Other than the pick-swap 49ers trade involving Randy Gregory executed weeks ago, the Broncos did not opt to make any moves at the trade deadline. Sean Payton‘s team stood down, and it will see how its batch of trade chips performs down the stretch.
Deals will undoubtedly be revisited in 2024, with trade-rumor mainstays Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton more likely than not to be back in those discussions. Justin Simmons, who joins Jeudy and Sutton in being under contract beyond 2023, also generated trade interest leading up to this year’s deadline. Like Simmons, Garett Bolles was mentioned as a potential chip. But the longtime Denver left tackle did not emerge as a regular in pre-deadline rumors.
Bolles has been the Broncos’ left tackle starter since they selected him in the 2017 first round. Simmons is in place as the team’s longest-tenured starter; Bolles holds that distinction on offense, arriving a year after the Pro Bowl safety. The Utah product also has a second-team All-Pro nod on his resume, from 2020, when he signed his Broncos extension. That deal runs through 2024, but Denver7’s Troy Renck notes Bolles is interested in another extension that would keep him in Denver beyond 2024.
Coming into the NFL in his age-25 season, Bolles is 31 despite being in his seventh season. The Broncos drafted him during Vance Joseph‘s first year as HC. The team has used nine play-callers since choosing Bolles 17th overall six years ago, but he has been a constant on offense during this unremarkable period for the franchise. Despite struggling with penalties during his early years, Bolles played well during his 2020 contract campaign and secured a four-year, $68MM extension in November 2020.
While current GM George Paton signed off on Simmons’ through-2024 extension (four years, $61MM), John Elway remained in place as GM when the Bolles deal came to pass. Bolles also suffered a broken leg in Week 5 of the 2022 season, accelerating the Broncos’ descent to last place in points last year. The team has deployed a healthier squad in 2023, and Bolles has started all eight games. Pro Football Focus rates him 23rd among tackles, slotting his pass-protection grade in the top 10 at the position.
Denver has Mike McGlinchey and Ben Powers signed to upper-crust deals at their respective positions. Even with Bolles on his $17MM-per-year accord, the Broncos join the Texans as the only team with both their tackles in the top 10 (AAV-wise) this season. The…