Russell Okung wants to be in Denver for “long haul”

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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.

8 responses to “Russell Okung wants to be in Denver for “long haul”

  1. That would be a strange ‘trade’… Okung for Clady, both real good when healthy, but not healthy enough to be a risk.

    If Clady will redo andtake the same type of contract Okung did and Denver doesn’t want more then a 6th or 7th, it would be a good deal for the Seahawks, but I just have a feeling that John Schneider, who doesn’t like 1st round picks, is going to try to trade up, just outside the top 10 to take a LT in the draft. When you have a magician like Russell at QB, you LT doesn’t have to be great, just good (and healthy would be nice)

  2. To me it sounds like he would have done better with an agent. No signing bonus and no guaranteed money means that he has no leverage really. If he doesn’t achieve on the field the Broncos fan cut him without issue.

  3. Good move for Denver. A one year 5-8mill contract on a potentially great player who wants to prove himself is a good deal.

    Clady is now trade bait. Here’s hoping he yields more than a 5th rounder.

  4. Russell did a fair job of filling Walter Jones’s shoes. Unfortunately he had some durability issues. Good luck in Denver –

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