Report: Tackle Donald Stephenson Has Restructured His Contract With The Denver Broncos

A recent report has offensive tackle Donald Stephenson restructuring his contract in Denver.

The Denver Broncos had a decision to make this coming Monday on offensive tackle Donald Stephenson. Stephenson was due a $4 million guarantee in his contract against injury. 

With how inconsistent and poorly he played in 2016, there were real questions on whether he'd be around by tomorrow. We've been speculating for months on what GM John Elway would do with Stephenson, and for now, we've got our answer. 

According to 9NEWS' Mike Klis, Stephenson has restructured his contract with the Broncos. It guarantees him $2 million now, and another $2 million if he makes the final 53-man roster out of training camp. 

We reported on Friday that with the signing of Menelik Watson, the Broncos — and specifically O-line coach Jeff Davidson — like Stephenson for the left tackle gig. With Watson's arrival, it actually makes sense.

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Stephenson struggled with the power rushers off the right side in 2016. Playing the left tackle spot could be better suited to Stephenson's quickness and athleticism. 

In the AFC West, the best pass rushers come off the right side. Look at Von MillerJustin HoustonKhalil Mack and Joey Bosa. They all predominantly rush off the right tackle. 

The left side is important, too, because it's the quarterback's blind side. Stephenson will likely head into OTAs and training camp as Denver's first-string left tackle. The Broncos also have Ty Sambrailo and Michael Schofield at tackle. 

Schofield's future in Denver is very much in the air. But the Broncos haven't given up hope — yet — on Sambrailo. They want him to push Stephenson for the left tackle spot. 

Stephenson's restructure, and the addition of Watson and guard Ronald Leary, likely means the Broncos will be in the market for another tackle early on Draft Day. If they want a viable tackle in the Draft, it'll have to be early, because this year's class is shallow and top-heavy. 

Beyond the top three or four tackle prospects, the class drops off a cliff. 

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Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.

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