As we’re all well aware, the Broncos’ season is quickly going off the rails. I tend to fall on the optimistic side as a fan, but if things continue to devolve even further I don’t see how any fan can help but demand change. Specifically, the Broncos will play 2 games in the next 6 days. If I’m writing Horse Tracks for next Friday with a 3rd win to look back on, that’ll be one thing. But if that post becomes one lamenting a 5 game losing streak? In that case, I think the future becomes the priority.
Some of us are still surprised that no one lost their job after the disastrous effort vs the Jets. But if we fall to 2-5, I can pretty much guarantee you that heads will roll among the coaching staff before we head to Kansas City. We’re quickly heading into midseason firing territory, with the additional prospect of mass turnover among the coaches when we reach the offseason.
There’s room to argue that Keenum bears the brunt of the blame for the Broncos’ offensive failures this season. There’s room to argue that he’s only one problem out of many, and not the largest of them. Either way, if we head into KC on that 5 game losing streak, it’ll be only a matter of time before the team gives Chad Kelly an opportunity to do better.
Roster Changes & Preparing for the Future
Coaching changes & QB changes are just two components of the larger change in direction that 2-5 will demand of the Broncos if we find ourselves there: rebuilding. If that happens, it’ll be controversial in Broncos Country by default. But it’ll probably be necessary.
A big part of that would necessarily involve moving on from some players in order to put other players in a position to succeed. Most of that would occur during the offseason, but there are a couple of moves that make some degree of sense prior to the trade deadline.
For reference, the NFL Trade Deadline is 4 PM EST on October 30th, so that’d give the Broncos 10 or 11 days to make some deals.
I’ve never been a big fan of the whole #TradeDT thing- Thomas is easily a top 3 WR in Broncos history. He’s been under-appreciated by some fans for a long time. That said, there comes a time for every player when the team’s future vision doesn’t include them anymore. With Courtland Sutton on the rise, 2019 is probably that time for Demaryius Thomas. But if the Broncos are forced to start thinking Rebuild before then, there are a couple of teams out there who could use Thomas’s talents. The Cowboys certainly come to mind, for instance. If a GM is willing to take on DT’s contract & offer Denver some draft assets in return, the Broncos should definitely consider it.
Sanders could also be a possibility, but that’d be doing additional unnecessary damage to the offense considering how often Keenum targets him. I think we’d see more significant dropoff in production from Sanders to Hamilton than we would from Thomas to Sutton.
Wolfe is an outspoken presence in the locker room, but at this point he’s overpaid for the player he’s become: essentially a glorified run stopper. The Broncos have plenty of defensive line depth to survive moving on from Wolfe, and he’s arguably one of the guys who’s most likely to become a toxic presence in the locker room if things continue to spiral out of control. If a team needs a starter for their defensive line and is willing to take him, I’d say go for it.
There are also some guys who should probably take a step back in favor of getting younger players on the field more to gain experience & have their mettle tested. Brandon Marshall. Possibly Darian Stewart. And, as mentioned, Case Keenum.
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