From perfect pre-season, Siemian’s standoff of Lynch for the second straight season and the week 2 domination of America’s Team, some could say optimism for the 2017 season was nearing a high since Peyton Manning retired after winning his second Super Bowl. Siemian, though the 2016 season ended prematurely, maintained many fans whom believed that he earned the right to be tabbed the leader of the team going forward. Everyone wanted to see Paxton Lynch develop into a capable gunslinger too, however, and the other side of the ball brought back a lot of it’s supporting cast.
The Broncos maintained a top 5 defense and the consensus was that the offense would take a step forward. The Orange and Blue still employed Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas, who were both performing at pro bowl levels in 2016 despite a Quarterback position that struggled mightily. Together, this led the fan base to believe a year of synchronization would show what the team was really capable of.
Looking back, we now know Trevor Siemian is not the heir apparent and any expectation of having Lynch step into a leadership role were outlandish. Starting running back CJ Anderson ran for his first 1000 yard season but ultimately seems to be on the way out and could possibly be on his way to the Miami Dolphins who were interested in acquiring him as a RFA a couple years back. It’s also been rumored that Demaryius and Emmanuel may be the next to leave, however with the team suspected of looking for a veteran quarterback in free agency, I’d expect at least one if not both on the roster in 2018.
On the defensive side of the ball, the team has a lot of dealing to do. Bradley Roby’s contract is up after this season, and he’s capable of starting now. This leads most to think that Talib, given his $11 million cap hit, is prime for trade or release. Last year a leader of the no fly zone in TJ Ward was shown the door in an ugly fashion. Talib, hopefully in a less dramatic episode, is looking like this years leader to hit the road. In order to erase a season of turmoil from the minds of upset fans, changes will have to be made this off-season. Beginning with the quarterback position, I will dive into what comes next!