Home Denver News Broncos Insider: What’s next for GM George Paton after Russell Wilson trade?

Broncos Insider: What’s next for GM George Paton after Russell Wilson trade?


Quarterback Russell Wilson will officially be in the Broncos’ fold March 16, after the blockbuster trade agreed to Tuesday sent three players and five draft picks to the Seattle Seahawks.

So what’s next for general manager George Paton? Free agency and the draft. This team may have solved their quarterback issue, but other holes remain.

Free agency

The Broncos created roughly $8 million in cap space by trading quarterback Drew Lock, tight end Noah Fant and defensive end Shelby Harris to the Seahawks. Wilson is currently due to count $24 million against the cap.

Paton has some money to work with and needs to add a pass rusher (to play opposite Bradley Chubb), right tackle (the Broncos have had 20 different starters in 10 years) and tight end (to replace Fant). Pass rusher and tight end should be the top two priorities on the veteran market.

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In-house, tight end Eric Saubert is scheduled to become a free agent and Paton said last week the Broncos had talked to his agents. He would fill the blocking tight end role, but a pass-catcher to join Albert Okwuegbunam is required.

At inside linebacker, the Broncos can probably afford to keep Josey Jewell or Alexander Johnson, but not both.

What will be interesting is if Wilson, like Peyton Manning during his Broncos career, can be effective in recruiting veterans to join the organization.

The Draft

The Broncos shipped first- and second-round picks in 2022-23 and a 2022 fifth-round selection to Seattle for Wilson and a fourth-round pick this year.

Because of the Von Miller trade to the Los Angeles Rams last November, Paton still has four picks in rounds 1-4 this year: The Rams’ second- and third-round picks, the Broncos’ third-rounder and the Seahawks’ fourth-rounder.

Remember, the Broncos did well in last year’s second and third rounds, adding running back Javonte Williams, right guard Quinn Meinerz and inside linebacker Baron Browning.

Right tackle would be the best option in the second round, an immediate plug-and-play starter.

— Ryan O’Halloran, The Denver Post

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What’s on tap?

TV/RADIO: Here’s what sports are airing today

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Quick Hits

+ Broncos fans go through emotional ringer as Denver trades for Russell Wilson, immediately restoring playoff expectations

+ Where new Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson ranks among the NFL’s best since 2012

+ Russell Wilson joins list of quarterbacks traded after winning the Super Bowl

+ Broncos’ Super Bowl LVII odds: What sportsbooks think of Denver’s chances after agreeing to Russell Wilson trade

+ Six biggest trades in Colorado sports history after Broncos trade for Russell Wilson

+ Broncos trade for Russell Wilson: How the sports world reacted on Twitter

+ PHOTOS: Russell Wilson’s quarterback (and baseball) career through the years

+ Want to chat about the Broncos? Ask to join our closed discussion group on Facebook.

Ask the Expert

+ Broncos Mailbag: Have a question about the team? Tap here to ask Ryan O’Halloran.

By The Numbers

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In this packed edition of the 1st & Orange podcast, Denver Post sportswriters Kyle Newman and Ryan O’Halloran break down the Broncos’ blockbuster trade for Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson. Listen here…

Parting Shot
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Get in Touch

If you see something that’s cause for question or have a comment, thought or suggestion, email me at dboniface@denverpost.com or tweet me @danielboniface.

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