The Denver Broncos dealt their most experienced left tackle, Chris Clark to the Houston Texans for a 2016 seventh round pick. Passed over for the rookie Ty Sambrailo on the starting unit, Clark had run mostly with the second-team offense this preseason. Head coach Gary Kubiak talked about the trade today.
“Really with Chris [Clark] it's just a matter really of starting to make decisions as we get down to our final roster," Kubiak said. "Also, it's an opportunity for him, a good opportunity for him as a player. It had nothing to do with the game—absolutely nothing. He's done his job."
Kubiak went on to say what motivated the Broncos to pull the trigger on the trade and it had a lot to do with second-year tackle Michael Schofield.
“Obviously, [T] Chris [Clark]—we made a decision there," Kubiak said. "We think [T] Michael's [Schofield] done a good job, so we moved on from there and are giving Michael every chance to be our swing guy. He's done a good job. That's important."
It's a risky move if Sambrailo doesn't work out at left tackle. Clark started 14 games for the record-setting 2013 Broncos, earning very positive grades for his work via Pro Football Focus. If the Broncos had to make a change, they'd be faced with either moving Ryan Harris over to the left side from right tackle, or promoting the untested Schofield.
If Sambrailo fails, the Broncos are going to be in a tight spot. Schofield has made progress this year, but based on what we've seen from him in the preseason, he's far from starter material. Don't be surprised if the Broncos make another move or two to bolster the tackle depth, because Peyton Manning's health and subsequently, the Broncos 2015 fotunes, rest on the shoulders of the offensive line.
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