The Denver Broncos received some brutal news on Tuesday afternoon. Projected starting right tackle Ja'Wuan James went down with a torn Achilles in a workout today. He will miss the entire 2021 campaign.
The news is particularly devastating for James. Because it occurred at an off-site facility, James might not see any of the $10 million he was set to earn in 2021. Hopefully, the two sides can come to some sort of agreement.
But the Broncos have other issues to address as well, as there's now a gaping hole at right tackle. With that in mind, here are three tackles Denver should sign to replace James this offseason.
Ja'Wuan James Achilles Injury
3. Mitchell Schwartz, Kansas City Chiefs
Mitchell Schwartz would be a big risk. He'd almost certainly still be a member of the Kansas City Chiefs right now were it not for the debilitating back injury he suffered midway through 2020. But Schwartz had made 128 consecutive starts from 2012-19 before that back issue flared up. So it's not like he's injury prone. And if he's back to full strength, he'd be a fantastic target. Arguably the best RT in the NFL when healthy, Schwartz received back-to-back 84.0-plus grades from ProFootballFocus from 2018-19.
2. Rick Wagner, Green Bay Packers
Guys like Schwartz, Eric Fisher and Russell Okung probably offer more upside than Rick Wagner. But all three represent significant injury risk, while Wagner feels like more of a high-floor, safe option. That might be exactly what this team needs, as James has only played three games for the Broncos since signing with the team in 2019. Wagner's reliable and dependable, receiving a 77.0 grade from PFF in 2020 while only allowing 1 sack.
1. Charles Leno Jr., Chicago Bears
Charles Leno was surprisingly released by the Chicago Bears earlier this week. But Chicago's loss could be Denver's gain. Leno received a 74.6 overall grade from PFF in 2020 and is a very steady option. He has also started all 16 games in every season since 2016. His durability would be a very nice change of pace for Denver after James' oft-injured stint with the team. Leno is a left tackle by trade, but he'd be a fantastic pickup provided he's willing to move to RT.
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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.