Good morning, Broncos Country.
Last year the Denver Broncos made a serious push to hire Jim Harbaugh to be the franchise’s next coach. Alas, Harbaugh stayed at the University of Michigan and went on to with a National Championship this past season.
With Harbaugh out of the picture, the Broncos pivoted to DeMeco Ryans who wound up accepting the Houston Texans offer—reuniting with the team that drafted him all those years ago. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and for the boys in orange and blue getting a head coach proved to be quite costly. The Broncos’ brass felt their option to get out of their post-Super Bowl 50 slump was trading first and second-round picks to acquire Sean Payton from the New Orleans Saints.
There is no doubt that the Broncos improved this season compared to their disastrous 2022 campaign under Nathaniel Hackett. However, they still have a lot to prove in order to be legitimate contenders in the AFC West. Unfortunately, that task just become a lot harder with the news Harbaugh has now accepted a five-year deal to coach the Los Angeles Chargers.
I think the honest answer is yes. They are operating at a three-year deficit of top draft picks, are in a precarious cap situation, and don't have a franchise QB. On top of that, they have limited draft capital this year and needs across the board. https://t.co/SBaHVwOPo1— Christopher Hart (@topherhart) January 25, 2024
The Chargers also have their issues to work out (older roster and cap concerns), but they are already one up on the Broncos having Justin Herbert in the fold as their franchise quarterback. Now they have themselves a competent head coach who should be able to turn things around quite quickly. The same can be said for the Kansas City Chiefs who have a Hall of Fame coach in Andy Reid and surefire Hall of Fame quarterback in Patrick Mahomes. They play again this weekend for a shot at another potential Super Bowl title.
The Raiders have a new general manager in Tom Telesco and hired Antonio Pierce to be their head coach. Like the Broncos, they too are on the outside looking in with no long-term solution at football’s most important position. Though they are in a much better position with respect to the salary cap and have beaten the Broncos in both games for four years in a row.
Short on picks, cap space, and no franchise quarterback in the fold—the Broncos have their work cut out for them. A busy offseason awaits, and Sean Payton and Co. will have to get very creative in order to keep pace in a division that just got a heck of a lot tougher with Harbaugh joining the Chargers. Some may call it pessimism; I call it realism. Only time will tell if Payton can forge the Broncos back into contender status.
We will just have to wait and see if Denver’s bold move for Payton turned out to be the correct one.
As always—thanks for reading. Here is today’s slate of articles for Horse Tracks.
Broncos News & Tidbits
Former Broncos head coach Vic Fangio out as Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator after just one season
The Miami Dolphins and defensive coordinator and former Broncos head coach Vic Fangio have mutually agreed to part ways after just one season, the team announced Wednesday.
Broncos sign NT Rashard Lawrence to future contract
Lawrence, a 2020 fourth-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals, has appeared in 25 career games and started 13 games for Arizona from 2020-22.
New Rumor Predicts Russell Wilson to Land With Raiders per ESPN
The NFL rumor mill continues to churn out breadcrumbs on the Russell Wilson trail.
Denver Broncos: Stadium situation is long-term, complex situation
The Broncos are in no rush to provide an update on their stadium status.
For 2024, the Denver Broncos must fix the offense, already! | 9news.com
The Denver Broncos have failed to reach the NFL’s top 15 in total yards and points for nine consecutive seasons.
NFL News & Tidbits
Chargers agree to terms with Jim Harbaugh to become their new head coach
The Los Angeles Chargers are expected to hire Jim Harbaugh, who led the University of Michigan to a national championship earlier this month, as their next head coach, NFL Network Insiders Ian Rapoport, Tom Pelissero and Mike Garafolo reported.
Unsung heroes of 2023 NFL season: One overlooked/surprise contributor from each AFC team
Kevin Patra identifies one unsung hero from each AFC team, with the selections ranging from surprise difference-makers to those who are overlooked. Which defensive player deserved more attention in Houston?
Raiders coach Antonio Pierce on relationship with new GM Tom Telesco: We have to 'check our egos at the door'
New Las Vegas head coach Antonio Pierce's Raiders put up 63 points in a win over the Chargers. The lopsided win led to general manager Tom Telesco losing his job. Now the two are joined together. "I told him I was going for 71," Pierce joked Wednesday.
Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes ahead of playoff matchup with Ravens' Lamar Jackson: 'He's going to be the MVP for a reason'
Sunday's AFC Championship Game between the Chiefs and Ravens marks the first time in NFL history two former league MVPs both under the age of 30 will face off in a playoff game. Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson are praising each other ahead of time.
Joe Barry out as Packers defensive coordinator - ESPN
Joe Barry is out as the Packers' defensive coordinator after serving in the role since 2021.