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The Broncos should sign Jason Peters

But they probably won’t.

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Philadelphia Eagles v Miami Dolphins
If Denver is serious about a playoff berth, Peters makes all the sense in the world.
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Ever since John Elway and the Broncos passed on adding a left tackle prospect through the NFL Draft, I’ve been asked about Jason Peters. On Tuesday NFL Network’s James Palmer mentioned that the Broncos have shown interest in the 38-year-old.

It’s no secret that the left tackle position looks like Denver’s biggest weakness on offense and perhaps the entire team, and with talent remaining on the market and cash to burn, why not?

Bolles and Wilkinson aren’t good.

I spent the last two weeks studying who Elway has said are the candidates for left tackle. While his defenders continue to stick to the PFF grade, the truth is Garett Bolles continues to struggle mightily in his vertical passing sets. Drew Lock, bad defenses, and an emphasis on the quick passing game helped to hide him down the final stretch of 2019, but the issues look like ones that will crop up again in 2020.

Elijah Wilkinson is better served as a utility lineman who could feasibly start at guard. His issues at right tackle last year aren’t going to disappear because he switched to the blind side. While better hand usage could help to mitigate some of his problems in space, his lack of foot speed and athleticism aren’t the kind of deficiencies that go away. It’s who he is.

The Broncos have cap space and competition to appeal to Peters

According to Over the Cap, Denver currently has a little over $17 million in cap room. That’s a number that could go up if and when Justin Simmons agrees to a long term extension, Jeff Heuerman is moved, and a surprise cut or two happens after training camp.

If Jason Peters is looking for a clear shot at a starting job, the Broncos make the most sense of any of the teams rumored to be interested. The Cleveland Browns drafted Jedrick Wills in the top 10 of the last draft and signed Jack Conklin this offseason. The Philadelphia Eagles have last year’s first-round pick Andre Dillard as well as Lane Johnson on the right side. The Jets just drafted Mekhi Becton, and while their tackle situation is even more dire than Denver’s, they also have less cap space.

With the Broncos, Peters would step in day one as a clear starter. Elway and the coaching staff thought so little of Garett Bolles they did not pick up his fifth-year option, after all. Unless another team emerges or Peters wants to take more money to be a backup, Denver a ton of sense.

Why it won’t happen

Shortly after the NFL Network report emerged on Tuesday, KOA’s Benjamin Allbright poured cold water on the hope of many in Broncos’ Country.

Barring significant decline over this strange offseason Peters is a significantly better player than Kelvin Beachum, but it makes sense that Elway would scoff at the idea. For what Peterson could be asking for, it’s worth remembering that he’s missed 12 regular season games due to injury over the last three seasons and is reaching an age at which few can maintain a high level of play.

While I believe Peters is a good enough player to justify that level of risk, Elway may think differently. In years past he shown a preference for keeping $9 to $10 million in free cap space to make moves once injuries strike. Bringing in a former Munchak protege in Beachum could be a way to save money and also creates a situation where Bolles could still yet emerge to justify Elway’s decision to draft him over Ryan Ramczyk in 2017.

Or maybe the coaching staff knows a dark horse could emerge?

Your Broncos’ Links

Ranking the Denver Broncos moves this offseason - Mile High Report

What was the best? What was the worst?

Here are the best undrafted NFL players in the seven round draft era - Mile High Report

The Denver Broncos have four players of the top thirty on this list.

Denver Broncos: Can you win with Garett Bolles? - Mile High Report

Will Denver Broncos left tackle Garett Bolles improve in year four?

Broncos Film: Can Elijah Wilkinson beat Garett Bolles for starting job? - Mile High Report

Is it a real competition or just lip service? Let’s find out if Elijah Wilkinson has the tools to overtake Garett Bolles to start at left tackle.

Netane Muti’s head coach said Denver is getting a ‘very very good player’ - Mile High Report

The Fresno State head coach joined Broncos Country Tonight to talk about the new Broncos guard.

Shelby Harris rips Raiders, thinks Las Vegas will be tourist show. - Mile High Report

Shelby Harris doesn’t like the Raiders. He also thinks Las Vegas won’t be a huge draw for their home team fans.

How NFL defenses can “steal” early downs | NFL News, Rankings and Statistics | PFF

Most teams can stop the run no matter how many safeties they drop. Even though teams want to load the box on early downs to stop the run, they might not necessarily need to. Teams can still stop the run with two high safeties — the question is whether they are stopping the pass better as well.

NFL Links

Baseball’s current labor struggle is a glimpse into what the NFL could face - ProFootballTalk

Major League Baseball would like to launch a 2020 season in July, with 82 games and an expanded postseason and above all else the return of sport. The MLB Players Association, however, seems to be prepared to balk at the concept of revenue sharing — given that revenues will be dramatically limited by games played without fans present.

NFL doesn’t rule out moving California teams out of state for 2020 - ProFootballTalk

We are preparing to play the 2020 NFL season as scheduled and with increased protocols and safety measures for all players, personnel and attendees,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told Gilbert Manzano of the Southern California News Group in response to a request for comment on the possibility of staging games involving the L.A. teams in other locations. “This includes games at SoFi Stadium. We will be prepared to make adjustments as necessary, as we have during this offseason, demonstrating that we can safely and efficiently conduct key activities, such as free agency, the virtual offseason program, and the 2020 NFL Draft.”

Fletcher Cox has advice for players without home gyms - ProFootballTalk

“I tell the guys to drive their car to a flat parking spot and push,” Cox said, via Martin Frank of the Delaware News Journal. “I feel that’s a way, push a car. You gotta push somebody [in a real game] for 30-40 seconds [at a time]. That’s a good way to simulate it.”

Brandon Beane denies Bills had interest in bringing back Sammy Watkins - ProFootballTalk

Watkins told Tyler Dunne of that the Bills, who drafted Watkins in 2014 and traded him to the Rams in 2017, were interested in Watkins this year before he signed a new contract with the Chiefs. But Beane told Sal Capaccio of WGR 550 that it never happened. “That’s 100 percent false,” Beane said. “We never spoke to Sammy Watkins or any of his representation about trading for him. Secondly, we never discussed him with anyone in our building that matters. End of discussion.”