Patience is a virtue, and Denver Broncos general manager John Elway has exercised a great deal of it since the start of the NFL’s new league year in early March.
Sure, the Tony Romo saga played out not just through the month but for several before that, which eventually ended in the now former Dallas Cowboys opting for door three — a broadcast career with CBS — over potentially playing for Denver or the Houston Texans.
But 1A in terms of the perhaps the most agonizing offseason story for Broncos fans is who will anchor the left side of the offensive line next season.
“One thing that Elway has done, he’s exercised patience. This free agent process, where we’re all pulling out hair out about the left tackle position, he’s all like, ‘Hey, it ain’t done yet. We don’t start playing until September. Calm down. We’ll figure it out,’” said “Schlereth and Evans” co-host Mark Schlereth on Monday.
Elway even left all options on the table Monday afternoon in his pre-draft press conference at the UCHealth Training Center.
“We looked at all the options. We felt the direction we went was the best option for us at that time. Left tackles are not easy to find, so again we go back,” Elway said.
Among the names Elway mentioned as possible solutions at the position: Ty Sambrailo, Donald Stephenson and Menelik Watson.
One he did not mention, however, is Philadelphia Eagles left tackle Jason Peters, whom has been pegged as a trade option for the Broncos.
And Schlereth said he thinks it would be the best trade option for Denver, over others like Joe Thomas and Joe Staley, should the club go that route.
“Jason Peters makes the most sense to me as a tradable asset because they were worried about his salary cap number to begin with, they were talking about potentially releasing him, and they’ve got a kind of a “theoretical, built-in replacement” who plays right tackle for them,” Schlereth said.
ESPN had reported earlier this year that the Eagles would ask Peters to trim his $9.95 million base salary in 2017, though NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported the left tackle would be back at his full asking price next season.
There was some speculation otherwise, but LT Jason Peters, set to make $9.95M base salary, will be back with #Eagles in ’17. Not a surprise.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 23, 2017
Philadelphia agreed to a five-year extension with right tackle Lane Johnson in January 2016, whom Schlereth said the Eagles would like to move to left tackle at some point.
Both Peters and Johnson ranked among the top 10 tackles in the NFL last season, according to Pro Football Focus, coming in at No. 8 and No. 9 respectively.
So, it’s not hard to find exciting the prospects of the Eagles moving on from Peters to save cap room and create a spot at left tackle for Johnson while the Broncos landing its offensive anchor.
“I would be giddy. Jason Peters is one of my favorite players in all the National Football League,” Schlereth said. “The dude dispenses justice.”
Follow digital content producer Johnny Hart on Twitter: @johnnyhart7.
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