Garett Bolles‘ contract-year emergence will transform him from a scrutinized player to the Broncos’ long-term left tackle. The Broncos announced Saturday they agreed to terms on a new deal for their breakout blocker.
It’s a four-year, $68MM deal for Bolles, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. This news comes days after Bolles indicated he wanted to stay in Denver beyond his rookie contract, though no known negotiations had transpired.
Bolles is not the NFL’s highest-paid tackle, at $17MM per year, but he now becomes its sixth-best-compensated tackle. This represents one of the most stunning contract-year developments in recent NFL history.
The 2017 first-round pick led the NFL in holding penalties by a wide margin from 2017-19 and entered this year’s training camp in a battle to keep his job. The Broncos did not pick up Bolles’ fifth-year option in May, but after 10 strong games as one of the best left tackles in the game this season, the franchise has changed its line of thinking.
Going into Week 12, Bolles grades as Pro Football Focus’ No. 1 overall tackle. He has not allowed a sack this season, despite the Broncos having used three starting quarterbacks. The 28-year-old blocker has become Denver’s first long-term tackle starter since Ryan Clady and followed the former All-Pro in signing a Broncos extension. Denver has used a different right tackle starter in Week 1 of every season since 2013, but Bolles — his struggles from 2017-19 notwithstanding — has started every game since he arrived out of Utah three years ago. The Broncos already have right tackle Ja’Wuan James — a 2020 opt-out after missing most of last season — signed to a big-ticket deal.
This deal doubles as the Broncos’ first major extension for a draftee selected since Super Bowl 50. Denver kept 2016 third-rounder Justin Simmons around via franchise tag but had not previously come to a notable extension agreement with a player chosen since its February 2016 victory parade.
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