Could the Denver Broncos trade Bradley Chubb this offseason?

Denver Broncos pass rusher Bradley Chubb. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos pass rusher Bradley Chubb. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports /

The Denver Broncos made three notable additions along the defensive edge this season. Could this mean the end of Bradley Chubb’s time in Denver?

In the 2021 season, the Denver Broncos’ edge performance was just about the worst in the NFL.  Between Bradley Chubb being held sack-less, and other uninspiring performances from the likes of Malik Reed, Jonathon Cooper, and Stephen Weatherly, the Denver Broncos had to get better in this unit.

They signed Randy Gregory in free agency, and also drafted Nik Bonitto while moving Baron Browning to the edge as well.

Those are three notable additions to this unit, and all three players bring something desirable to the room.

Gregory and Browning are absurd athletes who have not hit their ceiling yet, and Bonitto is, at this point, a pass-rush specialist.

Both Jonathon Cooper and Malik Reed would appear to be viable backups if they can crack the roster.

But what I find most notable about this entire situation is what it could mean for Bradley Chubb.  Obviously, Denver didn’t make three separate additions along the defensive edge because everything was going so well there.

Chubb was drafted to be the heir apparent to Von Miller, to be someone who could turn into an elite pass rusher.  He was widely regarded as the best defensive player in the 2018 NFL Draft.

All of a sudden, could Bradley Chubb find himself on a different team in the near future?

I think when the team signed Randy Gregory, the assumption was that he and Chubb would be the starting edge rushers to open the season.  But with the additions of Bonitto and Browning, could Denver see a path forward with this unit that doesn’t include Bradley Chubb?

Chubb has been inconsistent since entering the league.  He’s struggled with injuries and hasn’t put forth a product worth even close to his draft position.

Moreover, Denver has very little draft capital for 2023, and George Paton has said many times how much he values draft picks.

Being that the team also added DJ Jones up front to pair with Dre’Mont Jones, and being that Dre’Mont Jones will soon command an extension, perhaps trading the odd man out along the front seven, which appears to be Chubb, makes the most sense.

Let’s think about this from a financial perspective.

The team gave Randy Gregory a $70 million contract.  DJ Jones received a $30 million contract.  Dre’Mont Jones is in line for an extension that will pay him over $10 million per year.

Could the team reasonably extend Bradley Chubb at the going rate for edge rushers when they’ve already invested a ton of money into this unit?

I’ve given this entire situation a ton of thought the past two days, and the more I think about it, the more I think Bradley Chubb will be traded soon, either before the season or by the NFL trade deadline.

Denver might be willing to get the last bit of what they can out of Chubb and hold off trading him until the deadline.

They would have to hope he doesn’t get hurt, which could damage what a team would pay, but could there be a team offering a second-round pick for his services?  Could a team offer a package of multiple mid-round picks for Chubb?

If this were to happen, Denver could save over $12 million on their cap, which would also give them space to extend Dre’Mont Jones and perhaps sign another quality edge rusher in free agency for depth purposes.

I think this all makes a lot of sense for the Denver Broncos.  Sure, Chubb could stay on the team, have a great season, and get an extension, but I think it’s increasingly more likely that the team ends up trading him.