The Denver Broncos will likely explore all options for their offensive tackle positions this offseason, including signing veteran Andrew Whitworth…
The Denver Broncos are undoubtedly going to explore every possible avenue when it comes to upgrading their offensive line this offseason, and one move that could make some sense is to go after Cincinnati Bengals starting left tackle Andrew Whitworth.
Whitworth will be 36 this upcoming year, but is still playing better than most left tackles in the NFL. He is Pro Football Focus’ highest graded free agent at any position, which isn’t a final determining factor, but obviously on-field performance should play a big role in how the team moves forward this offseason.
The Broncos have a decision to make coming up with Russell Okung’s contract, one that could pave the way for a player like Whitworth to come in and start for a year, maybe two. That year of starting and playing at a high level would also allow the Broncos to groom another tackle that they could add in the draft, perhaps someone to start initially at right tackle and play left tackle in the future.
Of course, adding Whitworth would most likely mean the end of Okung’s time in Denver, but that’s something the Broncos have to put into consideration. Okung signed a ‘prove it’ contract last offseason with the Broncos and he was inconsistent, though showed at times the type of player he is capable of being.
Okung is younger, but would undoubtedly cost more in terms of guaranteed money and overall time investment, and John Elway will need to seriously weigh whether or not that is in the best interest of the team.
Behind Whitworth on the free agent market — according to Pro Football Focus’ rankings — is Ravens right tackle Ricky Wagner. We’ll do a write-up on him soon, but he will also likely be a top target for the Broncos. Letting go of Okung would free up nearly $12 million for the Broncos in cap space, which would likely be more than enough money to cover the expense of adding both Whitworth and another starting caliber lineman.