Russell Okung, the agent, found a new home for Russell Okung, the player, in Denver on Thursday. After taking free agent visits to Pittsburgh, Detroit and the New York Giants, Okung decided that the Broncos provided the best fit and contract for him moving forward.
“[The contract] is a bit intricate, but I thought it was the best deal for me moving forward,” Okung said in a conference call with Denver area media on Thursday. “Denver is the place I want to be for the long haul.”
Okung representing himself was a fairly unique occurrence. Players don’t typically represent themselves all that often, though it’s far from unprecedented.
“I don’t necessarily know if there would be anything different about it,” Okung said of not using an agent. “I think that other guys, it’s for them. In terms of me, it wasn’t for me. I got the deal that I wanted.”
In order to remain in Denver for the long haul, Okung will have to prove he can stay healthy and play at a high level once again.
Despite being a five-year contract, the deal is a one-year, $5 million deal with a possible $3 million in additional incentives for 2016. The Broncos then have team options on each of the remaining four years and $48 million of the contract.
Okung suffered a dislocated shoulder that required surgery in Seattle’s playoff loss to the Carolina Panthers in January. Okung said his shoulder feels “good” and that he expects to be ready in May or June. But Okung has never played in all 16 regular season games in six years with Seattle. He’s missed an average of four games a season due to injury over that span.
However, Okung has been more durable than Denver left tackle Ryan Clady over the last three seasons. And with the Broncos and Clady not making any headway on a contract, Okung could be the more dependable option at this point.