3 trades that could save the Broncos and keep Sean Payton from retiring again

Despite a disappointing start, the Broncos can still turn their season around. Here are three ideal trade targets.

Dec 18, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson (33) reacts.
Dec 18, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson (33) reacts. / Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
1 of 3

Despite being led by a nine-time Pro Bowl quarterback and a Super Bowl Champion head coach, the Denver Broncos are off to a disappointing 0-3 start. Last Sunday, they hit rock bottom in a historic 20-70 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

Although things look bleak, the Broncos are still far from out of the playoff race. With 14 games remaining and a favorable schedule, the front office can make moves to turn this ship back around.

Let's break down three trades that could save the Broncos season.

Trades that could save the Broncos: 3. EDGE Justin Houston

The front office's first priority needs to be improving the defense. The Broncos are allowing 40.7 points per game, which is on track to be the worst single-season mark since 1921. Their pass rush has underwhelmed, producing only four total sacks (fourth-lowest in the NFL).

Their current depth chart is not devoid of edge rushing talent. Randy Gregory generated 29 pressures in 2021. Nik Bonitto and Jonathon Cooper are young players with upside, but the group could benefit from a proven, veteran option.

Justin Houston has been one of the most prolific pass rushers of the last decade. He is no longer at his All-Pro peak, but he is still a valuable contributor. Last season, he recorded 9.5 sacks and 25 pressures for the Baltimore Ravens.

The Carolina Panthers have gotten off to a 0-3 start. They are rebuilding around rookie quarterback Bryce Young. Houston is on a one-year deal. He will be a free agent this offseason, so trading him could benefit their long-term outlook.