The Broncos did not exercise their fifth-year option on left tackle Garett Bolles‘ contract this offseason and that decision didn’t come as a major surprise to those who have followed Bolles through his time in Denver.
The 2017 first-round pick has started every game of his three NFL seasons, but he’s struggled with penalties and opposing pass rushers. The team plans to have Elijah Wilkinson compete with him for the job, but Wilkinson is opening camp on the physically unable to perform list after ankle/foot surgery and head coach Vic Fangio believes Bolles is ready to make the most of the chance to hold onto his job.
“I do think Garett — I saw him the other day — has had a very good offseason,” Fangio said, via Mike Klis of KUSA. “I think he feels he’s in his best spot both physically, mentally and emotionally than he’s ever been in during his career. I think he feels good coming back with the same offensive line coach for the first time I think in his career. He’s had me as the head coach now for two years. I think the arrow is up as far as it goes for Garett. That’s easy to say here as we sit late-July. We’ll see how it unfolds.”
Broncos General Manager John Elway said this week that he’s tempered his expectations for the offense because of how young it is and the limited practice time available amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Wherever those expectations now stand, reaching them will be a lot easier if Bolles makes a step forward this season.