The Denver Broncos made an admission when they traded Bradley Chubb to the Miami Dolphins this week in an exchange for a first-round draft pick, among other compensation.
NFL teams aren’t forced to be honest with the media and their fan bases until it’s time to make a transaction. The message that the Broncos sent with the Chubb trade is simple: They aren’t nearly as close as they thought they were to winning a championship and it’s time to start considering the future again.
This season has been a disaster for the Broncos. Their trade for Russell Wilson, paired with a defense that appeared to be one of the deepest in the league, seemed to immediately put them in title contention. It was a necessary move in a division that features as much star talent as the AFC West, but they sit at 3-5 at the midpoint of the season. Winning a Super Bowl, or even going on a deep playoff run, would be incredibly unlikely at this point. So, it’s time to readjust and stock back up for the immediate future. The goal for the Wilson-led Broncos is to win it all — there’s still time for that to happen — but it’s not going to be this season.
That realization in itself is an admission that they might have jumped the gun with the Wilson trade and the assets used on it. They recouped on one of the first-round picks that they sent to Seattle in the Chubb deal, but it cost them one of their best players on a defense that has performed at a championship level. Instead of being all-in with the best roster they could possibly field, they had to ship off a great young player to get back into the first round of the 2023 draft — and the cost-controlled contract that pick will come with.
Considering Wilson’s contract has him handcuffed to the team for the next four years, it’s unlikely that the Broncos will use that pick on a quarterback should the Dolphins flounder and deliver them a quality first-round pick. Denver has a few needs now that must be attended to, mainly buffering Wilson's supporting cast. If Wilson can’t be the quarterback who can put an offense on his back anymore, the Broncos need to insulate his surroundings to give him the best chance at success.
This version of Wilson (and quite frankly, Nate Hackett) is not what the Broncos thought they were getting when they pulled off that trade. It’s time to readjust and become more future-focused than they were a few months ago. That’s an admission that this trade has not come to fruition in the way that they had hoped. Teams speak with their actions, and this was a very telling action. If you disagree with what the Broncos are telling us, take it up with me at the logo and I’ll show you who the real Mr. Unlimited is.