After years of speculation, it finally happened. The Denver Broncos traded Von Miller to the Los Angeles Rams. We spent time reminiscing, and we said our goodbyes. It was the end of an era. Arguably, the best defensive player in team history will finish his career somewhere else, and the Broncos will look to the future.
So, a future of what? The worst part of the Miller trade isn’t that he is gone. It isn’t that it likely means a fire sale of players, or missing out on Russell Wilson or Aaron Rodgers, if they even become available. No, it’s the admission that the plan going into 2021 was a failure.
A quick timeline shows the hype that Broncos fans bought into since the NFL Draft has been nothing more than mistakes and misses. Deshaun Watson was its own little disaster. Aaron Rodgers was just a dream. Drew Lock couldn’t beat out Teddy Bridgewater. The QB situation was a debacle from the start.
Miller and the rest of the defense was supposed to carry this team to a winning record. Injuries and bad coaching, with their powers combined, derailed that move. And I can’t get away from this awful feeling that George Paton stepped into the role and immediately missed.
I have avoided this conversation all season. I didn’t want to deal with the community comments. Too much divisiveness, but if the Broncos are going to blow it all up, let’s be real. The second the Rodgers trade rumors disappeared Paton should have locked up his potential QB of the future and drafted Justin Fields.
I don’t care what his evaluation was at the time. This man said it was harder to find a franchise corner than a franchise QB. If that doesn’t make you cringe, I don’t think I can help you.
Honestly, think about where Chicago Bears fans are at right now. Their team sucks, but they walk around with hope for the future. Why? They have a guy in Fields who looks like he could turn into a legit starting QB in the NFL. What do the Broncos have?
Drew Lock? Sorry, but the Drew Train just isn’t a viable option in Broncos Country anymore.
And I believe Patrick Surtain II is going to be a stud. He already is. He will be an All-Pro. He will be a perennial Pro Bowler. He will never be the guy who turns the franchise into a team that will contend for the AFC West every year. Without a franchise QB, it doesn’t matter what is happening anywhere else on the field.
And I hate that simplistic view of the NFL, but it’s the truth. The game flows through the QB, and unfortunately for Paton, he is just wrong about which position is harder to fill.
Moving forward, there are going to be massive changes to the team. New coaches, new players, new plans, new ownership. But it is a season late and a few million dollars short at this point. The Broncos are sellers at the trade deadline. From 3-0 to 4-4 and out of contention.
But, hey, Paton got that franchise CB that is so hard to find.