Sean Payton probably has more work to do with this roster than he originally thought, and for that reason, Denver should not shy away from buying a player or two at the trade deadline. Sean Payton is quoted in saying that he'd be "pissed off" if this wasn't a playoff team. Well, I think Payton and many others within Broncos Country overrated this roster quite a bit.
Payton and the rest of the front office probably have more work to do with this roster than they originally thought, and most of that blame should fall on George Paton, who might not return next year depending on how the rest of the season goes. It would appear that Payton is here for the long run. He signed a lucrative deal and is the de-facto GM of the team. He gets final say on the roster, and I think CEO Greg Penner is going to rely on Payton for his football expertise quite a bit.
I also think Payton wants to work with people he's worked with before in New Orleans at some point. Payton and his front office colleagues consistently built excellent rosters in New Orleans for over a decade. There is certainly a type of player that Payton wants for his roster, and while I think there won't be a ton of turnover on offense, the defensive side of the ball might get a huge makeover.
For that reason, I think Denver should be in the "buy low" camp at the trade deadline. I'm not necessarily saying that the team needs to shell out high draft picks to trade for the top guys on the market, but what I am saying is that if the price is right, Denver should at least inquire and potentially make a move.
A team like the Chicago Bears might blow it up and could be massive sellers. The Arizona Cardinals and New England Patriots may fall into this category too. Maybe even the Carolina Panthers would part with Brian Burns and Jeremy Chinn for the right price. Both players would need extended, but that's just one example for you.
Sean Payton likely doesn't want to wait around three years for a rebuild to take shape, in my opinion, so I think he'd probably prefer a quick turnaround. That might not be what some in Broncos Country want to hear, but Payton has built great rosters before and I think he'll have the support and resources to do it again.