Broncos Have 'Parameters of a Deal' in Place with Free-Agent OT Demar Dotson, per Report

Chad Jensen

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. 

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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. 

Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen and @MileHighHudde.

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Comments (8)
No. 1-7
Brew77
Brew77

Well that didn’t take long let’s all hope he passes his physical and COVID test and helps solidify the right side of that line. I actually have more faith in Dotson than I do in Wilkinson no matter what the Broncos are trying to sell us on him.

BobMorris
BobMorris

Sounds like it's close to a done deal for Dotson. Let's hope everything works out.

Gbronc
Gbronc

At this point I'll almost take any healthy right tackle over Wilkinson! Just me and my opinion! #GOBRONCOS#LVNV

orangeNbluethroughx2
orangeNbluethroughx2

It's not ideal, but Wilkenson's main value is his versatility, and being that 6th lineman, first guy off the bench. He is still learning and will be around longer than Dotson, but for now I see Dotson starting. Wilkenson will still play somehow.

BleedOrange
BleedOrange

Awesome! Some much needed depth and consistency open up with this move. Not every position can be top tier and RT certainly won't be. At least we won't disrupt chemistry on the left side by moving Risner and won't hamper the development of chemistry with a new center. This is a great move that enables consistency on an otherwise, young capable OL.

Jimrichard
Jimrichard

Yes I will take the additional big guy for the O-line. I think he is listed at 6'-9" and 315 lbs. That is actually lean for someone that tall. Should be easy to spot when he comes in. Kind of old to still be coached up but it is possible.

1 Reply

JOEinDenver
JOEinDenver

He’s not too old to be coached... the guy didn’t play High school football and played defensive line his senior year of college. He is still learning the position. 6’9” 320 lbs.

Mr. Pioneer
Mr. Pioneer

He has a lot of starting experience and perhaps Munchak will help him lower his penalty production. An upgrade. All he needs is a nickname!


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