Free Agency 2016

Broncos Sign OT Russell Okung: Time To Ground And Pound

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After having some of their highest profile free agents plucked like a small market Major League Baseball team, the Denver Broncos have begun to fight back as they inked former Seattle Seahawks first-round pick Russell Okung.

Okung’s deal is believed to be worth $53 million over five years which tells us quite a bit about what John Elway is planning.

  • First, the Okung signing means the end for former first-round pick Ryan Clady in Denver.  Clady’s recent run of injuries forced Elway to sign Okung, and his $9.5 million salary in 2016 means that he will either be traded or released.  When healthy, Clady was a top-tier offensive tackle, but that hasn’t been the case in a few years.
  • It’s clear that Denver plans on running the football as a way of life on offense. The team’s two biggest free agent additions were left tackle Okung and right tackle Donald Stephenson.  Add in the fact that the team matched the Dolphins offer on running back C.J. Anderson and their game plan is pretty transparent, even in the month of March.

It certainly makes sense that the team would take a “Ground and Pound” approach, as the quarterback position is in flux to say the least.  Mark Sanchez (yes, that Mark Sanchez) is the projected starter and the available upgrade options are Colin Kaepernick and Robert Griffin, III.

Why wouldn’t you try and run the football, shorten games and hope what’s left of your legendary defense can carry you?

One other tip, Okung didn’t have an agent so he potentially saved hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Will that become a trend?


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.