He’ll also have to make a decision at right tackle, where Ja’Wuan James still has three years remaining on his contract. James has been good when healthy but he missed most of 2019 with injuries and opted out of the 2020 season with COVID-19 concerns. Broncos left tackle Garett Bolles indicated during his end-of-season Zoom media availability that James has lost the trust of his teammates.
He totaled 27 tackles, two sacks and five quarterback hits in 2019. Last year, Reed was expected to serve as a backup — then Von Miller suffered a season-ending injury. Reed dressed for all 16 games in 2020, starting 13 contests.
The Broncos lost Sutton’s Pro Bowl production. In 2019, he caught 72 passes for 1,112 yards and six touchdowns and with Drew Lock taking over as the starter to open 2020, the absence of that production and connection to Sutton was a blow the passing offense frankly never recovered from. The double whammy of losing both Sutton and Von Miller was just too much for the relatively thin Broncos roster to absorb.