It looks like the Detroit Lions are out of the Russell Okung hunt. Everyone else is too for that matter; reports surfaced on Thursday that the former Seahawks left tackle will join the Denver Broncos. The Okung free agency saga was going on a full week of waiting for the Lions and other interested teams, and the number of interested parties grew as time wore on and Okung took more visits. It seems he's made up his mind and he'll be joining the current holders of the Lombardi Trophy.
Per Josina Anderson of ESPN:
Sources tell me that OT Russell Okung is close to finalizing a 5-year deal with the Denver #Broncos worth $10.6M per year.— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 17, 2016
The report was confirmed by other league insiders: Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that he had spoken directly to Okung and confirmed he will be joining the Broncos.
Although the final numbers are not yet confirmed, Okung looks like he'll be making north of $10 million per year. That will greatly depend on the structure of the contract and how much gets backloaded, but at that price Lions fans are perhaps breathing easy that Detroit did not agree to terms at that cost. It remains to be seen if Detroit's interest in another offensive tackle turns elsewhere on the market or if they adjust their draft strategy accordingly.
The signing could mean the end of Ryan Clady in Denver; he represents a cap hit similar to the number that Okung was just signed to. It's doubtful that Denver has the space to retain the services of both Okung and Clady.
Updated 3/17/16 5:11 p.m. ET: It would appear some of the details of the Okung deal are out. Right now it exists only as a one-year deal worth $5 million, but there is a team option that Denver could invoke an additional four years for $12 million each year. If Denver uses the team option the final contract averages out to about that earlier reported $10.6 million per year number.
Detroit reportedly offered a one-year deal to Okung.