Denver Post Broncos writer Ryan O’Halloran posts his Broncos Mailbag weekly during the season.
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What is the status of Chris Harris? Are the Broncos going to give him a new contract or going to trade him? Why does he think he needs so much money after coming off a “average year” and a broken leg?
— Heath Becker, Canistota, S.D.
The latest figurative landmark in the Broncos/Chris Harris Saga was reached Monday when Harris, not surprisingly, was a no-show for the first organized team activity (OTA) workout. The OTAs are voluntary so Harris will not be fined. As for whether the Broncos will extend him or trade him, I choose option “C” — none of the above. The Broncos already know what Harris wants — $15 million per year. I doubt they are prepared to even offer something close to that. The Broncos’ best course is to tell Harris they are fine with him playing out his contract this year. I doubt Harris will even consider missing game checks with a long holdout. Harris feels he deserves a contract in-line with the top cornerbacks in the league. That’s why we’re at this point.
Do you think the Broncos pick up any potential cap casualties?
— Dhaiwat, Highlands Ranch
There aren’t a lot of cap casualties at this time of the year, mostly players who are expendable because their replacements have been drafted. Exhibited by Monday’s eight roster moves (four cut/four signed), the Broncos will be hunting for available bodies throughout the summer — they might as well have a back-of-the-roster churn since it doesn’t cost much money and they might find a keeper. But if a cornerback or an inside linebacker is cut, the Broncos should investigate.
Hey Ryan, which tight ends are going to make the 53-man roster next season? I’d assume Noah Fant and Jeff Heuerman, especially with his new contract. Where does that leave Jake Butt and Troy Fumagalli?
— Tim, Cheyenne, Wyo.
When I was sketching out a 53-man roster last week, I had all four tight ends on the opening-day roster. If the Broncos are expected to run a steady diet of two-tight end personnel, then they need all four. Butt was on his way to being the starter last September when he tore his ACL in practice. The combination of Fant/Butt on the field together is intriguing …and a match-up problem for opponents.
Let’s play head coach for a minute. Garett Bolles has been sub par at best at left tackle since coming into the league. Why not try out Dalton Risner or Ja’Wuan Brown at left tackle? Put Bolles inside and see if he can make it as a guard.
— Dan, Westminster
I was talking about this topic on the practice field (or beside it) during Monday’s OTA. This is the key year for Bolles/Broncos. If he plays well for new OL coach Mike Munchak and eliminates many of the penalties and the tricky sequences in games (when he has consecutive negative plays), maybe the Broncos stick with him. But if they decide Bolles isn’t a fit at left tackle, their move should be shifting James to left tackle and Risner from left guard to right tackle. Risner has experience at right tackle (three years at Kansas State). As for Bolles moving inside, I saw this experiment in Jacksonville in 2016. Left tackle Luke Joeckel was moved to guard and started the first four games before tearing his ACL. He bounced to Seattle for one year and is out of the league.
Ryan, I’m still mad the Broncos didn’t pursue quarterback Josh Rosen. He’s an upgrade over Case Keenum with a yet-to-be-determined ceiling. We could’ve saved the money we used on Joe Flacco to fill another position, say inside linebacker?! Tell me I’m wrong and to trust the process.
— William, Portland, Ore.
You’re not wrong, but the timing circumstances didn’t play into the Broncos’ favor. We’ve all heard and read and listened how Rosen wasn’t an option for the Broncos last year at No. 5. They didn’t like him enough to draft him there. GM John Elway wanted to move quickly this offseason to fix what he saw as a quarterback problem and he had a deal in place for Flacco more than two months before Rosen was flipped to Miami during the draft’s second night.
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