The Denver Broncos declined left tackle Garett Bolles' fifth-year option entering 2020, but they needed just 11 weeks of this season to change their minds about committing to the former first-round draft pick. Not only did the Broncos lock up Bolles on a four-year extension this week, but they're set to pay him $38 million in the first two years of the new deal, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, making him one of the highest-paid players at his position during that span.
Bolles' four-year extension is worth a total of $68 million, per Rapoport, $21 million of which is fully guaranteed. That deal, which will kick in after the 2020 season and keep the Utah product in Denver through 2024, is the fifth-largest among all current left tackle contracts. Bolles' scheduled $17 million per-year average, however, is even loftier, with only the Green Bay Packers' David Bakhtiari ($23M) and the Houston Texans' Laremy Tunsil ($22M) set to earn more annually.
The big payday marks a huge turnaround for Bolles, who was widely considered a replacement-level starter along Denver's offensive line early in 2019. As the Denver Post notes, the former 20th overall pick has been on an upward trajectory since about midway through last year, even grading out as one of the NFL's best left tackles in 2020.
"(The Broncos) drafted me and they took a chance on me when they didn't have to," Bolles said this week, per the Post. "I've had my bumps in the road over the last three years, but I know they continue to love and care for me and now they blessed me again for another four years. So, I'm grateful for them ... I'm just extremely emotional about being a Bronco for the next four years."