One month after winning the Super Bowl, the Denver Broncos might be in trouble.
Since the start of free agency, the Broncos’ top two quarterbacks have left town, their two top defenders have taken big offers elsewhere, and more players are being poached as the days go on.
Peyton Manning retired and Brock Osweiler left for the Texans and $72 million. Malik Jackson left for the Jaguars and $90 million and Danny Trevathan left for the Bears and $24 million. Meanwhile, C.J. Anderson signed an offer sheet with the Dolphins for $18 million, which the Broncos currently have four days to match or they will lose him..
The Broncos still have two dynamic pass-rushers in Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware, and two elite receivers in Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, but they have clearly taken a big step back this offseason. More worrisome is they’re scrambling to fill a giant hole at quarterback in a very dry quarterback market.
Jackson, in an interview with NFL Network after he signed with the Jaguars, shed some light on the Broncos’ offseason and how things could have gone differently.
While Jackson admitted he’s not “surprised” by the Broncos’ offseason, he said the Broncos are “stuck between a rock and a hard place.”
“They could’ve gotten me done, they could have got Danny done, they could have got Brock done for less than nothing,” Jackson said. “Now we’ve all branched out and got what’s best for our families.
“So, I think the Broncos are…” Jackson trailed off before saying, “I don’t know what they’re doing.”
It’s unclear if Jackson is suggesting now-departed Broncos would have given the team discount to stay together, but clearly he thinks the Broncos could have kept everyone together. Jackson did note he thinks their defence will remain “stout.”
It’s not totally unusual for Super Bowl teams to get picked apart in free agency, but the Broncos’ situation is slightly more alarming in that they’re facing somewhat of a rebuild by having to get an entirely new quarterback. That’s left them involved in trade rumours for Colin Kaepernick. If they want him, they will have to part with some semi-valuable assets to please the 49ers, who now have the upper hand.