Denver Broncos MVP for 2024 isn't exactly who you might expect

The Denver Broncos will need one individual to step up and lead this team. Who will it be?
Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

Coming into the 2024-2025 season, the Denver Broncos might finally be heading in the right direction for the first time since Super Bowl 50. They've found their coach in Sean Payton. They've made a lottery draft selection on a quarterback in Bo Nix. Ownership has shown complete faith in their hiring of Payton by letting him cut Russell Wilson and select Bo Nix a month later. That said, someone needs to step up and be the undisputed leader of this team. The one singular voice that everyone respects and listens to. The team's MVP. Who is that?

That person isn't a player. It's the head coach: Sean Payton.

Payton has been given the keys to the Broncos franchise. He's made some very public remarks on past regimes. He moved on from Wilson and the $85 million dead cap space that came with it. He drafted a player with the 12th overall pick in Bo Nix whom many highly respected football minds said was a massive reach. All that said, entering year two of this five-year plan, now's the time. He needs to put his label on this team and take them back to the glory days the franchise has desperately missed for the past nine years.

To achieve the team's MVP status come the season's finish, there has to be one outcome and one outcome only. Improvement. I won't set unrealistic expectations like Super Bowl or bust. However, if the Broncos aren't in the playoffs or at minimum one game out in a super competitive AFC, that's when questions will have to be answered.

So how can Payton rally this team and take home the self-proclaimed MVP honors? Win. Stand behind your decision of cutting Wilson and drafting Nix by winning. This team needs an injection of winning. Payton is consistently talked about in the same breath as one of the best coaches in the league currently. That sounds good and carries a strong conversation starter. However, now is the time for the results.

Like any MVP, the sole purpose of the award is that the individual brings something that no one else can or does. You should theoretically take the MVP and plug them into multiple scenarios as they improve the team ten out of ten times. This doesn't mean they always do it alone, but they need to go above and beyond all of the other great individuals that year. Payton will need help. He is the coach. He isn't on the field making the plays. That said, with a rookie quarterback and an overall younger team, he will need to imprint his game plan heavily and take full control.

Payton will need to be one mind with Nix. They will need to be consistently on the same page. Payton will need to devise the offensive scheme that best fits Nix and his weapons. Playing to the strengths of his players and putting them in the best possible situations will be key. Oftentimes last season we saw where Wilson wanted to pull the ball down and scramble for something else to formulate. That was systematically against everything Payton wants from his quarterback. So, as I said, Payton will need to be on the same page as Nix if he wants to watch this team win.

Speaking of the Payton and Wilson pairing, there's this notion that two alphas can't both have their hand on the wheel. It's been widely reported that Wilson wanted out of Seattle for more control. Year one in Denver was a disaster with the pairing of Nathaniel Hackett so the Broncos' ownership pivoted and brought in Payton. Now you've got the two alphas trying to steer the ship. One has left and one remains.

Payton has a lot on his shoulders and that's his burden to carry for the power he's been given. But as I stated earlier, the time is now. Payton has sculpted this team the way he sees fit and everyone in Broncos Country is going to need him to get back to his elite status as a top-shelf head coach while putting together a caliber MVP like the season for his Broncos to finally reclaim the glory the team has massively been deprived of.