Shemar Stephen.
Once up to speed in offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur's playbook, Jones should begin pushing Cushenberry or settle in as depth behind guards Dalton Risner and Graham Glasgow. It, too, is possible that Meinerz — selected as a center — moonlights along the interior during the 2021 campaign.
"It’s important that you don’t have many guys that are one positional. We’ll cross-train him," Broncos head coach Vic Fangio said after the draft. "We’ll start him off somewhere and let him get his feet wet—get grounded. But eventually, we need guys that can play center and guard. As your offseason develops and training camp goes on, you see and feel where those needs are, and if we have to get him to that second position quickly, we will.”
The Broncos released veteran center Patrick Morris in a corresponding move, per 9NEWS' Mike Klis.
Follow Zack on Twitter @KelbermanNFL
Subscribe to Mile High Huddle on YouTube for daily Broncos live-stream podcasts!