After a decent comeback season with the Oakland Raiders, Menelik Watson is currently closer to signing a new deal with his current team. However, if he does hit the open market, the Denver Broncos seem like the ones who’ll be doing their best to provide a new home for him, without having to leave the division.
Watson completed his four years with the team in which he missed all of 2015 due to a torn achilles tendon. Last season he appeared in 10 games at right tackle, and also in the playoff lost for the Raiders against the Houston Texans, the team’s first postseason game since 2002. Overall, Watson has appeared in only 27 games (17 starts) for the Raiders since joining them in 2013 through the draft. He was a 2nd round pick (42nd overall) out of Florida State.
Watson made $4.7 million over his four years with the Raiders, who are working hard to retain him. Their offensive line played a very big part in their best season in over a decade, and while Watson started just 5 games, he provides an excellent option to move around, capable of playing as a left tackle as well if necessary.
In other offensive line news, Russell Okung seems to be linked with the Minnesota Vikings, and not for the first time.
The 29-year old Okung tried showing the world that negotiating a contract without an agent could work out, but he ended up playing just one season for the Denver Broncos (starting in all 16 games). From the 5-year, $53 million deal he signed in 2016, he had to leave $48 million on the table, as the Broncos declined all of his options at the end of the season, not interested in picking him with so much guaranteed money possibly going his way.
Okung now is hoping that staying healthy all of last season will give him the option of signing a more player-friendly contract with Minnesota or anyone else. The Vikings make the most logical option, considering how poor their offensive line play was last season, probably the main reason why they ended up missing the playoffs after a strong start.