There was some discussion (and disparagement) of Garett Bolles play in 2021. In the recent article about how Mike Munchak might not be retained as the Denver Broncos offensive line coach, it was claimed that Bolles was not even in the “top 20” among tackles by PFF.
|Rank||Team||Starting LT||Off Snaps||PFF overall grade|
While this is a far cry from his overall ranking with PFF in 2020 (when he was top 3), it is still an improvement on his ranking (and overall rating) in 2018 and 2017. Bolles overall PFF rating by year:
- 2021 - 76.6
- 2020 - 90.6
- 2019 - 76.1
- 2018 - 72.8
- 2017 - 72.9
So while Bolles was one the top three left tackles in 2020, he regressed to his mean in 2021. In other words he ostensibly played in 2021 like he did in 2019 - at least according to PFF.
How do his stats compare to other left tackles in terms of blown blocks, sacks allowed and stuffed instances? For this we turn to SIS datahub for the data.
|Rank||Team||Starting LT||Blown Blocks (SIS)||BBR||PB Snaps||Sacks Allowed||Sack %||RB Snaps||Opponent Stuffs||Stuff Rate|
In terms of BBR (blow block rate), Bolles was 9th among starting LTs. By sack percentage (sacks allowed divided by pass block snaps) he was 21st. In terms of stuffed rate he was 15th. So according to SIS, Bolles was ostensibly average in 2021 - not great, but not terrible.
According to NFLPenalties.com, Bolles had another decent season in terms of avoiding holding penalties. He had six total holding penalties in 2021, but three were declined. In 2020 he was only called for holding four times and only one was accepted (two were declined and one was offset). In 2019 and 2018 he was called for holding 13 times. He was called for holding 10 times as a rookie in 2017. So his holding penalties have come down dramatically over the last two seasons. You could attribute that to Munchak’s tutelage.
In terms of average salary per year, Bolles contract gives him 17 million per year which makes him the sixth highest paid left tackle in the NFL for the 2022 season. Here’s a table of the top 20 straight from overthecap.com.
|Rank||Player||Team||Age||Total Value||Avg./Year||Total Guaranteed||Fully Guaranteed||Free Agency|
|1||Trent Williams||49ers||34||$138,060,000||$23,010,000||$45,100,000||$40,050,000||2027 UFA|
|2||David Bakhtiari||Packers||31||$92,000,000||$23,000,000||$30,000,000||$30,000,000||2025 UFA|
|3||Laremy Tunsil||Texans||28||$66,000,000||$22,000,000||$50,000,000||$40,000,000||2024 UFA|
|4||Ronnie Stanley||Ravens||28||$98,750,000||$19,750,000||$70,866,000||$64,116,000||2026 UFA|
|5||Kolton Miller||Raiders||27||$54,015,000||$18,005,000||$42,500,000||$25,000,000||2026 UFA|
|6||Garett Bolles||Broncos||30||$68,000,000||$17,000,000||$40,000,000||$21,000,000||2025 UFA|
|7||Taylor Lewan||Titans||31||$80,000,000||$16,000,000||$50,000,000||$34,000,000||2024 UFA|
|8||Jordan Mailata||Eagles||25||$64,000,000||$16,000,000||$40,850,000||$18,850,000||2026 Void|
|9||Donovan Smith||Buccaneers||29||$31,000,000||$15,500,000||$30,000,000||$28,750,000||2024 Void|
|10||Taylor Decker||Lions||29||$59,650,000||$14,912,500||$37,500,000||$29,000,000||2025 Void|
|11||D.J. Humphries||Cardinals||29||$44,250,000||$14,750,000||$29,000,000||$29,000,000||2023 UFA|
|12||Dion Dawkins||Bills||28||$58,300,000||$14,575,000||$32,500,000||$29,500,441||2025 UFA|
|13||Jake Matthews||Falcons||30||$72,500,000||$14,500,000||$41,350,000||$25,946,000||2024 UFA|
|14||Cam Robinson||Jaguars||27||$13,754,000||$13,754,000||$0||$0||2022 UFA|
|15||Terron Armstead||Saints||31||$65,000,000||$13,000,000||$38,000,000||$20,880,000||2022 Void|
|16||Charles Leno Jr.||Commanders||31||$37,000,000||$12,500,000||$18,000,000||$9,000,000||2025 UFA|
|17||Tyron Smith||Cowboys||32||$97,600,000||$12,200,000||$40,000,000||$22,118,013||2024 Void|
|18||Duane Brown||Seahawks||37||$34,500,000||$11,500,000||$16,000,000||$14,250,000||2022 Void|
|19||Andrew Whitworth||Rams||41||$17,000,000||$8,500,000||$6,500,000||$4,000,000||2023 UFA|
|20||Eric Fisher||Colts||31||$8,380,000||$8,380,000||$6,000,000||$6,000,000||2022 UFA|
There are some veteran left tackles who will be unresticted free agents (UFAs) this offseason, but I would only expect Terron Armstead to get a deal for more than Bolles is set to earn in 2022. It’s possible that Orlando Brown, Jr could also large contract, but I think he looks better than he is because of the QB for whom he was blocking in 2021.
Given what you have seen able Bolles play over the last two seasons and his contract do you think the Broncos front office made the right choice to sign him and at that price?
The Broncos signing of Garett Bolles was...
This poll is closed
Great - he is only going to get better and his salary is not unreasonable for an above average LT. A move to a more ZBS system should be good for the light and quick LT.
Good - Bolles may have peaked in 2020 when holding penalties were down across the league. The team may be tied to an overpaid average left tackle for three more seasons.
Ok - he didn’t earn it, but he still could
Poor - moving to another offense and another blocking scheme is going to set Bolles back by a season because of his learning disability. He will most likely regress in 2022 before he progresses.
Terrible - we should have let he walk in free agency where he could have gotten overpaid by another team and given us comp picks.