Usually, a team goes from conference laughing stock to SuperBowl contenders during the off-season. However, for the Denver Broncos, it has been the complete opposite. Since lifting the Lombardi Trophy in February, not only has the franchise has lost a host of players to free agency and retirement but there is talk of key players not being on the field come September.
At quarterback, Peyton Manning retired and Brock Osweiler packed his bags and joined the Houston Texans.
While neither of them shone last season, it is quite disrespectful to replace them with Mark “butt-fumble” Sanchez, a QB journeyman who has proven he doesn’t have the skill to lead a team to the promise land.
Now, neither signal-caller who donned the Orange of Denver last season played at a level worthy of a starting NFL quarterback but Manning is an all-time great and Osweiler done enough to warrant handing the keys to the offence over to him for the long-term.
Sanchez (right) was brought in as a back-up at best but now may find himself starting in the season-opener against the Carolina Panthers – a repeat of last season’s SuperBowl.
The drafting of Paxton Lynch is clearly one for the future and while he may one day be a great player, no-one expects him to see much action this season.
If he does, it would be after Sanchez stinks the place up. Actually, maybe Lynch will see meaningful snaps this year.
The Broncos won the SuperBowl last season thanks to their amazing defence. However, this season their strength in 2015 may be their biggest weakness less than 12 months later.
Defensive lineman Malik Jackson joined the Jacksonville Jaguars on a six-year, $85.5 million contract, while inside linebacker Danny Trevathan opted to sign for the Chicago Bears for $28m.
Though they did keep hold of Brandon Marshall and franchise tagged Von Miller (pictured), the SuperBowl MVP has since come out and said that he will not play under the $14m tag in 2016 and turned down a 6-year, $114.5m — with $39.8m guaranteed in the first two years.
The Broncos have until July 15 to sign Miller and while the situation can still be resolved, it isn’t looking good for John Elway and Gary Kubiak right now.
To make matters worse, cornerback Aqib Talib could miss the start of the season after he was shot in the leg in a Dallas nightclub.
Allegedly, Talib done a “Cheddar Bob” and shot himself in the leg though that has not been verified yet.
Even so, losing Manning, Osweiler, Jackson, Trevathan in one off-season is bad enough. Factor in that Talib may not be back in time for the season and Miller may miss the 2016 campaign altogether, it is hard to see the Broncos making the post-season let alone the SuperBowl.