The Denver Broncos' first free-agent acquisition did not create significant excitement but the move was a necessary one. GM John Elway had to address the offensive line with Ronald Leary not being retained and Connor McGovern likely walking out the same door.
The answer? Ex-Detroit Lions' center Graham Glasgow.
Denver reportedly agreed to terms wit Glasgow on a four-year deal worth $44 million, with $26 million guaranteed. Although the excitement level is low (we're talking about an interior O-lineman), was it actually a good signing?
What the Analytics Say
Glasgow brings versatility having played both center and guard, which is a huge plus with both of those positions being question marks. That versatility in today’s NFL is a benefit. The analytics paint a picture of a player who is solid, but not spectacular.
First, Glasgow is going to turn 28 before the season starts, which isn’t optimal to start that second contract, but as we know from my previous study in advanced analytics, that is the age he will likely have his peak season. By getting him now instead of later, the Broncos are more likely to see his best performance in at least one year of the contract.
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Second, Glasgow has not had one season in his four NFL years that was below the average Performance Value. In the NFL, finding a player who can consistently perform above the average is a win.
Glasgow's best season came in 2017 at age 25. He has declined since that season, but not rapidly.
Lastly, Glasgow's Performance Value has been better than McGovern's, both by season and average.
What it Means
If the Broncos are looking to replace McGovern, the team found a player with the potential to do just that. The analytics suggest that Glasgow will be a solid player the next two seasons and then rapidly decline.
With a four-year contract, the analytics suggest the Broncos will realize a decent return on their investment in Glasgow, but not a spectacular one. Which accurately represents this free-agent acquisition.