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Russell Okung one and done with Broncos, signs free agent deal with Chargers

Posted at 4:18 PM, Mar 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-09 18:21:20-05

DENVER -- Russell Okung bet on himself, receiving criticism for negotiating a contract without an agent.

In the end, the left tackle looks like he made the right decision. After earning $8 million in his one-and-done season with the Broncos, Okung agreed to a four-year, $53 million contract with $25 million guaranteed from the Los Angeles Chargers, according to reports.

The Broncos declined Okung's four-year, $48 million option that included $20.5 million in guaranteed money. They wanted him back on a smaller contract, and Okung remained open to the idea. However, the market greeted Okung kindly. He had multiple suitors, including the Panthers, Giants and Chargers. In the end, Okung elected to remain in the AFC West where he will face elite pass rushers Von Miller, Khalil Mack and Justin Houston.

The Broncos continue to search for a left tackle. As it stands, they have no starter. Michael Schofield and Ty Sambrailo have experience at the position, but both have struggled at differing times. Denver must make a decision on right tackle Donald Stephenson's deal. His $4 million salary guarantees on March 13, and cutting him would create $2 million in dead money.  

Denver's priority in free agency is to bolster the offensive line. The Broncos signed guard Ronald Leary. They also hold the 20th pick in the draft that could be used for help. 

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