Good evening, Broncos Country.
On Mile High Sports' Afternoon Drive segment, Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro posed the question whether or not recent acquisition Russell Okung got a fair deal by representing himself when he signed with the Denver Broncos.
Goodman and Shapiro delved into the specifics of his contract, highlighting the fact that it is very team-friendly deal and one that is structured for the benefit of the Broncos.
Simply, if Okung stays healthy up until the the start of the season and is on the roster for one game, he earns himself $5 million dollars, regardless if he performs well or not. Added incentives can be earned through the course of the year, and if he ends up having a Pro-Bowl season — Shapiro argues Denver will pick up their team option on Okung in 2017 which would result a significant raise from year one and earn him upwards of $11 million dollars.
Goodman floats the idea that he wouldn't be surprised if Okung was asked by Elway to restructure his deal even if he performs well in 2016, but I disagree with the idea of that happening.
As it stands right now, the team has near $70M dollars in cap space for the 2017 season and that's with Ryan Clady and his hefty salary on the roster, which will undoubtedly be rid of in the near future. With Clady off the books, Denver would have more than $80M in cap space, with Okung's 2017 salary already figured in and only a handful of key free agents (Von Miller, Brandon Marshall, Emmanuel Sanders) to worry about resigning.
If Okung has a great first season with the Broncos, there would be no reason to approach him with a restructure, considering $11M per year is a relatively fair deal for a quality left tackle. InfacAlas, even with the favorable deal in place, Shapiro doesn't believe that Okung ever ends up seeing all five years of his contract.
The segment ended with Goodman posing the question, "Did Elway get one over on Okung?" Shapiro believes no, and states that the Broncos were an attractive destination for Okung since they just won the Super Bowl and noted that many players want to be apart of something special like that.
For a bonus listen, Goodman and Shapiro get into a discussion on the significance of John Elway and Peyton Manning to their respective cities and franchises they became synonymous with.
What do think Broncos country? Is Manning as important to Indianapolis as Elway is to Denver?