Let the rumor mill begin to churn. Even though the NFL season isn’t close to being over, the Denver Broncos recently signed Tim Patrick and Courtland Sutton to significant extensions to keep them on board for the next few seasons. After the deals were announced, it triggered conversations about John Elway and the Broncos laying down a path to lure Aaron Rodgers this offseason. Alas, maybe that is their plan.
On the surface, it sure looks like they are copying the blueprint of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their pursuit of Tom Brady — one that worked out perfectly for both sides. Is this what the Broncos are doing?
It seems like it, and it just might work.
The Broncos seem poised to go all-in to try and attract Aaron Rodgers this offseason
By now, this isn’t entirely surprising. The Broncos were among the favorites to acquire the Green Bay Packers quarterback in the offseason before Rodgers decided to return for one more year.
Now, months later, the Broncos’ rumors have churned again. After they passed on Justin Fields and Mac Jones in the 2021 NFL Draft, the duo of Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock isn’t a long-term fix.
They need to address the quarterback position, and the Broncos have already scouted many of the top options in the 2022 NFL Draft class. Nonetheless, they want to push all the chips in and bring another Super Bowl trophy back to the Mile High City.
After all, it worked with the Peyton Manning signing, so maybe it would work again if Rodgers does come to town.
Tampa Bay put a full court press to attract Tom Brady by loading up the entire roster
After Brady decided to depart from the New England Patriots, only two teams made a strong push to acquire him, for some reason.
Those two teams were the Buccaneers and the Los Angeles Chargers. Sure, both teams threw massive contract offers his way, but ultimately, the talent in Tampa Bay was too tempting for Brady to pass up.
The Buccaneers employed Chris Godwin and Mike Evans and a talented offensive line. The defense featured playmakers galore, and the only thing missing was a capable quarterback.
While the Chargers had an argument themselves, the offensive line was an issue, Mike Williams was injury prone, and the Anthony Lynn-Shane Steichen coaching duo was not a promising one at all. On paper, the Chargers’ talent on offense appeared to have more talent, but Bruce Arians was and will always be a far better head coaching option than Lynn.
After Brady signed, the Bucs brought in Leonard Fournette, Antonio Brown, and former Patriots teammate Rob Gronkowski to load up the offense. It just didn’t stop for the Bucs, and it worked out swimmingly as they won the Super Bowl in Brady’s first year in Florida.
Can the Broncos do the same to lure Rodgers? They need to. After years and years of mediocrity at the quarterback position since Manning left, the addition of Rodgers would instantly vault the Broncos into a Super Bowl contender.
The roster in Denver should make Aaron Rodgers think long and hard about heading there
Sure, nothing is imminent at this point.
But the Broncos are loading the roster with a ton of talent. Sutton, Patrick, and Jerry Jeudy make up a dynamic wide receiver core. Tight end Noah Fant and the running back duo of Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams round out an impressive core of skill players.
Flip the script, and let’s examine what Rodgers is working with in Green Bay, which has endured a rash of injuries this year. Yes, Davante Adams is one of the best receivers in the NFL. But, he is slated to hit free agency if the two sides can’t strike a deal.
Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon boast a nice running room as well. After that, there isn’t much on the offensive end.
The second-highest receiver in Green Bay is Randall Cobb, with 375 yards. Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Jones, and Dillon round out the next three spots, with Adams already over 1,000 yards receiving.
For some reason, the Green Bay front office has failed to get Rodgers any young receiving help in the past few drafts. Furthermore, the selection of Jordan Love in the 2020 NFL Draft showed what they think about Rodgers long-term.
Now, the Packers defense is much-improved, but the Broncos group has a lot of studs on that side of the ball as well. Patrick Surtain II is off to a hot start in his career, and Bradley Chubb is an electric pass-rusher. The Broncos are third in the NFL in points allowed per game and are in the top 15 in sacks and interceptions.
If they had an above-average quarterback, the Broncos would be meriting serious Super Bowl consideration this year — especially with the inconsistencies in the AFC. Moreover, Vic Fangio’s comments should expedite the Broncos’ quarterback search.
All in all, the Broncos are doing what they can to attract Rodgers. Much like the Brady race in the 2020 offseason, this sweepstakes could come down to just a handful of teams.
Stats Courtesy of Pro Football Reference