Everybody has a price in the NFL, even if you only live in the hypothetical. But for a team like the Denver Broncos that is 2-5 and heading towards potentially another bottom-10 finish in 2023, certainly no players should be off limits, right? Well, it's not really that simple. When things are going bad, it's easy to get frustrated and just say, gut the roster, get the draft picks, and rebuild it from scratch.
But that's not typically how NFL teams operate. You might see some trades here or there, and you might even see some players ask specifically to be traded. But as the Broncos attempt to build the culture that Sean Payton wants to see, the vibe I'm getting is that the team would much rather try to win as many games as possible this season (whatever that looks like) than lose as many games as possible to get better NFL Draft positioning.
Regardless of whether or not you agree with that way of thinking, Sean Payton likely believes he can coach the players currently on this roster to a point that they are executing at a high level and winning games. Remember, he said before the season that he would be "ticked off" if this wasn't a playoff team. Things are trending toward him being ticked off, but there are still 10 more games to be played. There's a lot of growing this team could still do, but the NFL trade deadline looms (October 31).
Which players will end up being off limits for the Denver Broncos despite a ton of rumors surrounding this team?
5 Denver Broncos who should be off limits at 2023 NFL trade deadline
1. Justin Simmons, safety
Although it feels like we've discussed just about every player on the roster as being available or potentially available in a trade over the last handful of weeks, one player whose name has been thrown out there that really just doesn't sit right is safety Justin Simmons. The Broncos have already lost starting safety Caden Sterns to a season-ending injury. Kareem Jackson has been suspended four games by the NFL for hitting people too hard.
Trading Justin Simmons could ultimately be disastrous not only for the Denver Broncos' defense in the short-term, but perhaps even for the growth of some of their young players on that side of the ball in the long term. Simmons is such an important veteran player for this team. Of course, you want to see the guy get the chance to win, but with his contract situation, it's possible that if the Broncos were to trade him, they would only get pennies on the dollar. Look at what the Titans just got for Kevin Byard in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles...
With all due respect to Terrell Edmunds, this would be a slap in the face to the Broncos and Broncos Country to see Justin Simmons get traded for a couple of late Day 3 draft picks. Context matters, of course, and maybe the Titans have made a decision to go into fire sale mode so they are giving the Eagles a discount on a good player, but if this is the going rate for All-Pro safeties, the Broncos should have no part of it.