It is a pivotal offseason for Cooper Carlisle, as the seven-year veteran finds himself at perhaps the most crucial juncture of his career.
Carlisle heads into this offseason coming off a his second full season as a starter at right guard; he assumed the duties in December 2004 and hasn’t surrendered them since, helping the Broncos have the league’s second-best running game in his 36 consecutive regular-season starts, with an average of 150.6 yards per game since Carlisle took over for Dan Neil in Week 14 of the 2004 season. (It must also be noted, however, that the Broncos averaged 150.7 rushing yards per game in the previous 36 games before the Carlisle-for-Neil shift, which was good for first in the league in that time span.)
Carlisle was last an unrestricted free agent in 2005, following his four starts in December 2004 and his playoff start at Indianapolis the following January. He then opted to remain with Denver, which capped a strange two-day period in which the Baltimore Ravens sent out an announcement that they had agreed to terms with the former University of Florida lineman. “Agreed to terms,” however, doesn’t mean “signed,” and three days later, he placed his John Hancock on a contract with the Broncos.
NEXT: Defensive end Patrick Chukwurah.