For the first time in half a decade, Broncos Country won’t have to endure another lackluster quarterback competition in the scorching heat of summer training camp. Super Bowl-winning QB Russell Wilson is in clear command of the new-look offense under head coach Nathaniel Hackett and offensive coordinator Justin Outten.
While Broncos Country can’t wait to get a glimpse of No. 3 for themselves during public practices this summer, the right tackle position remains unanswered — at least for the long term.
The Broncos currently have one tackle returning from last season in Calvin Anderson in addition to the reunion of Billy Turner in Denver and free-agent addition Tom Compton. As the Broncos continue OTAs, the question as to which player will get the starting nod is being pondered across Broncos Country. One insider earmarked Turner as the most likely guy to start at right tackle on Day 1.
“I’d give Turner the edge because he was a 43-game starter the previous three years under Nathaniel Hackett at Green Bay,” 9NEWS' Mike Klis recently wrote in reply to a mailbag question.
As GM George Paton executed his offseason revamp, Turner was inked to a one-year, $2.5 million deal that included a $600,000 signing bonus. Turner was originally drafted in the third round in 2014 by the Miami Dolphins where he played 20 games in two seasons.
The 6-foot-5, 310-pound tackle was released by Miami in 2016 and found his way to Denver that same season. During his three years with the Broncos, Turner played in 20 games, including 11 starts, before he departed for a four-year, $28M contract with the Green Bay Packers as an unrestricted free agent in 2019.
The Minnesota native is heading into his ninth NFL season during his second stint with the Broncos. Klis also explained that fans will likely see more than one starter in the 2022 season and although Turner and Compton have not been practicing in recent OTAs, both players will be expected to compete in training camp.
Anderson, who's heading into his third season in Denver, was undrafted coming out of Texas in 2019. After spending short stints with the New England Patriots and New York Jets, the Broncos signed the 6-foot-5, 300-pound lineman in 2019.
Anderson has played in 27 career games, including 11 from last year, with three starts. He’s largely been responsible for swing tackle roles and has seen time on both the left and right side of the offensive line. Denver re-signed him this past spring to a one-year deal worth $2.5M.
In an effort to double down and cover all of his bases in free agency, Paton also signed the veteran tackle Compton to a one-year, $2.25M contract back in March. At age 33, Compton arrives in Denver after playing for the San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears, Atlanta Falcons, Washington Commanders, and Jets.
Originally drafted in the sixth round in 2012 by Washington out of South Dakota, Compton stands at 6-foot-6and weighs 315 pounds. He's made a career in the NFL by being a consistent and experienced player that his teammates and coaches can lean on.
All three tackles are playing on a one-year ‘prove it’ deal, which makes them similar in the grand scheme of compensation and competition.
“Financially, there is no leader in the clubhouse,” Klis revealed. “The one Hackett, offensive coordinator Justin Outten and offensive line coach Butch Barry feel is the best fit will start the season opener."
Follow Luke on Twitter @LukePattersonLP.
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