George Paton’s trade with the Miami Dolphins to give away Bradley Chubb for a first-round pick in 2023 plus running back Chase Edmonds and a fourth-round pick in 2024 (which was turned around minutes later into trading for Jets’ pass rusher Jacob Martin) was no doubt a smart business decision.
As our own Taylor Kothe has pointed out, a first-rounder will be around 75 picks earlier than the third-round comp pick Chubb might have gotten the Broncos who were not showing signs of extending Chubb’s contract (plus coming an entire year earlier).
#Broncos GM George Paton cites pass-rushing depth, draft capital return as factors in Bradley Chubb trade: "Decisions like this are not easy... We felt it was too good to pass up at the end of the day, and it's no secret we need picks... Our goals and expectations do not change."— Kyle Newman (@KyleNewmanDP) November 1, 2022
But none of that makes it easy to say goodbye to a teammate, especially one who has shown incredible leadership this season and has been a steady force at edge while others have traded weeks on the bench for injury.
And for a Broncos team that has had to be sellers of some of its top players and fan favorites the last few years - unloading Von Miller in 2021, Emmanuel Sanders in 2019 and Demaryius Thomas in 2018 - it’s tough.
I asked former Broncos’ safety Nick Ferguson what it’s like on trade day - especially for Chubb who knows he’s one of the pieces to be dealt.
It’s a tough situation all around. You’re going through so many different emotions all at the same time. Watching the emotional Von Miller leave Broncos head quarters after being traded was rough. https://t.co/PMfHwcuMxA— Nick Ferguson (@NickFerguson_25) November 1, 2022
For Chubb himself, it’s a bittersweet move. In his case, he’s leaving the only NFL teammates he has known. But he’s also going to an AFC team that has a chance to be a contender at the moment.
That bodes well for his 2023 season as well as his opportunity to get a contract extension sooner rather than later.
Just caught up with Bradley Chubb as he was leaving the Broncos facility. #BroncosCountry @CBSNewsColorado pic.twitter.com/dIG1hF2CW3— Michael Spencer (@MichaelCBS4) November 1, 2022
Chubb was finally having the season Broncos Country had been waiting for - injury free, working in tandem with another dominant pass rusher, leading the defense. And he was making his mark in Denver, too.
Come join us for the Inaugural Gala of the @chubbfoundation on Nov 14th downtown hosted by @astronaut to help support Clayton and DPS! https://t.co/U7xNaXXVtU pic.twitter.com/f8rddntsMh— Clayton Early Learning (@ClaytonLearning) October 12, 2022
For his teammates, the fans, the local media, it’s a loss no matter how you look at it.
But as the saying goes, it’s not personal, it’s business.
And from a business perspective, this was a great trade for the Broncos. As SBNation’s writers noted, the Broncos “weren’t going to pay Chubb, and with the play of Baron Browning and Nik Bonnito improving drastically, it made Chubb expendable. Not only that, but Randy Gregory is also coming back from injury. Too many mouths to feed on the edge, and Chubb was the odd man out.”
I understand “it’s a business”. We ALL get it. We get asked to buy in and care about the organization we work/play for no matter the outcome of our situations. And this one hurts my heart like no other. Gameday won’t feel the same without my G @astronaut https://t.co/38Fi4fpEJs— Dre'Mont Jones (@TheOfficial_80) November 1, 2022
This one hurt took me in from day one got me better every day Miami got a great one ! Love you bro! https://t.co/9VUBPHiQW7— Nik Bonitto (@nikkkkbonitto) November 1, 2022
So many great memories with @astronaut, including interviewing him on draft night. https://t.co/x7bsLMoidI pic.twitter.com/BqVRG6pAuH— Phil Milani (@philmilani) November 1, 2022
Impressive haul for Chubb! Hate losing a pass rusher in his prime and a leader in the locker room but if the #Broncos knew they weren’t going to sign him to an extension, this makes a lot of sense. Wish @astronaut nothing but the best in Miami! https://t.co/NM9BBTBUn9— Ryan Edwards (@redwardsradio) November 1, 2022
As Broncos move on from Bradley Chubb and gain much-needed draft value, they still are left with a stable of pass rushers that includes Randy Gregory, Nik Bonitto, Baron Browning and Jonathan Cooper.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 1, 2022
One of my favorite memories is flying to Denver with Bradley Chubb the morning after he was drafted.— Aric DiLalla (@AricDiLalla) November 1, 2022
And after being there at the very start of his Broncos career, it's tough to see it end.
Great player, better guy. Will be cheering you on in Miami, @astronaut. pic.twitter.com/OkbVd4Zk9s
George Paton said the play of Baron Browning really helped the team trade Bradley Chubb. Also the emergence of Nik Bonitto and the play the past two years of Jonathon Cooper.— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensDNVR) November 1, 2022
Most analysts saw the trade as a good move for both teams.
Bradley Chubb a favorite of mine. He will flourish in Miami with Obgah and Jaelan Phillips and make that team even more of a SB threat than they already are. As for Denver, this is a bet, to me, that Baron Browning is THAT dude. Which I think he is.— Louis Riddick (@LRiddickESPN) November 1, 2022
Every AFC team is aware that you must be able to beat the #Chiefs if you want to go to a Super Bowl.— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) November 1, 2022
The Bills gave 33 year old Von Miller 120 million for this reason. The Dolphins have now acquired Bradley Chubb for this reason.
Love seeing teams be aggressive!
ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky after Dolphins trade for Bradley Chubb: “Miami can win the Super Bowl now. I did not feel that way this morning. Miami can absolutely win the Super Bowl right now.” @danorlovsky7— David Furones (@DavidFurones_) November 1, 2022
And though it’s no fun to lose key guys, it’s necessary for a GM to have a vision for the best way to build toward the future.
So far, George Paton seems to be pretty strong in that arena.
While it’s hard seeing a guy like Chubb go, the Broncos just got four and a half cost controlled years at a premium position and then turned around and rolled it into another 1st round pick, in a year where the draft capital cupboard was bare.— Jeffrey Essary (@JeffreyEssary) November 1, 2022
This is a resounding win for Paton
A first-round pick is great in its own right, but it also gives George Paton and the Broncos needed flexibility.— Aric DiLalla (@AricDiLalla) November 1, 2022
He could take the first and a third and move up to get a blue-chip player.
He could trade back and pick up an extra second- or third-rounder.
Gives Denver options.