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Mason's Mailbag: Adam Gotsis' progress

Posted Aug 21, 2017

Also on the docket: How Jake Butt is coming along, and the chances of a trade during the next two weeks.

You can tweet questions to me with the hashtag #AskMase or use the submission form to your right (if you're viewing on a standard browser) or at the bottom of the page if you're on the mobile site.

What have you noticed about Adam Gotsis' play over the last few weeks -- what kind of role does he appear to handle?

-- Endive Kerfuffle

First of all, either your parents are the most creative people on the planet, or you have one of the best fake names I've ever seen. That looks like the sort of pseudonym I'd concoct.

At this moment, you're counting on him to provide relief rotational snaps in place of Derek Wolfe at the three-technique end spot, including some pass-rush opportunities. His recent work has been promising; when I watched him in one-on-one pass-rush drills against the 49ers, I saw him use some swim moves more effectively than I've seen from him before.

The physical tools are there with Gotsis; it's a matter of technical refinement and turning his natural strength into something that allows him to hold his ground when offensive linemen try to drive him back at the snap. The last week was perhaps the most promising one of Gotsis' brief career; now he needs to stack more progress on top of that.

Barring an injury this week, Jamaal Charles should see his first extensive work of the preseason Saturday against the Packers.

Looking at the landscape of the league, one player always pops up on the "trade block": Sheldon Richardson of the Jets. Then you look at their current roster, and they need everything, including RB and WR, then you look at the Broncos roster and there seems to be a logjam at both of those positions with some big decisions to be made. How likely would you think it would be, before final cuts, to go after a player like that, and do you think we have enough to offer?

-- Matt Heuser

Any trade requires two to tango, so to speak. It's not as simple as the Broncos saying, "I want that guy; here's what we have," and making it happen.

Consider where the Jets stand on the waiver-priority claim list: No. 6 because of their 5-11 finish last year. They have a decent chance of being able to get most of the players they would try to claim off waivers after final cuts. This is an obstruction to a potential trade, as the Jets could simply opt to wait for cuts and make their claims, and thus bolster those positions of need without surrendering anything.

Furthermore, before they address any depth issues on the defensive line, they want to get a long look at Gotsis and Zach Kerr, both of whom had some flashes of brilliance in extended work Saturday against the 49ers.

How is Jake Butt's recovery coming along and will he be able to play at all this season?

-- Don Fenton

It's too early to tell. He has been seen working out after practice on his own, but given that his torn ACL was his second in a three-year span, the Broncos want to bring him along slowly and ensure that his rehabilitation is complete before working him up to speed and into game action. With Butt, you have to play the long game; the Broncos got a late-first-round/early-second-round talent, but the reason they got him in the fifth round was because of the injury history.

To ensure maximum return on investment -- which could give the Broncos a potent red-zone weapon and solid outside blocker for many years to come, if Butt lives up to his potential -- they have to be patient. If the Broncos have to sacrifice a good chunk of this season to give Butt the best possible chance of being an outstanding contributor for the years beyond that, that is a price worth paying given his long-term potential.

I don't see the reason for having four preseason games. Instead the NFL should have a college-football style spring game to determine who should make the roster and who should not. Agree?

-- Foyozia Ahmed

Disagree. For one thing, one game of repetitions isn't nearly enough to get a read on your roster. For another, preseason games are a revenue generator. An average of 58,394 tickets were sold to each of the preseason games played between Thursday and Sunday -- a total of 884,012 tickets sold. Until a better way of preparing for the regular season while preserving a revenue stream is created, these games aren't going anywhere.

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The analysis, opinion and speculation in this story represents that of the author, gathered through research and reporting, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Denver Broncos organization.

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