Broncos Have 'Parameters of a Deal' in Place with Free-Agent OT Demar Dotson, per Report
Less than a week ago, Ja'Wuan James notified the Denver Broncos of his decision to opt-out of the 2020 season, leaving the club scrambling to stop the gap at right tackle. Shortly after the James news broke, the Broncos activated Elijah Wilkinson off the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list and he has since been holding down the right tackle slot during walk-throughs.
On Saturday, the next domino in this ordeal dropped when news broke that ex-Tampa Bay right tackle Demar Dotson would be visiting the Broncos with an eye toward striking a deal. On Sunday, KUSA's Mike Klis reported that the Broncos have the framework of a deal with Dotson in place and that an accord is imminent.
"Parameters of deal in place but still not done. Expectation is Dotson will be a Bronco by early in week pending virus testing/physical," Klis tweeted on Sunday afternoon.
As Klis intimated, Dotson still has to pass a physical and he must pass through Denver's two-stage coronavirus testing protocol, which also requires self-quarantine between tests. The club uses Klis as its public mouthpiece so if Klis is reporting that a deal is expected to be done early this coming week, it's true.
Unforeseen complications could arise, whether it be at the negotiating table, or through something found during a physical. But it's unlikely. All signs point to Dotson becoming a Bronco by this time next week.
However, before fans go writing Dotson's name in sharpie at the starting right tackle slot, the word out of Dove Valley is that he'll "push" Wilkinson for the privilege. After what Wilkinson produced last year in 12 starts, which included relinquishing 10 sacks and getting flagged for six penalties (two false-starts, four holding fouls), it's not obvious that he deserves the incumbent benefit of the doubt.
Dotson, 34, started 15 games at right tackle last year for the Buccaneers, ranking No. 31 among qualifying tackles with a 71.0 grade via Pro Football Focus. PFF gave Dotson a 72.4 grade as a pass-blocker and a 67.3 grade as a run-blocker.
For comparison's sake, Wilkinson earned a 59.6 cumulative grade last year, ranking him No. 59 among tackles. For what it's worth, although Dotson graded out better last year in Tampa, he was penalized a whopping 10 times (five false-start, five holding), which is likely why he's languished on the free-agent market for six months.
For now, the soon-to-be addition of Dotson is all about depth. The Broncos need bodies and viable options at offensive tackle with James going on sabbatical.
Dotson entered the NFL as a college free agent in 2009. An eight-year starter with the Bucs, he would immediately step onto the Broncos roster as the team's most experienced tackle, including James.