The Denver Broncos’ offensive line is young, really young.
At an average age of 25 years old, there’s an argument to be made the Broncos need a veteran leader. And, with 16 years in the NFL under his belt, Jason Peters could be that guy at left tackle.
While the Broncos are almost certain to start Garett Bolles at left tackle, Peters’ availability is intriguing, as reported by Mike Garafolo on NFL Network today.
From NFL Now on @nflnetwork: 38-year-old Jason Peters has recently told friends if Tom Brady can play into his 40s, so can he. The #Eagles have remained in contact with him as other teams (@JamesPalmerTV mentioned the #Browns, #Jets and #Broncos) lurk. pic.twitter.com/cxWq9qGmwI
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) May 12, 2020
Peters played for five years with the Buffalo Bills before enjoying an 11-year run with the Philadelphia Eagles, and was named a Pro Bowler nine times as well as a First-Team All-Pro twice. Last year, Peters was a solid tackle, rated at 82.4 overall by Pro Football Focus. He allowed three sacks and was called for 10 penalties, which was a lot of infractions, but a great deal less than Bolles’ 17 flags.
It seems the most likely destination for Peters will be to return to those same Eagles, but Denver’s rumored to be interested.
As for Bolles, the Broncos aren’t picking up his fifth-year option, as he enters his fourth and final season of his rookie deal. It’s a make-or-break year for Bolles’ future with Denver, and as he’s seen throughout the rest of the league. If he enjoys a career year, the Broncos may decide to re-sign him for the long term. Or, if he struggles, Bolles may soon be relegated to a backup role in the NFL.
At left guard will be Denver’s best lineman in second-year man Dalton Risner. At center will be rookie Lloyd Cushenberry, out of LSU. Elijah Wilkinson will move inside to right guard and Broncos fans will get to see Ja’Wuan James in earnest at right tackle. It will be yet another year of turnover along Denver’s line; making the addition of Peters even more intriguing and seemingly possible.
According to Spotrac, the Broncos only have $166K in terms of the salary cap, but they could get $3.8M back if they cut Jeff Heuerman, which seems likely. There’s also a possibility Denver will move a few other salaries around, which would need to happen considering Spotrac considers Peters’ market value at $7.8M per year.
The Broncos have loaded up on both sides of the ball this offseason, pushing themselves into the conversation as contenders. They traded for cornerback A.J. Bouye and then signed another former Pro Bowler in Jurrell Casey on the defensive line. In the draft, Denver went receiver back-to-back in the first and second rounds, landing the best wideout of the draft class in Jerry Jeudy and then following him up with the speed demon K.J. Hamler, among many other should-be impact players.
However, the biggest weakness on the team is that again re-tooled offensive line; Peters would give them an immediate lift if Denver somehow signed him.