ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — With their second move of free agency the Denver Broncos stayed on the offensive line. According to Adam Schefter the Broncos officially agreed to terms with offensive tackle Menelik Watson on Friday afternoon. It is reportedly a 3-year deal worth $18.3 million.
A second-round draft pick in 2013, Watson spent his first four years in the league with the Oakland Raiders. Although talented, Watson has struggled to stay on the field due to various injuries—starting only 17 of a possible 64 regular season games.
At 28-years old, Watson still has time to revive his career and if he can stay healthy he will get that chance at one of Denver’s tackle positions. After losing Russell Okung in free agency, the Broncos were desperate for at least one offensive tackle in free agency. With starting right tackle Donald Stephenson still on the roster, it is uncertain whether Watson will continue to play his position on the right side or if he will switch to left tackle.
In his rookie season he had three starts followed up with nine in his sophomore campaign. However, before the 2015 season started he tore his Achilles tendon, forcing him to miss the entire season. As a member of one of the best offensive lines last season, Watson played in 10 games, starting five.
Although his talent continued to give him chances, it has been difficult for him to maintain a high level of play. According to Pro Football Focus, Watson graded out at the No. 56 offense tackle in his limited playing time in 2016.
At 6-foot-5, 315 pounds, the Broncos are hoping that he can stay healthy and help rejuvenate one of the worst offensive lines in football last year. In Denver’s two moves in free agency so far they have plucked offensive lineman from two of the league’s best offensive lines from last season after signing Ronald Leary on Thursday.