Brian Flores: ‘It’s about getting 11 guys on the same page’
News broke overnight that the Broncos will sign Ja’Wuan James to the richest contract ever for a right tackle once deals can become official at 4 p.m. Wednesday.
James, according to his agent, will get $51 million over four years, including $32 million guaranteed.
The Dolphins wanted to keep James, but clearly not at that price. Some within the organization last season believed he was a decent player but not elite. The Broncos are paying him like the latter.
So now, the Dolphins’ offensive line is a major concern. The only guaranteed 2019 starter currently on their roster is left tackle Laremy Tunsil.
The team is reluctant to spend top dollar on first-wave free agents — including, as evidenced by the James news, their own — but expect them to be players in waves 2 and 3.
Here’s a look at some of the remaining right tackles in free agency. The draft, of course, is an option as well. Also, don’t discount general manager Chris Grier exploring the trade market to address the position:
▪ Daryl Williams, Panthers: Listed as the best available remaining tackle by Rotoworld, Williams is expected to draw interest from the Giants and Bills, among others. He’s an excellent player and just 26 years old. So why wasn’t Williams the top right tackle on this market? He appeared in just one game last season due to a torn MCL and dislocated kneecap.
▪ Kendall Lamm, Texans: Should be a man in demand after a breakout season in 2018. Lamm, undrafted out of Appalachian State in 2015, started more games last year (13) than his previous three seasons combined (11). Texans coach Bill O’Brien last fall called Lamm. the former practice-squad player, “one of the most improved guys that we’ve had since we’ve been here,”
▪ Jermey Parnell, Jaguars: If the Dolphins decide on a one-year stop-gap at the position, Parnell makes sense. Cut by the Jaguars last week, Parnell would provide the Dolphins a serviceable — if not sustainable — option. Pro Football Focus ranked the 32-year-old 51st out of 80 qualifying tackles last year.
▪ Mike Remmers, Vikings: Almost two years to the day after signing Remmers to a five-year, $30 million contract, Minnesota released him. Remmers struggled after moving to guard in 2018, a position that he had never played. Plus, he dealt with a pesky high-ankle sprain early in the year. A healthy offseason and a return to right tackle should help.
▪ Other options: Jared Veldheer, Broncos; Ty Nsekhe, Redskins; Joe Barksdale, Cardinals; Jordan Mills, Bills.