clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

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

HORSE TRACKS

Broncos coach Sean Payton expresses disappointment but not discouragement after 8-9 season | AP News
Sean Payton senses a feeling of disappointment but not discouragement from his Denver Broncos. A 27-14 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday dropped the Broncos to 8-9 to finish Payton’s first season as coach in Denver.

Broncos to pick 12th in 2024 NFL Draft
Denver is slated to make its first first-round pick since 2021.

Broncos’ opponents finalized for 2024 season
The Broncos and other AFC teams will play eight home games and nine road games in 2024.

O'Connell, White and pass rush lead Raiders to 27-14 win over Broncos in season finale | AP News
Aidan O’Connell passed for 244 yards and two touchdowns, Zamir White rushed for 112 yards and a relentless Las Vegas pass rush helped the Raiders continue their dominance over the Denver Broncos with a 27-14 victory.

Sydney Brown believed to have a torn ACL - NBC Sports
The Eagles hope to have wide receiver A.J.

Jalen Hurts calls himself day to day after his finger "popped out" - NBC Sports
Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts injured his right middle finger Sunday, and visuals of the disfigured digit were gruesome.

Asked about Mike McCarthy's future, Jerry Jones says, "We'll see how each game goes" in postseason - NBC Sports
The Cowboys have won the NFC East.

2024 NFL offseason: Key free agents, draft notes, predictions - ESPN
The NFL offseason is officially here for 18 teams. What must each do to have a better 2024 season? We have outlooks, buzz and predictions.

Rams' Matthew Stafford excited to return to Detroit for playoffs - ESPN
Matthew Stafford said it's "exciting" for the Rams to be in the playoffs and also to be returning to Ford Field for a game against his former Lions team. "I know it's going to be rocking there," he said.

Falcons coach upset after Saints overrule coach's play, score late TD - ESPN
The Saints players' decision to overrule coach Dennis Allen's call to run out the clock and have Jamaal Williams score a late TD angered Falcons coach Arthur Smith.

2024 NFL head coach tracker: Four jobs open after Arthur Smith firing; Bill Belichick's future up in air - CBSSports.com
The Chargers, Raiders, Panthers and Falcons have openings while up to three other jobs could become available

Justin Fields, with Bears future uncertain, says 'I gave it my all' - ESPN
Bears QB Justin Fields, facing an uncertain future with the franchise that drafted him three years ago, bid an early goodbye to the city of Chicago on Sunday "in case this is my last rodeo."

Falcons coach upset after Saints overrule coach's play, score late TD - ESPN
The Saints players' decision to overrule coach Dennis Allen's call to run out the clock and have Jamaal Williams score a late TD angered Falcons coach Arthur Smith.

Bills defeat Dolphins to win fourth straight AFC East title, claim No. 2 seed
The Buffalo Bills won their fourth consecutive AFC East title and claimed the conference's No. 2 seed on the strength of their 21-14 victory over the Miami Dolphins.

Rams WR Puka Nacua sets new rookie record for receiving yards, receptions
From the No. 177 selection in the 2023 NFL Draft to No. 1 in the rookie record books, Puka Nacua has become an instant sensation and set a new rookie record for receiving yards and receptions on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.

Bill Belichick mum on future as Patriots end regular season with loss to Jets
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick had little to say regarding his future in New England following his team's loss to the New York Jets to conclude the 2023 regular season.

2024 NFL Draft order: 18 of 32 first-round picks locked in
The order of the top 18 picks in the 2024 NFL Draft is locked in. Chad Reuter provides a look at how things shake out, identifying the top five needs for all 32 squads.

2023 NFL season, Week 18: What We Learned from Sunday's games
The Buccaneers kicked off the early window by clinching the NFC South title, while the Bills and Steelers also earned playoff berths thanks to the Jaguars losing and ushering the Texans to the AFC South crown.

LOOK: Lions troll NFL officials as OL Dan Skipper catches pass, reports as eligible multiple times vs. Vikings - CBSSports.com
Detroit has some clever jabs in Week 18

2024 NFL playoff schedule, bracket: Dates, times and TV for every round of AFC and NFC postseason - CBSSports.com
Here's the full schedule for the 2024 NFL playoffs

2024 NFL Draft order: Bears locked into top spot, Commanders at No. 2 ahead of Patriots - CBSSports.com
Top 10 slots in the 2024 NFL Draft are set