Yahoo Sports Jori Epstein and Charles McDonald discuss the state of the Denver Broncos. They trade LB Bradley Chubb to the Miami Dolphins for a decent return, including a first round pick, but what does it mean? Are they admitting that the Nathaniel Hackett and Russell Wilson moves are not working out as planned? What’s next in Broncos Country? Hear the full conversation on the You Pod to Win the Game podcast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen.
JORI EPSTEIN: What does this mean for Denver? Because that's the thing, it's like, look, I get the contract extension. I get that you just gave Russ a bunch of money. You gave Randy Gregory a pretty good amount of money. You can't keep all the guys. There's a cap. But just think about how far we've come. And I know we've talked about them from other angles, but they get Nathaniel Hacker, who they're like, this guy is going to fix our offense, and we already have a good defense. They bring in Russell Wilson, who the team that they traded for, the Seahawks, are doing better than the Broncos.
And then you have game management issues. Randy Gregory gets hurt. Now you've got Bradley Chubb not even there anymore, which part of the reason-- and, I guess, again, the contract comes into play-- but part of the reason you bring in a pass rusher like Randy is because with him and Chubb both there, then it's like, well, who do you give that attention to? And now you don't have that, but you're still paying him all this money.
I just have a lot of questions about what is the process here? And how much of this-- I mean, I know he was there before the new owners, or new ownership-- well, yes, new ownership-- but also new management was there. But it's just really hard to understand what they believe in, other than that you should do high knees across the aisle on international flights.
CHARLES MCDONALD: All right, well, let me ask you a question. Do you think this is the first step in the Broncos admitting that this Russell Wilson/Nate Hackett thing is not working out like they thought it would?
JORI EPSTEIN: Yeah. Yeah, I think that's fair because especially-- and, again, I get that you get a little bit of value right now for this trade, but to do it midseason? Going back to what we were talking about, the Colts, they know that this isn't working. This is not their year.
CHARLES MCDONALD: Yeah. To me, that's kind of where I end up on it because I was a little confused. I'm like, man, you have this, quite frankly, Super Bowl-caliber defense that has just kind of caved everyone's heads in this year and to chip off a really valuable piece of that? To me, it's kind of the admission like, hmm, maybe we're not as all in as we thought we were. Maybe we need to kind of pick up another asset just for some cheap roster building for the future.
Because when you're sitting at, what, 3 and 5, the future becomes a little bit more important than the present that you're living in, based on your record. And, I mean, if you're going to have to catch up to Patrick Mahomes with a 3 and 5 record and the Chiefs, that's going to be a pretty tall task.
So I thought for them it was kind of a small admission. Like, mm, we kind of need to hedge our bet here on this Russell Wilson thing. Not to say that they're going to wind up picking a quarterback in the first round of next year's class, but it gives them just a bit of a financial cushion, I think, by offloading that contract, getting the pick back. Because now the future matters a little bit more than it might have a few months ago in Denver.
JORI EPSTEIN: For sure. And you'll have some more reasonably cost talent. I guess what's interesting is if you're-- it's always fascinating to me also the interplay between front office and coaching staff. Ideally, you want to be in lockstep if you're going to have the most functional decisions. But if you're Hackett, do you think Hackett wanted this? Or was this a George Paton move? Were they both on board? Who do you think did and didn't want Bradley Chubb headed to the Dolphins for future draft capital?
CHARLES MCDONALD: Oh, I mean, if I was the coach, I wouldn't want any of my talented players.
JORI EPSTEIN: Right.
CHARLES MCDONALD: Especially, if I'm Nate Hackett, like, I'm fighting right now for my job.
JORI EPSTEIN: Yeah.
CHARLES MCDONALD: I need as many people that can help me out with that as I possibly can. So I would imagine that it's got to be coming from the front office. Because Nate Hackett, quite frankly, doesn't really seem to be in a position where he can afford to lose someone as talented as Bradley Chubb. And I feel like he's probably the least safe person on that staff because the defensive coordinator, he's doing his job.
JORI EPSTEIN: Right.
CHARLES MCDONALD: They just kind of have to start looking at this from a little bit bigger of a long-term view.