Out of nowhere Saturday evening, the Denver Broncos announced a lucrative contract extension for left tackle Garett Bolles.
The Broncos signed Bolles to a four-year, $68 million deal that, at $17 million annually, makes him the NFL's fourth-highest-paid LT behind only Green Bay's David Bakhtiari ($23M per year), Houston's Laremy Tunsil ($22M) and Baltimore's Ronnie Stanley ($19.75M).
Additional details of the contract, including guaranteed money, are not yet known as of this writing.
Bolles took to Twitter to confirm the news.
The No. 20 overall pick of the 2017 NFL draft, Bolles has started 58 games for the Broncos across four seasons. He was a lightning rod of criticism among the fan base during his first three years, regularly committing holding penalties and personal fouls — when he wasn't being beaten in pass-blocking.
But Bolles has transformed his game in 2020, his second under the tutelage of revered offensive line coach Mike Munchak, and it's led to elite production; he's drawn a 90.0 overall grade from Pro Football Focus through 11 weeks while his holding infractions are now almost nonexistent.
And this — a Pro Bowl-caliber season — after Denver declined his fifth-year option, forcing Bolles to confront the possibility of free agency. Not to mention the forever-label of "bust."
Which he's officially shed.
"I think the key to his turn around is just persistence both on his part and our part," Broncos head coach Vic Fangio said of Bolles on Wednesday. "Both [Offensive Line Coach] Mike [Munchak] and ‘Kupe’ (Assistant Offensive Line Coach Chris Kuper) and myself have had faith in him, we’ve stayed with him and we’ve talked to him regularly. We all have a good relationship with him. He had a great offseason. He stuck to it, he didn’t let the outside noise, which at times was appropriate, stop his determination to keep improving. I think he’s finally being rewarded for that approach. He was a guy that came out with a limited background and I knew it was going to take him time. It’s taken him time and credit to him and Mike and ‘Kupe’ for bringing him along. I’ve always liked Garett. Him and I talk a lot and I’m happy for him.”
With Bolles under contract presumably through 2024, the Broncos can shift their focus to other in-house extension candidates, including safety Justin Simmons, defensive end Shelby Harris, and running back Phillip Lindsay.