Fresh off an impressive playoff run that ended with a victory in Super Bowl 50, the Denver Broncos free agents became the hottest commodities on the free agent market. Insane contracts were offered to both Malik Jackson and Brock Osweiler, which the cap strapped Broncos were unable to match.
Other free agents left too, like Danny Trevathan and David Bruton Jr. Add the retirement of Peyton Manning and it is easy to see why people around the league would assume the Broncos have had a terrible offseason.
Nate Davis of USA Today felt so strongly that these losses were critical that he put the Broncos down as having the worst offseason of any team in the NFL.
32. Denver Broncos: After investing four years of development into QB Brock Osweiler, losing him to Houston clearly wasn’t part of GM John Elway’s master plan. That forced the acquisition of franchise QB flameout Mark Sanchez and a Round 1 gambit on Paxton Lynch, who typifies today’s boom-or-bust quarterback prospects. Free agent departures Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan will be missed by the champs’ No. 1 defense, and Super Bowl MVP Von Miller still needs a long-term deal despite getting the franchise tag.
Are the Broncos better than they were the day they won Super Bowl 50? It's a mixed bag.
On defense, they will certainly not replace Malik Jackson's contribution inside. However, they should still be a fairly elite defense in 2016. Good enough to win another Super Bowl if the Broncos offense shows life.
Speaking of that offense, Manning finished as the 33rd best quarterback in 2015. I suspect as bad of a "flameout" as Mark Sanchez is he will finish better than 33rd next year. That is if Paxton Lynch doesn't overtake him for the starting job.
Losing Brock Osweiler may not have been part of John Elway's master plan, but in hindsight it could be a blessing in disguise. Losing Osweiler has forced us all to see him for what he is - a below-average starter in the NFL.
Brock Osweiler is 21 of 49 (42.8%) on his passes targeted beyond 9 yards down field.— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) December 15, 2015
So in a way, the Broncos offseason has been incredibly fortuitous on the offensive side of the ball.
Given all of those facts, I have to vehemently disagree with this "ranking," though I understand why members of the national media may think the Broncos offseason has been a complete disaster.