NFL rumors: Broncos-Russell Wilson succession plan reeks of mediocrity

The Denver Broncos used to be a proud NFL franchise. What in the hell happened to them?

Jarrett Stidham, Denver Broncos
Jarrett Stidham, Denver Broncos / Candice Ward/GettyImages

There is a very strong possibility that the Denver Broncos will have the longest active playoff drought by the time next season ends. Of course, that hinges almost entirely on the New York Jets being good, but that is why they traded for Aaron Rodgers, right? Regardless of how you feel about Gang Green, the Broncos are setting themselves up to have yet another forgettable campaign this season.

According to Mike Klis of 9News, the expectation for the Broncos at the quarterback position this offseason is to go with Jarrett Stidham as the 2024 starter with a rookie signal-caller backing him up. Denver has the No. 12 overall pick, but even that may not be enough to get a top-four quarterback in this draft class. They will have to trade up for either J.J. McCarthy, or reach on someone like Bo Nix.

The Broncos are probably going to be terrible, especially with the amount of dead cap they are eating after cutting ties with Russell Wilson. He is only playing for the veteran minimum in Pittsburgh, while the Broncos are stuck with the rest of his albatross of a contract. While Stidham is a fine backup, the Broncos now have one of the lowest ceilings at the quarterback position heading into the NFL Draft.

Unless someone like McCarthy or Nix is a franchise-changing player, this team is going to be horrific.

NFL rumors: Denver Broncos QB plans hint punting on winning in 2024

It has been a painfully long time since the Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers to win Super Bowl 50. Peyton Manning has been in the Pro Football Hall of Fame for a few years after waiting out the minimum requirement of time to get in. 2015 is nearly a decade removed. For this team to miss out on the playoffs for a decade would be mind-boggling. They are in the midst of their worst stretch ... ever.

Although Stidham is a fine backup, one who can grow and develop under Sean Payton's guidance, this is probably the worst team in the AFC West. With the Kansas City Chiefs firmly atop the division, as well as the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers trending up under new head coaches, you have to wonder what the Broncos are even doing. George Paton's seat is getting exceedingly hot.

Overall, I think it serves the Broncos to at least entertain the possibility of trading up from No. 12. A team like the Atlanta Falcons picking at No. 8 don't need a quarterback. If the Broncos get into that range, they are surely going to be in a far better position to land a quarterback. If they moved up to No. 4 in a deal with the Arizona Cardinals, they can guarantee themselves Drake Maye or McCarthy.

Rolling with Stidham for a minute is fine, but Denver must get its next quarterback in the NFL Draft.

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