The Denver Broncos and George Paton have a very important offseason ahead of them. The decisions that Paton and head coach Vic Fangio make this offseason will lay another level to the foundation so the team can push for the playoffs sooner rather than later.
The team has been through a several-year rebuild, which has caused fans to become anxious as they clamor for a winner. That clamoring has put quite a bit of pressure on Paton as a first-time GM.
The future of the organization, and whether or not they can compete for a playoff spot and ultimately a Super Bowl berth begins this offseason.
The Broncos already have several cornerstone players, making for a solid foundation of talent to compete with the league’s elites. This team is a “sleeping giant”, and may be closer to competing for a championship sooner than many think.
The organization is hoping Paton, the team’s new general manager, can come in and add more depth and talent in free agency, and the draft. The team must address all of their roster needs and set a course of action before the new league year starts.
This means that there Poton as a few must-dos to help avoid mistakes that inhibit the team’s ability to make moves to upgrade their talent this year, and the years ahead.
Paton and the Broncos will benefit from moving through these five must-dos to ensure the offseason is successful.
Must-do number 1; Get Justin Simmons and Shelby Harris re-signed ASAP
Justin Simmons is the example of a player who deserves a second contract with the team that drafted him. He does it all on and off of the field.
Simmons is coming off of All-Pro honors in 2019 and a Pro-Bowl honor in 2020 after playing on the franchise tag. Additionally, Simmons provides community support in a variety of ways through the Justin Simmons Foundation.
Simply, the man deserves to be paid. Simmons is a play-maker on the field and a tremendous leader off of it.
The Broncos may have to franchise-tag Simmons for the second year in a row to ensure exclusive negotiating rights. However, the team would rather not do that, and they mustn’t do it.
It is time for the Broncos to show their players that when you perform, you’ll receive the security of a second contract. Also, Simmons fits Paton’s model of a “draft and develop guy”, and his signing would keep in-house talent home.
Shelby Harris bounced around the league before finding a home in Denver.
In Fangio’s defense, Harris has been a dynamic playmaker in terms of rush production and passes batted down.
Whether he’s getting to the quarterback or getting into passing lanes, Harris is a difference-maker.
He returned to Denver at a below-market deal. Paton cannot assume it’ll happen again. Harris may not require top dollar, but the team must come with a strong offer to retain his services.
Re-signing these two is a must-do, no-brainer for Paton in his first offseason as the Broncos GM.