Denver Broncos: 3 offseason moves that were home runs, and 2 that were flubbed

The Denver Broncos have done a lot to shake up the roster this offseason. Some of the moves were terrific while others were somewhat botched. One thing is for sure, the Broncos are going to look much different in 2024 than they did in 2023. 

Head coach Sean Payton decided to go in a completely different direction as it was clear that Russell Wilson was not the guy he wanted playing quarterback in his offense. The team drafted Bo Nix in the first round and had a solid draft overall

But not every move the team made was great, and that can be said for nearly every team in the league. There is at least some level of risk involved with each roster move. 

Whether getting great value in a draft or overpaying for a free agent, there is often a thin line between good roster moves and bad ones. Here is a look at five moves the team has made since the conclusion of the 2023 season. 

Denver Broncos offseason moves: The good

Drafting Troy Franklin in the fourth round

This was the best pick the Broncos made in the draft. To start Day 3 of the selection process, they traded way up with the Seattle Seahawks to be able to select the former Oregon wide receiver and college teammate of Nix. 

Franklin, who some gave a first-round grade, fell down the board as some teams felt he was a little on the smaller side. But Denver was the perfect landing spot since they already had Nix there. Now, the team can recreate one of college football’s best connections through the air. 

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Trading for John Franklin-Myers

The Broncos made a couple of trades with the New York Jets this offseason and this is the one that fell on the good side. During the draft, the team was able to acquire John Franklin-Myers for a sixth-round pick in 2026. 

The Broncos needed some more help on the defensive line and this was a savvy move as Franklin-Myers was once a fourth-round pick and is a presumed starter in this year’s defense. He has 19.5 career sacks and should provide the team with a good veteran presence at a spot where that was sorely needed. 

Drafting Audric Estime in the fifth round

Another great value choice that the team was able to find, Audric Estime has a chance to be this team’s starting running back at some point down the road. He is a big, downhill runner with a great combination of size and speed. He will be one of those running backs who nobody wants to tackle. 

Undrafted free agent Blake Watson is another name to watch this summer. He and Estime could be the future of the running back position in Denver. 

Denver Broncos offseason moves: The bad

Releasing Justin Simmons

From a financial standpoint, releasing Justin Simmons made sense. It did save the team $14.5 million in salary cap space. But from a football standpoint, it’s not a good move. 

The best players are often going to cost you a little more and Simmons was still (and still would be) one of the best players on the entire roster. He was the leader of the defense and the best the Broncos could do to replace him was to sign Brandon Jones. 

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I’m not sure about you, but I’d rather have Simmons and a little less money under the cap than Jones. 

Simmons has yet to sign with a new team but that’s not because he’s no longer a good football player. It’s because he’s waiting for the perfect opportunity to present itself. 

Trading for Zach Wilson

The Broncos didn’t have to give up much to get the former No. 2 overall pick, so the low-risk roll of the dice is understandable. But the early returns on the Wilson trade are not encouraging.

While there are reports out there that state he is “in the mix” for the starting role, plenty of others who have watched him in practices with the team have things like this to say:

The goal for this season should be to get Nix ready and to see how soon he can take the field as the starter. Adding Wilson has just made the position more jumbled than it needs to be. 

The Broncos already had Jarrett Stidham. Have him and Nix battle for the job during training camp. Unless Wilson looks incredible in preseason games, his stint in Denver could be a short one. 


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