The left tackle would have received a four-year, $48 million contract with $20.5 million guaranteed if the option was picked up
The Broncos will have to find a new left tackle for the second straight offseason.
Denver informed left tackle Russell Okung Thursday that it would not be picking up his $1 million option securing his return to the team next season, an NFL source said.
The Broncos had until March 8 to make a decision on Okung, who would have received a four-year, $48 million contract with $20.5 million guaranteed if the option was picked up.
Okung, who without an agent signed what ended up being a one-year, $8 million contract after playing-time incentives last March, is the latest name to join a weak crop of offensive line free agents. He proved his health by playing 16 games for the first time in his career last season, but costly penalties decreased his value.
The Broncos have not approached Okung about a cheaper contract, the source said. He’s scheduled to become a free agent on March 9.
The move will save the Broncos more than $11 million in cap space raising their overall cap room to more than $40 million if the cap comes in around $168 million as expected.
Denver will now likely look to free agency and the draft for a new starting left tackle.