The Denver Broncos have been through some tough times for several years, missing the playoffs every year since winning Super Bowl 50.
In fact, since winning that game over the Carolina Panthers in February 2016, the Broncos have an overall record of 44-70, a winning percentage of just .386.
The post-Peyton Manning years have not been good to the team.
But it is not due to a lack of effort. In each of the past two seasons, the Broncos have pulled off a blockbuster trade. Last March, the Broncos traded for quarterback Russell Wilson. Despite rumors swirling for months that the Broncos were in play for Aaron Rodgers, they transitioned to the Seattle Seahawks’ Wilson when Rodgers signed a new deal with the Green Bay Packers.
The season was terrible. Nathaniel Hackett lost his job before his first year was even complete, becoming one of just four coaches to ever have that happen. After searching for weeks for his replacement, the Broncos came to terms to acquire Sean Payton in a trade with the New Orleans Saints.
With Payton in the fold, expectations will likely be high again soon for this team.
The Broncos gave up quite a bit to get this quarterback and head coach combination. Here is a full look at what the Broncos traded for Wilson and Payton.
Once that is all said and done, the Broncos will have given up 11 players in total to get back a quarterback, a coach, and two draft picks. Still, there won’t be too many Broncos fans out there that wouldn’t sign up for this package.
The Broncos are making the moves they have to make in order to keep up
The Broncos know that drastic measures may need to be taken in order to get things turned around. The team plays in a difficult division that features a team that is about to appear in the Super Bowl for the third time in four years.
So while the Broncos definitely have given up a large package of players and draft picks, these are the kinds of moves an organization may need to make when it comes to overcoming the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs, not to mention the rest of the AFC which is filled with great teams and players.
The Broncos are not a team that just wants to make it to the playoffs. The Broncos are a team that wants to compete for Super Bowls. They feel now that they have the right quarterback and head coach to do that.
Drew Brees, the quarterback that Payton did win a Super Bowl with, already likes the possibilities for Wilson and his former head coach.
I will wait to put an overall grade on this trade as so much remains to be seen. Directly after the Wilson trade became official, I stated that the Broncos gave up a bit too much. The deal for Payton actually came a bit cheaper than some had anticipated it would so perhaps the overall package of these two deals will create the situation the Broncos have long been chasing.