ARNIE STAPLETON, AP Professional Soccer Author
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Russell Okung guess on himself and misplaced. Or did he?
The previous first-spherical decide signed what principally was a one-yr tryout final yr with Denver.
Serving as his personal agent, Okung structured his contract in order that solely his $eight million wage in 2016 was assured. He wanted to have an enormous yr to set off the ultimate 4 years and $forty eight million.
He didn’t, and on Thursday the Broncos knowledgeable the previous first-spherical decide they wouldn’t be choosing up his $1 million choice bonus subsequent month that may have assured him one other $21 million.
Okung, 29, might make up for all that misplaced cash in free company, the place he can tout his beginning sixteen video games as proof that he’s recovered from shoulder surgical procedure a yr in the past.
Groups, nevertheless, may even take a look at his eleven flags, two of which have been declined, which tied for the workforce lead.
He additionally was the item of All-Professional cornerback Aqib Talib’s ire following a sixteen-three loss to New England in December. Talib objected when Okung rose to talk after then-coach Gary Kubiak requested if anybody needed to deal with the group after the sport. That began a shouting match between defensive gamers who had held Tom Brady in examine and the O-linemen, who had taken the brunt of the blame for Denver’s dive.
Nonetheless, it’s a shallow pool of veteran tackles that features Ryan Clady, Kelvin Beacham and Ricky Wagner. Andrew Whitworth can be the highest deal with obtainable in free company if the Cincinnati Bengals don’t maintain the 35-yr-previous off the market.
Past potential early picks Ryan Ramczyk of Wisconsin and Utah’s Garett Bolles, the draft in two months isn’t deep in offensive tackles, both.
Fixing an offensive line is one among Broncos basic supervisor John Elway’s prime priorities for the second straight yr.
The Broncos began 4 new linemen final season however their floor recreation sputtered and younger quarterbacks Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch have been sacked a complete of forty occasions because the Broncos missed the playoffs a yr after profitable the Tremendous Bowl.
Siemian lately underwent surgical procedure on his left (non-throwing) shoulder to restore an damage he suffered in September that may sideline him till OTAs. Which may assist Lynch get a jumpstart on profitable the beginning job underneath new coach Vance Joseph and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy after serving as Siemian’s backup as a rookie final season.
Elway’s choice to not train Okung’s choice saves Denver almost $eleven million towards the cap this…