Before a few weeks ago, George Paton and Sean Payton had never met each other.
Now the two will work side by side in order to revive a Denver Broncos franchise and revamp a roster that hasn’t had a winning season since 2017.
“The goal all along was not only to get Sean, but also to have it be a win-win. A win for the Broncos and a win for the Saints. I think we accomplished that,” stated Paton.
Recharging the Broncos to become a formidable contender is a daunting task for certain, but with collaboration, a unified vision, and an impeccable attention to detail, it's nothing they new power duo can't handle.
“It was very easy, just the conversation. I felt that throughout the interview, we were aligned on how we want to build this—likeminded,” stated general manager George Paton. “We have a lot of work to do, but I do think we have similar philosophies and similar visions of how to build this team.”
After two consecutive years of blockbuster trades, the Broncos are once again lacking in the draft capital department.
As of now, they only have two third-round selections and one selection each in the fourth, fifth, and sixth rounds. That's half the amount general manager George Paton would like to have in his back pocket—and something that may complicate achieving their vision early on. Which likely means some trades are on the horizon, but for now, the Broncos best bet to bolster their roster is to become players in free agency.
According to Spotrac, the Broncos have roughly $12 million dollars in cap space available.
However, that number would catapult with just several moves such as cutting Graham Glasgow, Ronald Darby, and Chase Edmonds—which would provide the team with an extra $25 million to chase top-flight free agents. Candidates for restructure could include Brandon McManus, Mike Purcell, and even Garret Bolles.
As for the type of player they are looking to acquire, Payton simply remarked, “Discipline, toughness, football makeup and character are going to be really important for who is a Denver Bronco.”
With that said, it's too early to know who the Broncos may target in this year's free agency class, though their biggest in-house decision will concerns Dre’Mont Jones. A third-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Jones was one of John Elway’s best selections and has solidified himself as one of the league's most versatile defensive lineman. Over the course of his rookie contract, Jones amassed 133 tackles, 22 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 1 interception.
Jones appears to check all the boxes of what Payton is looking for in his players, but will he be on board with the vision he is trying to build in Denver? Or while his contract demands lead him to greener pastures? Only time will tell.
And the time to start improving the tides of the Broncos franchise begins today.
“We have draft picks, we have free agents, we have undrafted free agents. That’s the method to procure the talent. Once they’re here, none of that matters,” added Payton. “Once they’re here, we’re going to go by what we see and who gives us the best chance to win.”
And for Broncos Country to get on board with their vision, they're going to have to win early and often.