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This is Sean Payton’s Broncos

It’s time to get with Sean Payton’s program.

Los Angeles Chargers v Denver Broncos Photo by Perry Knotts/Getty Images

A year ago, the Denver Broncos sent their 2023 first-round pick and their 2024 second-round pick to the New Orleans Saints in exchange for head coach Sean Payton. Payton inherited a team reeling from years without premium draft picks, a struggling quarterback with gluttonous undeserved contract, and all the expectations of success from Broncos Country.

When Payton arrived, the Broncos were not just one player, one coach away from returning to their successful ways. From Gary Kubiak to Vance Joseph to Vic Fangio to Nathaniel Hackett, the Broncos are a Frankenstein's monster of failed plans.

As much as Broncos Country would like the horror of this mess to be over, the impact of terrible decisions will continue to haunt Denver for at least a couple more seasons. The culture of duct tape and staples-type quick fixes has finally caught up with the Broncos.

It seems like the only thing more unpopular than Russell Wilson these days is the decision to bench Russell Wilson. Social media has been buzzing with displeasure over Sean’s latest move with many of the more reactionary among us calling for Payton’s firing in response.

Frankenstein’s Broncos loves this idea. What better a move to keep this shambling mess going into the future than to get rid of the person that ownership brought in (traded picks to get!) to be the architect of the long-term turnaround of this franchise?

So let’s talk about Russell Wilson.

The fact is that when he signed that unprecedented 5-year $242.6 million contract, Russell Wilson committed himself to a hall of fame performance-type stint in Denver. Middling quarterbacks don’t sign contracts like that, exceptional generational talent does. 11-19 is what it is and it ain’t it.

You can’t blame Russ for getting paid. Good on him for getting his money. We would all take more over less and few would make apologies as Russ has done. Sure, he was dealt a crap hand with Nathaniel Hackett, but so what? You sign a contract like that, you’re expected to win more than a third of the games you play in.

At some point there has to be someone to say when enough is enough. Sean Payton is that person. It can’t be whitewashed, Russ’s level of play and his contract are the biggest problems facing the Broncos today. Addressing the issue now may not be popular, but it’s the right thing to do for the long-term health of the Broncos.

To the folks frothing at the mouth that Russell Wilson was so disrespected over being benched, let me ask you this: Would you extend Russell Wilson’s contract based on his play this season?

No. Nobody would. So why continue down the road with the guy if expectations aren’t being met? It hurts to admit a mistake, but it will hurt a whole lot more if we don’t.

The Broncos are in the middle of a multi-season turnaround. Let’s enjoy the meager success of that 5-game win streak and look forward what’s to come, not just next season, but in seasons to come. Sean Payton is up against a monster. Broncos Country needs to give him the time and the space to vanquish it.

Go Broncos


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