Broncos make trade to add Allen Barbre to offensive line competition

The Broncos acquired Allen Barbre in a trade with the Eagles on Wednesday. Barbre is expected to compete at left guard. Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Over and over again, with almost every move he made, John Elway prioritized the Denver Broncos' offensive line this offseason.

And even as the team was set to open training camp, Elway was still looking for players to put into the mix.

The Broncos acquired veteran guard Allen Barbre on Wednesday from the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a conditional draft pick in 2019. If Barbre doesn't make the roster after the preseason, however, the Broncos would not surrender the pick in the trade.

Barbre, a 33-year-old who can play right tackle as well as both guard spots, is being brought in to compete in the team's makeover up front. The Broncos could have as many as four new starters on the offensive line this season, a group that will include guard Ron Leary and tackle Menelik Watson, who were both signed in free agency.

Matt Paradis, who had offseason surgery on both hips but has been cleared to participate in training camp, could be the only holdover from last year's line.

And for good reason.

The Broncos finished 27th in total offense last season, 22nd in scoring and 28th in rushing while their quarterbacks were repeatedly pounded.

"We have to get better on the offensive line," Elway said.

The Broncos will have their first full practice Thursday and Barbre is expected to be with the team. The Eagles had actually announced on the team's website earlier Wednesday that Barbre had been released, but the trade was completed a few hours later.

Barbre started 12 games last season, playing much of the time at left guard to go with some work at right tackle. He had battled a calf injury during the Eagles' offseason program. Barbre is expected to compete for the left guard job with the Broncos, a spot where Max Garcia was moved during the final weeks of the offseason program.

As it stands now, with Paradis at center, Leary will be at right guard and Watson at right tackle. Garett Bolles and Ty Sambrailo will split time at left tackle. Garcia is expected to be at left guard when the team opens its drills Thursday.

Bolles was the Broncos' first-round draft pick in April, the 20th player selected overall. Elway was asked Wednesday if he would be "disappointed" if Bolles was not the starter, and his answer summed up his opinion of any starting spot on the line.

"I want the best player to play at that time," Elway said. "I root for the guy who is playing the best to be the starter."