Broncos Sign Russell Okung

4:24pm: The Broncos have officially announced the signing.

4:17pm: Okung’s deal with Denver is essentially two contracts in one, Jason La Canfora of tweets. For 2016, he’ll get $5MM guaranteed in 2016 with a chance to make up to $8MM in incentives. Then, after that (link), Denver has a window after the season in which they can pick up an option for a four-year deal worth $12MM per year with $20.5MM guaranteed.

Overall, the deal can be worth up to $10.6MM per year if he can stay healthy, La Canfora tweets. He adds that Okung also had a one-year offer on the table from the Lions.

The Seahawks did not have an offer out to Okung at the end of his negotiations, Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times tweets.

3:13pm: Teams are interested in a deal for Clady, Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports tweets.

3:03pm: The Broncos have reached agreement on a deal with Russell Okung, according to Josina Anderson of (on Twitter). The two sides are finalizing a five-year pact that will pay the standout tackle $10.6MM per year. The deal could pay up to $12MM/year, according to Ian Rapoport of (on Twitter).

Recently, it was reported that Okung had offers in hand from the Steelers, Lions, and Giants. When the Steelers agreed to sign Ryan Harris, that trimmed down the veteran’s market somewhat. However, that signing left the Broncos with a little extra cash and a desire to reinforce their offensive line, leading them to the Okung deal today.

As Adam Schefter of (on Twitter) notes, the signing of Okung could allow the Broncos to trade fellow tackle Ryan Clady. The team has been attempting to negotiate a pay cut with Clady, who missed the entire 2015 campaign due to injury. Now, Denver can conceivably roll with Okung and rid themselves of Clady’s deal, while taking back something in the way of compensation.

The 28-year-old had two interesting wrinkles to his free agency situation. One is that Okung underwent surgery on his injured shoulder in January. The tackle was also representing himself, which is rather rare in the NFL. Okung’s decision to act as his own agent hampered him in at least one regard as he was barred from talking to every team except for the Seahawks during the legal tampering period. At the end of the day, however, he has scored himself a sizable deal.

The advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus (subscription required) rated Okung as the No. 31 tackle in the NFL last year with an overall grade of 72.1.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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8 comments on “Broncos Sign Russell Okung

  1. dwilson10

    I was really hoping the Steelers would’ve picked him up instead of Harris.

    • wishesgrantd

      Even if it was heavily back loaded, I don’t think the Steelers could’ve afforded that. I think that’s why they went with Harris. OverTheCap has the Steelers less than $2M under the cap. With draft spending, they need to cut someone. Cap situation isn’t very good for the Steelers this year.

      • wishesgrantd

        Now that I see the exact details, I’m wrong. The Steelers totally could’ve made this work if they just cut some players (Cortez Allen, Shaun Suisham, etc.). I like the structure of the deal for the Broncos.

      • dwilson10

        Yeah I didn’t see the money side of it when I first posted. For that price I’m glad they passed. Give Villanueva some more work and he’ll be good on the OL next year along with Harris. I’ve heard they were going to cut Cortez Allen I think. This is supposed to create a couple million dollars in cap space.

  2. whereslou

    It tells you a lot about Okung that Seattle didn’t give him an offer as bad as the OL has been. He has not played a full year and is a false start machine. He has talent if he could stay on the field and not jump. Maybe he will get it together this year but Broncos Fans might not want that if the 4 years are guaranteed he will be hurt much of those years. I read another report that said it is 4 1 year deals not that the 4 were guaranteed. Hopefully Seattle can find some OL later in the draft they need to improve the line. Makes you miss Walt Jones.

  3. Sam Robinson

    Structured ordinarily, this would have been a bizarre contract for the Broncos, who are replacing a two-time All-Pro tackle entering his age-30 season with a one-time Pro Bowler soon to be 29. But with the zone-blocking tryout year of sorts now built in, this is a fairly team-friendly accord, with the possibility to be a player-friendly pact should Okung see his option be picked up. Given that he’s 29, this will be a pivotal season for Okung. Re-entering free agency in 2017 as a 30-year-old who didn’t live up to expectations would likely ensure Okung wouldn’t see the big payday he coveted. Since the Seahawks kept him for six years, his clock mirrors a baseball player at a position that doesn’t feature as long of a career. In the short-term, though, the Broncos’ line should improve on the edges at least after it housed one of the worst tackle pairings in the league in 2015.

  4. Sam Robinson

    As for Clady, the Broncos may have to settle for a high-Day 3 pick should his contract remain at its present figure. His resume still has value, but the rampant injury trouble that harpooned his late 20s likely leaves him a lesser version of what he displayed in 2012. Denver likely sought to cut Clady’s pay by at least half, but having proven effective in a man- and zone-blocking system, he’ll be intriguing to one of the teams that missed on a proven tackle. The Giants come to mind.

  5. I guess he is betting on himself, but it’s a team option. They could just get out of the deal if they find themselves, based on what happens at QB, in full rebuild mode next year.

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