I've spent a lot of time recently thinking about something I'm sure a lot here have also; what can the Broncos do to salvage this team moving forward? This thought, along with many of the comments here at MHR, have led me to the sunk-cost fallacy. For those unfamiliar with the sunk-cost fallacy it is, according to the Oxford Dictionary, "The phenomenon whereby a person is reluctant to abandon a strategy or course of action because they have invested heavily in it, even when it is clear that abandonment would be more beneficial." That sounds eerily familiar right about now, doesn't it?
So how does this pertain to the Broncos? This ultimately boils down to how much do believe in Russell Wilson. Are you of the inclination that his drop in play is an aberration? Do you believe that Russell Wilson will turn it around have this team beating the Chiefs in the playoffs on route to a legitimate title run? If you believe that Russell CANNOT achieve legitimacy, then, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you our very own case of a sunk-cost fallacy. It would make zero sense to continue on down the current projected path as it would ultimately lead to the Broncos and their fans living with accepted misery.
Now that we've identified our problem and the situation we are facing, it's time to (hopefully) start fixing things, or moving on from Russell Wilson. At first glance, moving on from Russell Wilson seems monumental and unlikely. I'm here to tell you it's not as bad as it seem. In fact, the Broncos could potentially only have to endure one more season with him under center. Prepare yourself, for what follows is the (probably) unpopular suggestion to fixing this mess: DON'T CHANGE ANYTHING! You read that right. I'm suggesting Nathaniel Hackett and Russell Wilson get round 2 to this mess. If you, like me, believe Russ is unsalvageable, then the Broncos are almost assuredly guaranteed the top overall pick next year. At that point, fire Hackett, hire a new coach (I'd like to try to pry Lincoln Riley away from USC), and draft his preferred QB number 1 overall. At that point the team will be set up to withstand the large dead cap hits of $35.4M in 2024 and 49.6M in 2025. For context, Atlanta accrued a dead cap hit of $40.525M this year for the Matt Ryan trade and the NFL salary cap is expected to continue rise from where it currently sits. This move also protects the Broncos from the argument that they didn't give the coaching staff a fair shake and that potential future coaches may be less inclined to sign with the franchise.
I know it's a bitter pill to swallow, but from where I sit, it seems to be the best path forward to being able to legitimately competing in the division and beyond before Patrick Mahomes retires. The Broncos could also see Sean Payton coaching on the sidelines for the L.A. Chargers very soon, making relevancy all the more potentially difficult. Now that you've read everything I've had to say, let's hear what y'all think.