Denver Broncos free agency day one recap and reactions
Though Kareem Jackson was the first splash the Broncos made in the negotiating period, Ja’Wuan James was the biggest splash they made.
James signed a four-year, $51 million contract with Denver, making him the highest paid right tackle in the NFL by about $1.5 million per year over Lane Johnson.
That’s a hefty price, but as I wrote in my free agent signings prediction piece, you typically get what you pay for at tackle in the NFL.
James was in the top 20 among tackles in the NFL in terms of pressures allowed this past season (26 total) and has been steadily improving over the course of his four seasons in the NFL.
The Broncos attempted to trade for James last year, so this is a player John Elway has had on his radar for a while. That pursuit was ramped up significantly now with the addition of Mike Munchak as the team’s offensive line coach.
James gives the Broncos a pair of young bookend tackles with him and Garett Bolles who should flourish under the direction of Munchak, one of the best developers of offensive line talent the NFL has seen.
The Broncos aren’t getting a guy like Joe Thomas in his prime here or anything, but James is a very good player at a position of desperate need. That need is effectively filled.
Now, the Broncos’ offensive line from left to right — without Paradis involved — could look like this:
LT: Garett Bolles
LG: Ron Leary
C: Connor McGovern
RG: Sam Jones (??)
RT: Ja’Wuan James
That’s not a bad start, and this is a good draft class for offensive linemen.