NFL Rumors: Broncos locker room has already given up on season

Through five games in 2023, the Sean Payton era in Denver has become unique for all the wrong reasons, and Broncos players are running low on patience.

Sean Payton and Russell Wilson Denver Broncos
Sean Payton and Russell Wilson Denver Broncos / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

The Jets did it. They broke the Denver Broncos.

New York has its own half-functioning offense to tinker with, but at least they beat the coach who spit on their faces ahead of the 2023 season. Sean Payton (and Bill Belichick) has never looked more like a quarterback merchant than he does right now, coaching the irredeemable Russell Wilson and a Broncos team resistant to improvement.

NFL Network's James Palmer recently gave his assessment of the state of the 2023 Broncos and said some in Denver's locker room believe "a teardown is coming."

Palmer said, "That's just the way some of these players feel.... There are thoughts in that locker room where changes could start happening in terms of this roster before the trade deadline." The NFL trade deadline is three weeks away on October 31.

He goes on to reference Ian Rapoport's report that Broncos defensive end Frank Clark could follow in Randy Gregory's footsteps and get traded in the coming weeks.

High knees, low spirits: Broncos on the verge of collapse in 2023

Nothing has gone according to plan for the Broncos thus far. On the offensive side of the ball, Wilson has managed to up his pass completion percentage and limit his picks (he has two this year compared to 11 in 2022), yet he's still finding ways to turn over the ball, such as his critical fumble against the Jets.

The defense has suffered a steep decline under first-year coach Vance Joseph and currently ranks last in yards and points per game. Denver allowed 755 rushing yards over the past three games and is on track to end the season as the worst defense in franchise history.

The Broncos can't stop the run; nor can they pound the rock, as seen in the team's strange choice to abandon the run in the second half of the loss to the Jets.

At 6-16 since Wilson's highly anticipated arrival in the Mile High City, the Broncos are at the height of their failures and the air is getting thin. It's only a matter of time before fingers get pointed, people get fired, and the franchise starts breaking things down and selling parts for cheap. The 49ers got Gregory for mere peanuts. Who's leaving next?

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