BRONCOS

Should the Broncos draft a quarterback or look into free agency?

Feb 10, 2024, 9:32 AM

The Denver Broncos are again headed into the offseason without a starting quarterback. Sean Payton decided to bench Russell Wilson two games before the season ended, and the message was clear. Wilson wasn’t a good fit in Payton’s offense and was ready to move on.

Payton made several comments throughout the season that they were using a simplified version of the playbook because of Wilson’s performance, and it was apparent the two were not getting along. While we did see a streak of success during the middle of the season, it would never last because of their dysfunctional relationship.

When the Broncos hired Payton, it was for one reason: To bring this team back to being Super Bowl contenders. Greg Penner and George Paton gave Payton complete control of the team, and he’s made his presence known.

Now heading into the offseason, the big question is, who will Payton want to be his quarterback next year?

Payton has several ways to approach the situation. He could look into free agency, keep Jarrett Stidham or draft a quarterback.

The Broncos have the 12th pick in the NFL Draft this year and have a chance to move up into the top three if they want to go all in on a rookie quarterback.

While all three options have pros and cons, the Broncos need to trade up in the draft and get Caleb Williams.

Willams is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, and he’s truly something special. He had an incredible 2023 season where he threw for 3,633 yards, 30 touchdowns and rushed for 11 touchdowns. Willams is a leader with the ability and confidence to bring a franchise to a championship. He would be an invaluable asset to the Broncos organization and a fresh start. 

Ever since Peyton Manning retired in 2015, the Broncos have been through every type of quarterback imaginable, and the only option they haven’t tried yet is drafting a quarterback in the first round.

Yes, drafting a quarterback in the first round is risky, but the upside is much higher in the long run. The Broncos need to find stability in the quarterback position, and they need to do it by developing a quarterback and building him into a franchise player.

Bringing in a player in free agency is just a waste of time for the Broncos. Players like Baker Mayfield, Mac Jones and Sam Darnold have been in the talks and could fit Payton’s offensive scheme, but they’re short-term solutions. They’re average quarterbacks who will be traded around the league to bridge that gap for teams looking for their franchise quarterback.

Payton has never coached a rookie quarterback before, and the question has been asked, would he be willing to do that at this stage in his career? Even though coaching a rookie may not be appealing to Payton, it’s truly what is best for the Broncos. They need to find a long-term solution, and bringing in Williams is the best way to move this franchise in the right direction.

Trading for Willams would cost the Broncos a few star players and draft picks, but it’s their best long-term solution. Build a team around Willams and create a dynasty. It’s a challenging task, but it’s not impossible.

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