This may sound ridiculous, but could there be an argument here? Could year one for Sean Payton and the Denver Broncos not exactly be fully bought in on competing? It sounds insane, but perhaps this year is simply going to be more of an evaluation year for Sean Payton and the Denver Broncos. The organization desperately needed someone like Payton to hopefully right the ship, and righting that ship is certainly something that will take more than one year.
The Denver Broncos have been a bad football team since 2017. They were at least a competitive, winning football team in 2016. Anyway, the last six years have been quite miserable and the Broncos have cycled through numerous failed first-time head coaches. The team has also had a few years where the roster talent just wasn't quite there.
Some questionable front office decisions by former general manager John Elway and current GM George Paton have also hurt the team a bit. The team finally said enough was enough and decided to trade even more draft capital for Sean Payton. The Broncos essentially traded Bradley Chubb and a second-round pick for Sean Payton, which is honestly a stellar deal.
Anyway, the Broncos did hit the ground running and spent quite a bit of money in free agency, but was this free agency splurge equipping this team for a playoff run, or was this simply the Denver Broncos covering up roster holes? Think about it. The team spent big along the offensive line, which is great. However, the Broncos' offensive line had really been below-average for years.
Maybe Sean Payton signing Ben Powers and Mike McGlinchey was because he wanted to field a competent offensive line to get a more accurate look at the offense as a whole. Perhaps the team drafting Marvin Mims Jr. was to cover up for the mistakes the team made with Montrell Washington and KJ Hamler. Every successful offense does need to have a speed threat.
And Denver's WR corps has battled injuries for years, so there was definitely a need for that position. Defensively, the team brought in reinforcements along the defensive line in Zach Allen, who essentially replaced Dre'Mont Jones. Drew Sanders was drafted to likely eventually replace Josey Jewell, who is a free agent at the end of the year, and Riley Moss was brought in to help out in the secondary.
Maybe, just maybe, the roster moves the Denver Broncos made this offseason weren't exactly them trying to make a run in 2023. The team seems to have better coaching than they do roster talent. I would not be surprised if this is more of an evaluation year for the Denver Broncos. Having a competent, average roster allows the staff to effectively evaluate what they have and don't have.
Who knows, maybe the Broncos finish with nine or so wins in 2023 and decide that they are closer to being a contending then, so perhaps their following roster moves would indicate that.