10 biggest trade mistakes for the Denver Broncos in franchise history

- The Russell Wilson trade?

- The worst draft day trade ever?

- Destroying the team from 2009-2010

Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
3 of 10

8. Not making the Colin Kaepernick trade happen in 2016

The Denver Broncos have had so many issues with the quarterback position since Peyton Manning retired that it's easy to forget how close this team was to some really interesting alternate storylines.

The most interesting of them all is, what if Colin Kaepernick had taken over for the Super Bowl 50 champion Broncos?

Colin Kaepernick in Gary Kubiak's offense...can you imagine what that might have been like? Of course, at this point in time, it's easy for people to say that it would have gone poorly. Kaepernick's story is a controversial one at best and a divisive one at worst. He began kneeling during the national anthem in the 2016 season, causing outrage not only within the NFL community but the political community.

Say what you want about Kaepernick's political agenda, but the guy was a player on the rise after being selected in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft out of Nevada. He helped lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl in just his second NFL season, and he was a dynamic dual-threat at the position as dual-threat players were really starting to gain traction in the NFL.

Had the Broncos acquired him and inserted him into Gary Kubiak's offense in 2016, we'll never know how different things could have been. The Broncos and 49ers had an agreement on the parameters for a trade involving Kaepernick going back to Denver. Kaepernick had reportedly visited John Elway's home on multiple occasions as the 49ers allowed him to pursue these trade opportunities.

Unfortunately, there was a hangup with Kaepernick's contract and a standoff between the Broncos, 49ers, and Kaepernick, which resulted in the 49ers calling the Broncos' bluff and keeping him.

I can't help but feel that Kaepernick would have thrived with the rest of that Denver Broncos roster, a roster that still included Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders at the time, and one of the best defenses in the league. That 2016 Denver Broncos team won nine games with Trevor Siemian at QB.

It's hard to think back on that time and not wonder what could have been.