Happy Wednesday, Broncos Country!
As many of you are well aware, the Denver Broncos were very close to completing a trade that would have brought Cleveland Browns All-Pro left tackle Joe Thomas to Denver.
The Broncos weren't worried about Thomas' contract. They weren't even worried about sending the Browns the draft pick compensation they desired. 9NEWS Broncos Insider Mike Klis revealed that as the trade deadline came to the close, the reason the Broncos didn't pull the trigger on the deal for Thomas was the draft pick compensation they weren't getting in return.
According to Klis, the Broncos were fine with sending a 2017 first round selection and a 2016 second round selection to Cleveland for Thomas' services. A fair price to pay for arguably the NFL's best and most durable left tackle who has cap friendly numbers over the next several seasons. However, the team was adamant on getting a draft selection in return and asked for a third round selection in the upcoming draft back. Alas, the Browns front office held their ground and only offered a fifth round pick in 2016 and the deal fell short.
It's hard to imagine that the "deal breaker" in the myriad of trade discussions held between the two franchises came down to what pick the Broncos would receive back in return, but if what Klis reported is true, that's precisely what happened.
My opinion? The Broncos shouldn't have haggled on the pick coming back to them and made the deal anyways.
Franchise left tackles don't become available on the market for that decent of a price very often. Two high round picks really isn't that much of a price to pay for a top player at one of the most important positions in all of football. Denver's front office being stubborn on not receiving a third round pick back instead of a fifth round pick hardly makes sense, especially when the team is poised to gain up to four compensatory selections in this years draft that would help recoup some of what they were giving up in the first place.
The Broncos offensive line is starting to gel, but there is hardly any doubt that Denver will be in line to draft an offensive tackle early in next years draft.
As I wrote back in May, Ryan Clady's career in Denver is likely done after this season. Although an outside shot exists for him to restructure his deal and lessen his cap hit in 2016 to remain on the squad. In my opinion, Ty Sambrailo is best suited for right tackle in the NFL and neither Ryan Harris or Tyler Polumbus (set to be free agents) are long-term options for the squad.
The long-term need of a franchise left tackle for the Broncos is paramount and they missed the opportunity to get one of, if not the NFL's best just because they weren't happy with what pick the Browns offered in return.
When the team drafts an offensive tackle in April of 2016 in the first round, most fans will be relatively pleased knowing that potential will exist on having a decade long blindside protector on the roster. But wouldn't the Broncos have been better off trading a few picks for a sure-fire asset in Joe Thomas that a lot of great football ahead of him?
Just my two cents. Feel free to sound of in the comments section on whether or not you agree or disagree with my analysis and as always, thanks for reading. Here is today's Horse Tracks.
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