Denver Broncos General Manager John Elway is something, isn't he? Aggressive but disciplined, and unlike pretty much every other General Manager in the NFL in that he's willing to take a chance. The trade for Vernon Davis appears to be brilliant. A trade for Joe Thomas would have had an even greater impact.
While I would have been in favor of a trade for the best left tackle in the game, here are three reasons I'm okay with the non-move.
1. The price was too high
According to multiple reports, the Browns wanted Denver's 1st and 2nd round picks in the deal. At one point, it looked like the Browns could receive that if they threw in a 4th-round pick in addition to Thomas but even that deal didn't get done. Via The Denver Post -
In the end, the deal fizzled over the amount of compensation Cleveland wanted, not because of the 2 p.m. deadline or money. The Broncos were poised to restructure contracts, meaning the salary cap would not have been an issue in taking on Thomas' remaining $4.15 million this season, according to an NFL source. The Browns' asking price was deemed too high. While there were different mutations, Cleveland sought Denver's first and second-round picks in the 2016 draft at different points in the discussions.
According to ESPN, Cleveland wanted a 1st and a 3rd.
Either way, it was too steep for John "win from now on" Elway, who talked about his trade philosophy after the Vernon Davis went down.
"I think that we're always trying to get better," Elway said. "If we have any opportunities to get better and we think that the compensation is fair, then we're going to do everything that we can to do that. I think that we're not going to mortgage the future to do it, but if we can add to our football team now and feel like it makes us better, we're going to look at all opportunities like that."
2. The Broncos offensive line has actually been pretty good
I was as surprised by some of these facts, but here they are.
After giving up 7 sacks through 2 games this yr., Denver is tied for the fewest sacks allowed (5) in the NFL during the last six weeks.— Erich Schubert (@schube13) November 3, 2015
They even managed to keep Peyton Manning's jersey (relatively) clean against a Green Bay team that had made sacking quarterbacks a habit since 2012.
Forgotten in the Denver loss: The #Packers streak of 42 straight games with a sack ended. It was the longest active streak in the NFL.— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) November 3, 2015
On paper, six months ago, Ryan Harris and Tyler Polumbus taking turns protecting Peyton Manning's blindside looked like a waking nightmare. But while they haven't been great, they've been far better than we've given them credit for. And Peyton has seemingly re-found the ability to compensate for a poor offensive line.
Add the fact that the Broncos haven't allowed a sack in back-to-back games, and they've rushed for over 300 yards in that span, and it was easier to say no to Cleveland.
3. The Broncos are 7-0
Do you really need to make a monumental trade at the deadline when you're sitting pretty at 7-0? Sure, Thomas would be an improvement, but the Broncos have been just fine with who they have. And we all know the chemistry of a locker room can be a delicate thing.
Yes, Thomas would have made the Broncos better. But the cost was too high, and the Broncos are already pretty darn good.