Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Broncos dilemma after epic 2023 meltdown

The Denver Broncos have backed themselves into something of a corner heading into the 2024 NFL season.

After head coach Sean Payton‘s unceremonious and, some would say, disrespectful handling of QB Russell Wilson the team have a major issue facing them at the games toughest, and most significant position.

At this point, keeping Russell Wilson would seem a non-starter, even though he’s still under a huge contract. While keeping Stidham is definitely on the table, after all no-one else is getting in a bidding war for him, does he really represent a good direction?

Broncos face stark choice at QB

So if keeping Wilson is off the table what do the Broncos do? Trading up will cost them a tonne of capital that they really don’t have, because they gave up so much to land Wilson in the first place. Trading Wilson is unlikely to get much of a haul either.

While there may be teams out there, Steelers, Commanders, Falcons, Patriots etc. who could consider Wilson for their starting role, no-one is giving up much capital and taking on that massive contract when they know Wilson staying in Denver is so unlikely.

Rolling with Stidham is likely a non-starter as well as the 5th-year QB hardly moved the needle in his two late-season starts for the Broncos last season, completing 60.6% of his passes with two touchdowns and one interception. Stidham posted a QB rating of 87.7 and a QBR of 31.1.

Kirk Cousins would be an ideal replacement if the Broncos were to move on from Wilson, but that would require a, likely, massive contract. Given the Wilson situation that would make this very hard to pull off, though not impossible. Plus all signs seem to be pointing to Cousins heading back to Minnesota.

Do the Broncos sign a retread that’s never quite been good enough. Ryan Tannehill excite anyone?

One option, if Sean Payton has the capital with his front office, is to stick with Stidham and tank the hell out of 2024 and secure one of the premium slots in next seasons draft.

Ironic as it is, Russell Wilson is still the best option for the Broncos next season. But that is a very unlikely scenario. Can Sean Payton really be the bigger man and except that Wilson is his best option until that massive contract is over and the Broncos have more draft picks?

If we were putting money on it, we’d go with Stidham and see if he can grow with the idea of a complete rebuild if it didn’t work out. Payton believes he is a genius and may very well believe he can turn the Auburn alum into the next Drew Brees.

There’s every chance that could spell the end of his return to coaching after a brief retirement, and mark the start of his next, much longer, retirement. Interesting times in Colorado.

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