Broncos To Host Russell Okung For Visit

A new team has entered the Russell Okung sweepstakes, according to Josina Anderson of ESPN.com, who tweets that the free agent left tackle is traveling today to visit the Broncos. Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports first reported (via Twitter) that Okung was expected to head to Denver to meet with the Super Bowl champs.Russell Okung

Okung, the highest-ranked player still available from our list of this year’s top free agents, has also received interest from the Giants and Lions, and is still mulling a return to the Seahawks. The former first-round pick had drawn interest from the Steelers as well, but Pittsburgh removed itself from the running for Okung by agreeing to sign free agent tackle Ryan Harris.

Of course, Harris was Denver’s left tackle a year ago, which is one reason the Broncos are potentially in the market for help at the position. The team has been attempting to negotiate a pay cut with veteran tackle Ryan Clady, who missed the entire 2015 campaign due to injury. Okung’s visit could provide the Broncos with additional leverage in talks with Clady, and may give the club a Plan B if a deal can’t be reached with Clady.

Okung has two interesting wrinkles to his free agency situation. The 28-year-old underwent surgery on his injured shoulder in January, and is also representing himself, which is rather rare in the NFL. Okung’s decision to act as his own agent meant that he was barred from talking to every team except for the Seahawks during the legal tampering period, which is likely one reason why he has been on the market longer than anticipated.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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4 months 12 days ago

Clady and Okung both have recent injury history, but Clady is the better player when healthy, and he’s only one year older. There are still no reports regarding the offers that Okung has in hand, but presumably the cap hit from those offers would be considerably less than Clady’s $10.1MM hit. So the Broncos could sign Okung, cut Clady, and save several million dollars in the process while replacing Clady with a player who is not quite as skilled, but certainly good enough and a clear upgrade over Ryan Harris.