Before they can challenge the Chiefs for AFC West supremacy, the Russell Wilson-led Broncos must first face the Chargers, who fought off Wilson’s acquisition on Tuesday less than 48 hours later by trading for the former Pass-rusher All-Pro Khalil Mack, bookending Pro Bowl defensive end Joey Bosa in the most terrifying way.
As we learned, it won’t matter who is Broncos quarterback — be it Wilson, Teddy Bridgewater or a top John Elway — if the team is struggling to keep him on his feet. And with a combined total of 134.5 sacks between Bosa and Mack, the right tackle situation in Denver is now at DEFCON 1.
Enter La’el Collins, a 71-game career starter the Dallas Cowboys are looking to offload. Which the Broncos could (should) import to solve their biggest non-QB dilemma.
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Certainly, in the interest of objectivity, Collins does not come without risk. The eighth-year veteran hasn’t played a full season since 2018 and missed the entire 2020 campaign with a hip problem that required corrective surgery. He was also suspended for five games last season after violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, following a drug test.
There’s a reason Dallas is determined to split up – it’s would have facing a release if no trade materializes — and that extends beyond Collins’ $15.25 million salary cap.
But there is a risk in every league transaction, every professional player. The Broncos recognize this, having paid a royal ransom for Wilson with the 33-year-old’s value at a career low. Why? Because the advantages of such an agreement far outweigh the disadvantages.
The same goes for Collins, who, despite only making 12 appearances in 2021, was ranked 15th OT in Pro Football Focus among 83 qualifiers. Additionally, the monstrous 6-foot-4, 320-pound lineman recorded the third-highest rush blocking rating (89.7), leading the way for a Cowboys rushing offense that ranked ninth. rank, averaging 124.6 yards per game.
Rather than scour the bargain bin (again) for a leftover like Bobby Massie, it would behoove the Broncos to check the top shelf. Collins’ contract is hardly prohibitively expensive and the Cowboys would likely accept a Day 3 draft pick to recoup capital from a player they intend to cut.
Step 1 of the Broncos’ Super Bowl-or-bust plan was to land Wilson. Step 2 is to appease him by any means possible. Any. Means. Possible. Denver threw the first punch in the divisional arms race, and the Chargers hit back.
Now is the time for another tedder.
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