Denver Broncos 3 worst trades in franchise history

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The Denver Broncos have made a lot of great trades through the years, but they’ve also made some really horrendous ones. We rank the top three worst.

Throughout the course of the franchise’s history, the Denver Broncos have made some pretty amazing trades.

As a matter of fact, they’ve probably made two of the better trades all throughout NFL history. One of them being the team’s recent blockbuster deal to acquire Russell Wilson, and another being the team’s trade to acquire John Elway back in 1983.

As we begin exploring some potential new trade ideas with the offseason winding down, I can’t help but think back to some of the most regrettable trades in team history.

There are certainly plenty of candidates, but to me, these three particular trades stand out as the very worst for a number of reasons.

Denver Broncos

Oct 13, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco (5) calls out in the third quarter against the Tennessee Titans at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Denver Broncos worst trades of all-time no. 3: The Joe Flacco trade

Denver Broncos receive:

  • QB Joe Flacco

Baltimore Ravens receive: 

  • 4th round pick (2019)

On the surface, this trade looks fairly innocent, right?

It’s just a fourth-round pick, after all.

Unfortunately, that’s not really all it was. Not only were the Denver Broncos giving up an actual draft pick for a player the Ravens simply wanted off their payroll, but the Broncos were also inheriting the back end of Flacco’s contract.

For less than one year of service to the team, the Denver Broncos paid Joe Flacco a whopping $18.5 million, according to

Even more annoying? The Broncos drug out the recovery time of Drew Lock’s preseason injury, not getting the rookie onto the field until late in the season.

Flacco ended up suffering an injury and the Broncos prolonged Lock’s debut further by throwing Brandon Allen onto the field for a few games.

Overall, Flacco proved to be exactly what everyone thought he would be. He was statuesque in the pocket. He put the ball in harm’s way more than he made positive plays.

In that 2019 season (8 games), Flacco finished with six touchdown passes, five interceptions, and eight fumbles.

Of all the directions the Broncos could have gone that offseason (keeping Case Keenum would have been preferable), trading for Joe Flacco was about the worst thing they could have done for the growth of the franchise.

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