Cameron Fleming was signed to a veteran minimum deal for the 2022 season after the Denver Broncos signed Billy Turner to play RT. He actually made more on his 2021 contract from the Broncos, but the difference was small (by NFL standards) - about $120k. The Broncos paid him about a third of what he made on his two year contract from the Cowboys and his one year contract from the Giants.
Fleming was arguably the second best offensive line guy on the Broncos in 2022 (behind Meinerz). For more information on this see:
Most data sources show that Fleming was both good and healthy in 2022. The same can’t be said for much of the Bronco OL last season. He led the team in offensive snaps with 976 and he was easily the best offensive tackle on the team according to any outlet beside PFF.
The real questions will be whether or not he wants to come back to Denver and whether or not the Broncos can afford him. His last two seasons have been the two best of his career and he should be able to parlay that into a nice free agent deal. At the age of 31, this could be his last NFL contract (if he signs more than a one-year deal) and I expect he wants to “cash in” as much as he can. I expect him to look for a deal that pays him 5 or 6 million per year similar to the deal that Morgan Moses got from the Ravens (3 yr/15MM). Both players are comparable in age and career arc. With a good agent he might find a RT-needy team (like the Broncos) willing to give him a similar deal to what La’el Collins got form the Bengals (3 yrs/21MM with only 5 guaranteed).
While I want him to get his money, I don’t think the Broncos have the cap room right now to give you $7MM per year, particularly if he wants a 3 year deal. While Fleming has been durable and healthy for most of his career, he is reaching the age when many offensive linemen start to “break down”. In the NFL in 2022 there were only three offensive tackles over the age of 35 - Jason Peters, Duane Brown and Ty Nsekhe. There were three others who turned 35 last season - Trent Williams, Riley Reiff and Marcus Cannon, with another three who turned 34 - Tom Compton, Kelvin Beachum and Mike Remmers. Both Remmers and Compton are former Broncos, but many don’t (and won’t) remember either.
The fact of the matter is that the Broncos don’t have many tackles currently on the roster. Turner, Fleming and Compton were all signed to one-year deals for 2022 and so they are all free agents now as is Calvin Anderson. That means the only Bronco currently on the roster with any snaps at RT in his career is Quinn Bailey. Outside of Garett Bolles and Bailey the other tackles currently on the roster have zero combined NFL offensive snaps.
So the RT position will need to be addressed either through the draft or free agency. This is a good year for OTs in the draft (Tackle Bros! Where you at?) and our limited cap space means my preference is for the Broncos to try and fill the RT spot for next season with a drafted OT which we should be able to find in the 3rd round. The Broncos could have drafted Braxton Jones in the 5th round last season. He was taken at 168. The Broncos selected Montrell Washington at 162, which still puzzles me.
Return specialists are a luxury that few have. Offensive tackles are a necessity. The Broncos went after the luxury and continued to ignore the necessity. This type of draft decisions lead to consecutive losing seasons.
Jones played 92% of the offensive snaps for the Bears at LT as a rookie and was not terrible. Washington was one of the worst return men in the NFL and had 9 offensive touches in 2022. He was outscored by nose tackle Mike Purcell (who had a safety against the 49ers).
How should the Broncos address the hole at RT?
This poll is closed
Resign Fleming - regardless of price
Resign Fleming but only if it’s a team-friendly deal
sign a different FART
draft an OT in the 3rd
draft an OT (or three) on day three
sacrifice a chicken and pray that Bailey, DiLauro or Thedford is the answer