It’s time to face reality and realize that the Broncos are not contenders for a Super Bowl this season. And they won’t be for at least another five years.
First thing’s first, the Broncos must find their franchise quarterback. Denver has yet to do that since Peyton Manning rode off into the sunset with his second Super Bowl ring. Everyone always said that the Broncos could win a world championship with any quarterback with the elite Denver defense. Fun fact, that’s not the case and it’s time to realize how valuable Manning was to this franchise.
Only six quarterbacks have gone to a Super Bowl in their second season of their career. If you miss on a quarterback that you draft, it will set your franchise back at least two years. The Broncos have no plan right now at the quarterback position because they went ahead and traded for Joe Flacco and then drafted Drew Lock in the second round of the NFL Draft.
Don’t forget that Flacco is not going to mentor the rookie, so the best way for Lock to learn is to get on the field. But that isn’t going to happen unless an injury happens to Flacco. If the Broncos are hoping Lock is the future of the franchise, they must start him this season. We also have to remember that there has been only one quarterback in NFL history to win a Super Bowl with two different teams – Peyton Manning. It’s hard to imagine Flacco becoming the second.
What players are going to be on this roster five years from now? With Chris Harris Jr. and Derek Wolfe both going into their contract years, it’s uncertain if they’re going to want to re-sign after this season, especially if the ceiling is an 8-8 record. Both players are looking to get their biggest contracts yet despite taking hometown discounts in their previous contract.
Another name to keep an eye on is Von Miller. The best edge rusher in the game is heading into his ninth season and only has three years left on his deal. If Miller was to sign another contract after this one expires in 2020, he would be 33 years old. Denver also has team options on Miller in the final two years of his contract, meaning they can save plenty of money by moving on from him. Expect Bradley Chubb to be on this roster in five years with his potential and a possible contract extension.
One of the other main reasons why the Broncos won’t contend for another five years is because of the future of the Broncos front office and head coach. John Elway and Joe Ellis have three years remaining on their current contracts and there’s talks that they will walk away after their deals are up. Elway could possibly leave the team before his three years are up, but Ellis might have to stay in charge of the team to help them get through the new CBA that expires after the 2020 season. Once Ellis walks away, we can expect a new team owner along with a new GM to replace Elway.
Typically when a new GM takes over an NFL franchise, they tend to attempt to build their own teams and hire their own head coach. Vic Fangio will be 61 before the 2019 regular season begins and there is no sign that he will be coaching past his four-year contract.
If Drew Lock does not pan out as if the Broncos are hoping he will be, Denver will need to be drafting a quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft. It’s safe to say there a lot of moving parts within this organization before they will be contending for a fourth Lombardi Trophy.
The chances they all come together within the next five years? Not very good.