Denver Broncos need to go all-in on tackle La’El Collins

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 06: La'el Collins #71 of the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on October 06, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 06: La'el Collins #71 of the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on October 06, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The Denver Broncos made the bold move to go and get Russell Wilson, now they have to give him the offensive line he never had in Seattle.

The Denver Broncos acquired quarterback Russell Wilson in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks. They have crossed off the biggest and most important to-do item on the 2022 offseason list, but there is still work to be done.

Of note, the Denver Broncos lack clarity at the right tackle position as of right now. While there is a chance they could go into training camp with Calvin Anderson and newly signed lineman Tom Compton competing for the starting right tackle job, is that really the move with Wilson as your QB1?

I’m not so sure.

Denver Broncos need to full-court press La’El Collins

With all due respect to Calvin Anderson, who has shown some nice signs of development, as well as Tom Compton, how could you justify trading for Russell Wilson and then not upgrading your offensive line, addressing the one true weakness or hole on that unit?

Now that he’s a free agent, there’s no good reason the Denver Broncos and general manager George Paton should be letting La’El Collins just go to another team without trying to sign him.

Anderson signed a one-year deal with the Broncos for $1.5 million, and that could go up to as high as $2.5 million if he hits some escalators almost undoubtedly related to playing time.

As of the time of this writing, the contract details for Tom Compton have not been revealed but it’s more likely than not that he signed for close to the league minimum. In his introductory time with the media, Compton also noted that he’s not sure at this point whether he will be playing tackle or interior line for the Broncos.

I will reiterate — there is no good reason for the Denver Broncos to let a player the caliber of La’El Collins just sign with another team.

Collis was released by the Cowboys after rumors he could be available in a trade. Ultimately, the Cowboys decided to let him go and make him a post-June 1 designation for bigger cap relief this year.

Signing Collins in free agency and not giving up a single draft asset to do it? Sign me up.

Adding Collins would eliminate arguably the only real weakness on the Denver Broncos’ offense right now, at least on paper.

The tight end position may need another player or two in the mix, but for the most part, if you add Collins, you could put together a lineup on paper that would be enviable league-wide.

Collins will only be 29 this year, so he should still have plenty of good football ahead.

Collins is also represented by Denver-based agent Peter Schaffer, who represents recent free agent acquisition Randy Gregory. Gregory also just so happens to be a former teammate of Collins in Dallas and might be able to help the Broncos recruit him if they’re looking for an edge over other teams.

And make no mistake, there will be other teams.

Collins was just about immediately connected to the Cincinnati Bengals, who have taken on an offensive line makeover this offseason that remains incomplete.

We’re not privy to the Denver Broncos’ financial books, so it’s tough to say there would be no justification for not pursuing Collins, but it would be very odd considering the Broncos have already passed on other options that would have been perhaps bargains financially by comparison. That list includes free agent offensive tackle Morgan Moses, a durable player who is playing well into his early 30s who signed for just $15 million over three years with the Baltimore Ravens.

The Broncos have other needs they must address besides just right tackle including cornerback and safety, but it would be a little surprising if they had no interest in adding La’El Collins, who would fortify their offensive line and protect their top investment of the 2022 offseason, Russell Wilson.