OT Okung visiting the Broncos

October 22, 2015; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Seattle Seahawks tackle Russell Okung (76) blocks San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks (55) during the first quarter at Levi
October 22, 2015; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Seattle Seahawks tackle Russell Okung (76) blocks San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks (55) during the first quarter at Levi /
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The first week of Free Agency in the NFL is always chaotic. It seems like every year, teams get more and more aggressive to land players well before the actual market place opens. In a league that has  an ever-growing fan interest and Salary Cap, fans expect their teams to make splashy moves every off-season.

That’s not always going to be the case. In fact, the teams that have more success in the long term actually benefit from being patient and adding Free Agents in the “second and third wave” of the Free Agency period.  Letting the market settle to find the right guys for your team is more important than overpaying for talent that you usually wouldn’t overpay for.  For example, the Broncos signed Safety Darian Stewart to a 2 year deal days after Free Agency opened last year.

At that time, Stewart was considered to be an ok player, but not the “flashy” move the fans wanted. Turns out, Stewart was a fantastic player in 2015 and was one of the best value signings of that entire off-season. The question is, can the Broncos do that again this year? One guy that could be in contention for that distinction is former Seahawks OT, Russell Okung.

The soon to be seventh year OT was a 1st round pick by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2010 NFL Draft.  He went on to start 72 games in six years with the Seahawks, earning a Pro Bowl invite and a Super Bowl ring in the process. So why is he still on the market? Injuries… Up to this point in his NFL career, he has missed at least one game per season due to injury.  The injuries varied in their severity, but when he’s healthy, he’s arguably one of the best Tackles in the game.

The interest from the Broncos is obvious. They are in the midst of a complete overhaul on their Offensive Line and with on-going contract talks with Ryan Clady, they wanted to take a look at some other options. This could certainly be a power move on the part of the Broncos to make Clady take less on a contract restructure, but I think they also have genuine interest in Okung given their current circumstances surrounding the position.

We’ll see how it plays out soon, but make no mistake, it’s successful moves like these that keep the great teams on track and ahead of the bad teams that overspend in this Free Agency period.