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Broncos players, media react to losing Bradley Chubb in trade to the Dolphins

It’s hard to lose a leader even if it makes sense for the future of the team.

New York Jets v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.”

Most analysts saw the trade as a good move for both teams.

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.