Denver Broncos: No rebuild needed after Von Miller trade

Sep 26, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) before the game against the New York Jets at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 26, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) before the game against the New York Jets at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

Even after the Denver Broncos shipped Von Miller to the Los Angeles Rams, the team entering a full rebuilding phase is very unlikely.

Many of us are still numb after the Denver Broncos traded Von Miller to the Los Angeles Rams on Monday.  We all have a right to be angry, as the trade effectively parts with the last memories of Super Bowl 50.

Kicker Brandon McManus is the only remaining player from that roster, and since that Super Bowl, the Broncos have turned over the roster to the tune of 52 players.

Hours after the Miller trade went down, many in Broncos Country are calling for the team to sell off more veterans and enter a full rebuild, something the team has not truly embraced since winning the title.

When we think of a rebuild in today’s NFL, we think of what the Detroit Lions are currently doing–beginning last year and into this year, they sold off quite a few of their veteran players, acquired draft capital, and have begun to reshape their roster from the inside out.

It’s clear that the Lions are a few years away from competing–they sit at 0-8 now, on pace to pick first in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Another good example is the Jacksonville Jaguars.  They’re a bit ahead of the Lions with their rebuild, as Trevor Lawrence seems to be their quarterback of the future.

My point here with the “rebuild” word is that teams are usually awful during this time period, as they do a full reset of their roster and coaching staff.

However, undergoing a full rebuild does not suit the Denver Broncos’ best interests, and is something they can avoid.

Firstly, both John Elway and George Paton have drafted rather well since Super Bowl 50.  On both sides of the ball, the team has core players that have very positive long-term outlooks with the team.  Some of these players are Justin Simmons, Patrick Surtain II, Dre’Mont Jones, Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Noah Fant, Garett Bolles, and Javonte Williams.

John Elway was criticized for being a poor drafter, but I think those criticisms are lazy at best.

Outside of Williams and Surtain, Elway had a hand in drafting the rest of the players listed.  Why would a team like the Broncos undergo a full rebuild?  If history tells us anything about a rebuild, most of the players just listed would be available for trade, but that makes no sense.

Everyone I listed has positively contributed to the team in some way since being drafted, and they all are extremely skilled players who help the team.

None of them are old, so they all still are either in their prime or will reach their prime soon.

Secondly, coming into 2021, the Broncos were seen as a team with a very complete and deep roster, outside of the quarterback position.

Many of us argued that the only position on the roster that wasn’t solidified was the QB.  The other position that came up was right tackle, but Bobby Massie has held his own.

The Denver Broncos did receive quite a bit of national media attention for their deep roster, and if not for some devastating injuries, the team is sitting at 5-3, at least.

It’s clear the defense has missed Bradley Chubb, Alexander Johnson, and Josey Jewell, three other core players I didn’t mention above, and the absence of K.J. Hamler and the extended absence of Jerry Jeudy certainly didn’t help the defense either.

The roster is too good, too deep, and too young to “rebuild” or blow it up, as some would put it.

According to this table, the Broncos are tied for the 6th youngest offense in the NFL.

Outside of Bobby Massie, who probably isn’t the long-term option at right tackle, the Broncos do not have a single offensive starter over 30 years old.

Again, I ask, why would the Broncos blow this up?  What purpose would it serve the team and George Paton to sell off some of our younger offensive pieces, just to draft more young offensive pieces?

Secondly, you have to look at how incompetent our coaching staff currently is. Outside of Mike Munchak and Bill Kollar, the staff is mediocre.

Vic Fangio is in over his head and Pat Shurmur can’t call plays.  I think many of us underestimate how badly the team has looked, which is mostly due to our inept coaches.

Broncos Country seems to agree on this issue, too.  Fangio and Shurmur need to go.  They are the wrong men for these positions.

We also have to consider how much better a true franchise quarterback makes their team look.  Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, among others, are so good at playing the position that they have been able to cover up true roster deficiencies.

The Seattle Seahawks managed to win 12 games last year, even with one of the worst defenses in the entire NFL.  They won all of those games because of the greatness of Russell Wilson, and good coaching.

The Baltimore Ravens are one of the top teams in the AFC, even with more than 15 players on injured reserve because of elite quarterback play and good coaching.

Both the 2020 Seattle Seahawks and 2021 Baltimore Ravens have significant holes, but their elite signal callers and coaches make up for the rest.

If the Broncos can land a true franchise quarterback next offseason, they won’t need to rebuild their roster–with a projected $80 million in cap space, they’ll need to re-sign some of their in-house free agents and fill the rest of the roster via free agency and the draft.

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I think the trading of Von Miller and the stockpiling of two more top 100 picks would signal to me that the Denver Broncos are going to go all-in on a quarterback next offseason.

Buckle up.