Russell Okung’s option a weighty decision for Broncos

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The market is suddenly full of left tackles, and the Broncos have a decision to make soon on theirs, to see if they want to add to the pool.

Via Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post, the Broncos aren’t expected to pick up the $1 million option on Russell Okung’s contract, which would activate the next four years and $48 million of it, with $20.5 million in guarantees.

Of course, they’re the Broncos, so everything is always up for “renegotiations” (cough, pay cut, cough). If Okung is willing to stay for less, there’s a chance they’d go with the devil they know rather than dip into a market which includes a number of intriguing options.

From veterans such as Andrew Whitworth to guys coming off injuries such as Matt Kalil to guys with options not picked up such as Ryan Clady and Kelvin Beachum, there are some guys out there worth exploring.

Either way, the Broncos figure to be doing plenty of work to fix their offensive line, after replacing four starters last year and backsliding significantly.

14 responses to “Russell Okung’s option a weighty decision for Broncos

  1. If The Bengals let Andrew Whitworth walk during what should be Andy Dalton’s prime, they deserve that 8-8 record they’re going to get. Whitworth is still one of the best in the game and I wouldn’t blame him for chasing a ring right now, but if they lose him over money or their inability to guarantee him the Left Tackle spot, then shame on them.

  2. So he made out as well as all the other LTs who took “prove it” deals last year and he didn’t have to pay for an agent. Guess he wasn’t so stupid after all.

  3. This sounds like a job for that crafty salary cap manager that the Broncos had around 1996-1998.
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    You are thinking about the 49ers. The Broncos got in trouble for deferring payments in relation to costs for their new stadium.

  4. .
    It’s an extremely weak class of tackles coming out in this year’s draft. As always, it will come down to supply and demand.
    .

  5. RegisHawk says:
    Feb 16, 2017 9:46 AM
    So he made out as well as all the other LTs who took “prove it” deals last year and he didn’t have to pay for an agent. Guess he wasn’t so stupid after all.
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    I entirely disagree. Okung signed a deal that gave the Broncos all the leverage which is worse than a 1 year prove it deal. Let’s assume that Okung played at an all-pro level last season. Then the Broncos having the option would immediately trigger the rest of the deal and have Okung under contract for well below his market value.

    Let’s say Okung had gotten seriously injured his first training camp with the Broncos. His contract didn’t guarantee him anything until the start of the season so the Broncos could have cut him last year and not owe him a penny.

    Even now the Broncos can try and force him to renegotiate a lower contract and because they didn’t pay him any upfront bonus money that will impact their salary cap they’re negotiating from a place of greater strength.

    If you’re going to sign a deal with ZERO up front guarantees then it is far far better to sign a 1 year prove it deal otherwise why in the world are you signing a long term deal that let’s the team control your rights and which they can walk away from with zero financial or cap penalty? This deal rivals Ricky Williams’ rookie contract as one of the worse big NFL contract I’ve ever seen.

  6. Most draft boards dont have any tackles in the top 20 picks so Im guessing these guys are going to make out pretty well once free agency starts. Okung will probably get that 20M guaranteed somewhere.

  7. patsfan4lifesbchamps says:
    Feb 16, 2017 11:19 AM
    Penalty machine

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    Maybe your Jets should sign him…..what do you think Jets’ boy?

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