The Denver Broncos have parted ways with tackle-turned-guard Menelik Watson. The former 2nd round pick of the Oakland Raiders joined the Broncos prior to the 2017 season on a rather generous contract relative to his prior performance. After Watson failed to live up to his pay check, John Elway is cutting bait.
Broncos are parting ways with OL Menelik Watson even though he has $5.5 million salary guarante. Placing him on IR with release when he’s healthy. Credit John Elway for admitting mistake, cutting losses and putting roster quality above payroll budget. #9sports— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) August 20, 2018
Broncos fans have been calling for this move ever since Watson turned in a terrible showing at right tackle last season, grading out as one of the worst tackles in the NFL. Now the day has finally come.
This also means that the only training camp competition for the Broncos starting O-line spots is effectively over. There had been some question whether Watson might unseat Connor McGovern from the right guard spot, but now the Broncos 2016 5th round pick has secured his starting role.
Watson’s dead money is a bit of anchor on the Broncos’ salary cap, but as guaranteed money it was a sunk cost anyway. Despite the expensive mistake of signing him in the first place, I’m glad to see the team move on and perhaps give someone new the opportunity to develop behind Leary and McGovern.
Watson’s dead money figure of $6,833,333 will push the Broncos’ total dead money up to $9,318,214. That’s the 15th highest figure in the league as things stand today.