BRONCOS

George Paton hints at disappointing offseason in Broncos Country

Feb 27, 2024, 10:46 AM

A year ago, the Denver Broncos were the most-active team in free agency. They inked players to contracts totaling $235.1 million, by far the highest number in the NFL.

The Walton-Penner Family Ownership Group has deep pockets. And the richest owners in the league weren’t afraid to dig into them during their first full offseason.

Don’t expect that to happen again. On Tuesday, George Paton reiterated the reality that the Broncos aren’t going to go on another free-agent spending spree.

“We’re going to be strategic,” Denver’s general manager said at the NFL Scouting Combine. “We’re not going to be as aggressive as last year. We’re going to be more measured, trying to fill specific needs. We can’t do that every year.”

Given that the Broncos are coming off their seventh-straight losing season and have missed the playoffs for eight years in a row, that’s disappointing news. Denver has a roster devoid of talent, one that is in desperate need of upgrades across the board.

The GM says that’s not coming, at least not in a splashy way. He echoed what he said at the end of the season during his press conference in Indianapolis.

That leaves the draft for the Broncos to add talent. Some are hoping they make a bold move, trading up from their current spot int he first round, the No. 12 overall pick, to find a franchise quarterback. Based on Paton’s comments, that also seems unlikely.

“To move up to No. 1, I don’t know that we have the draft capital to do that,” the general manager said. “That’d be hard to move up to No. 1, realistically.”

Sure, moving up to the top of the draft is hard. But what about a few spots?

“It’s easier to trade down,” Paton added. “Where we’re picking is going to be very valuable if we do want to move down.”

This isn’t necessarily a bad strategy. After all, stockpiling picks could be a wise move. But it’s not going to make headlines. It’s not going to excite the masses. It’s not going to get Broncos Country fired up.

Reading the tea leaves on a Tuesday morning at the Combine, it sounds like the Broncos are going to be very conservative this offseason. Here’s hoping slow and steady wins the race.

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