Sean Payton might put potential rookie QB through a huge test in 2024

This might set the Denver Broncos up nicely for 2025 and beyond.

Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

Sean Payton, the Denver Broncos' evil genius head coach, might have a perfect plan in place for a rookie QB that the team picks in the 2024 NFL Draft. Coming into this offseason, the Broncos roster needs, especially on offense, were and are obvious. The team did have quite the free agency at their disposal to improve the offense, but in fact, they subtracted from it.

Lloyd Cushenberry left for the Tennessee Titans, and the team traded Jerry Jeudy. While both players don't amount to major losses, the team didn't bring in another offensive free agent, but instead did focus on re-signing some of their own guys like FB Michael Burton, TE Adam Trautman, and WR Lil'Jordan Humphrey.

On paper, the Broncos have the personnel to run the football efficiently, but don't have a viable receiving tight end and have an average wide receiver room at best. At this point, it'd feel like a massive shock if the Broncos don't come away with one of the top QBs in the 2024 NFL Draft, and I think Payton is preparing to land one of them by any means necessary.

If you remember last offseason, Sean Payton was constantly complimentary of Russell Wilson, who everyone saw was not a good fit in the offense. However, Payton remained confident that we'd see flashes of the old Wilson in 2023, and we did. On paper, there weren't many QBs in the NFL who were more efficient, with Wilson's passer rating approaching 100.

He was responsible for 29 total touchdowns and eight interceptions. Even while he was clearly not able to run Payton's offense the way it's supposed to be run, Payton did what we could and got Wilson back to a form of his prior self.

Well, depending on where you look, there are a few QBs in the 2024 NFL Draft who seem like great fits for Sean Payton's offense. The realistic ones that the Broncos could draft likely include Bo Nix and Michael Penix Jr. I do think Sean Payton is going to come away with one of those two, and maybe will make a huge effort to land JJ McCarthy.

Seeing as Sean Payton was able to make it work for a time with Russell Wilson, I think he'd feel even more confident he could make it work with a rookie QB who possesses a more ideal skillset for his offense, thus not having to be aggressive in free agency to try and fix the offense. Think about it; Payton surely wouldn't expect the rookie QB to play elite-level football, but he'd probably just be looking for encouraging parts here and there that could pave the way for the year two leap.

Next year, the Denver Broncos are expected to have nearly $100 million in salary cap space, which is an insane number that the team hasn't ever seen, I don't think. And with the biggest advantage in sports being having a productive QB on a rookie contract, the window would be wide open for Denver beginning in 2025. I firmly believe that Sean Payton didn't want to be too aggressive in FA this year because he's confident that he can make it work with this group of players with a rookie QB.


Saving some cap space while trying to develop the rookie QB would truly put things in a good spot for 2025. Equipped with a ton of cap space, a likely respectable free agency class, and a QB ready to make a year two jump, Sean Payton and the Denver Broncos could be in great shape.

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