One of the first transactions the Denver Broncos executed this offseason was the restructuring of offensive lineman Graham Glasgow.
On Jan. 11, it was reported that Glasgow agreed to reduce his base salary from $8.4 million to $3.1 million — a $5.3 million pay cut — for the 2022 campaign, the penultimate year of his $44 million contract. An additional $1.4 million was made available via play-time incentives.
“When it came down to go somewhere else or stay here, I’d rather stay here," Glasgow told 9News' Mike Klis the day of the agreement.
Not that he had much choice.
A starting right guard, Glasgow played in only seven games last season before suffering a broken leg on Nov. 7 at Dallas. The injury, which included ligament damage, severely clouded the future of a cap-burdening player who turns 30 in July. Glasgow was projected by many as a future release candidate considering his cost and the emergence of then-rookie RG Quinn Meinerz, the team's 2021 third-round draft pick.
That is, until Broncos general manager George Paton extended an ultimatum in the form of an olive branch: You can stay, but ...
“It just really came down to, I love the area, my wife loves it here, I like playing here and I feel like it was the best option I had coming off the injury I had,” Glasgow said on May 20, via the Denver Post. “It’s just the reality of the situation.”
Presumably safe from The Turk, the versatile Glasgow, at worst, will be Denver's top interior backup this fall. At best, the seventh-year veteran could push Meinerz or even center Lloyd Cushenberry to reclaim his starter's title, fully healthy and financially motivated.
“Right now, they are interchangeable at this point," offensive coordinator Justin Outten said in April. "We want to see where they can fit and their ability to play center and snap the ball as a crucial backup. You want to have that in your back pocket. Those guys will kind of bounce around as you’ll see. [It’s] just to see them fit in different spots and direct traffic in playing guard and helping the tackles out as far as the interior stuff. We’re going to keep moving guys around to find the best five."
Whether in the huddle or parked on the bench, however, Glasgow sounds content to simply be part of the equation.
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