Good morning, Broncos Country.
The Denver Broncos finished their 2023 season with an 8-9 record. That’s a big improvement over their 2022 campaign, but a disappointment to fans, coaches, and players who were expecting a lot more this year.
In the coming days, Sean Payton and his staff will go over and review everything that happened. Big decisions will be made and I’m confident some changes will happen. Whether or not some coaches stay or go is up in the air. It’s officially the offseason folks—one that will be filled with mystery and many unknowns.
The aforementioned sentiment extends to several players on the Broncos’ roster, most notably Russell Wilson, who appears to be on the outside looking in. In my opinion, it’s more than likely will be the quarterback of a different team in 2024. Even though Payton and general manager George Paton left the door open for a potential return for the long-time signal caller.
Sean Payton, George Paton and Greg Penner talk moving on to 2024 as they reflect on a #Broncos' season that was much-improved but still not good enough.— Doctor of Words (& tights & over/under guesses) (@docllv) January 11, 2024
So what will that mean for Russell Wilson?
Still unclear but Payton promises a quick process.https://t.co/nhNQGxiio5
For me, it really isn’t a matter of if—it’s only a matter of when the Broncos decide to officially move on from Wilson. And when that happens, the franchise will most assuredly be concocting a myriad of plans to find the right player to lead their offseason for next season. But that’s not the only big decision that they will have to face in the days and weeks to come.
The Broncos are roughly $20 million dollars over the cap for next season. That means additional moves (cuts, trades or restructures) will have to be made for the team to be cap compliant. My early prognostication would be an outright cut of wide receiver Tim Patrick and defensive tackle D.J. Jones. The Broncos would eat some dead money by doing so but would free up enough space to get them in the black as far as the salary cap is concerned.
Even with that, they will still have to find a way to make space for their upcoming 2024 NFL Draft class, as well as any potential free agents they may be interested in this offseason. But it’s important to note that George Paton explicitly stated the team would not be active during the first wave of free agency at his end of season press conference the other day.
Nobody knows exactly what will transpire, but that’s part of the offseason allure. And even though the Broncos have missed out on the playoffs of eight seasons in a row, nobody can say their offseason pursuits haven’t been interesting over that time frame.
Expect the unexpected. Embrace the forthcoming chaos. It’s going to be another wild ride my friends. Time to buckle up!
As always—thanks for reading. Here is today’s slate of articles for Horse Tracks.
Broncos News & Tidbits
Russell Wilson dilemma looms over Denver Broncos after late season benching and monster contract
Russell Wilson was meant to be the Denver Broncos’ savior. But things have not gone to plan.
Denver Broncos currently $24 million over 2024 salary cap, but have options to fix that
The Broncos are over the salary cap by $24 million currently, but there are moves they can make to get under the number.
Mile High Morning: CB Pat Surtain II nominated for NFLPA Alan Page Community Award for his charitable impact
Surtain received the Week 14 NFLPA Community MVP award for his investments into education in the Denver community.
CB Pat Surtain II selected to second annual NFLPA Players’ All-Pro team
Surtain was also selected to the inaugural NFLPA Players’ All-Pro team following the 2022 season.
NFL News & Tidbits
Pete Carroll out as Seahawks coach after 14 seasons
After 14 seasons, 10 playoff appearances and the franchise's lone Super Bowl championship, Pete Carroll is out as the Seattle Seahawks' coach.
Lions' Jared Goff - Chip will 'never leave me' from Rams trade
Lions quarterback Jared Goff said the "chip" is still with him after being traded by the Rams to Detroit in 2021.
Next Gen Stats 2023 All-Pro Team: Dak Prescott gets quarterback slot on offense full of Cowboys, 49ers
With the NFL regular season in the books, which players were the best of the best at each position? Using advanced data, the Next Gen Stats analytics group compiles a 2023 All-Pro Team. Who gets the nod at quarterback? Which franchise leads the league wit
Super Bowl LVIII: Ranking the five matchups I'd most like to see at Allegiant Stadium in February
As we head into the NFL playoffs, Kevin Patra ranks the five potential Super Bowl LVIII matchups he'd most like to see. Mike McDaniel's Dolphins vs. Kyle Shanahan's 49ers? It'd be full of intrigue, but it's not No. 1 on his list.
Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah on Kirk Cousins: 'It's certainly my intention to have him back here'
Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah spoke with reporters Wednesday and clearly stated he and the Vikings want quarterback Kirk Cousins, an impending free agent, back in 2024.
Ranking the NFL’s Open Coaching Jobs - The Ringer
After surprising moves by the Titans and Seahawks, seven NFL teams are now looking for a new head coach—and more openings could be coming soon. But some of those jobs are far more attractive than others.