John Elway finally has his quarterback. After 10 seasons and one Super Bowl in Seattle, Russell Wilson is getting a fresh start with the Denver Broncos.
On paper, quarterback was always the missing piece for this team, which already possessed one of the league’s best defenses and some young talent at running back and wide receiver. Only problem: They play in what’s now become the toughest division in football.
Training camp location: Englewood, Colo.
UCHealth Training Center
Rookie report date: July 26
Veteran report date: July 26
Key acquisitions: EDGE Nik Bonitto, DL D.J. Jones, QB Russell Wilson
Key losses: QB Teddy Bridgewater, TE Noah Fant, DL Shelby Harris, QB Drew Lock
With less of a draft arsenal than usual, GM George Paton targeted help in the secondary and a replacement for Fant in UCLA’s Greg Dulcich. Of course, Paton’s stockpile of picks was thinned making what could be a franchise-altering move in trading for Russell Wilson.
Wilson, 33, took the Seahawks to a pair of Super Bowls and beat the Broncos in New Jersey. He’ll have a better line and a sneaky good group of receivers.
Landing Oklahoma edge Nik Bonnito and signing Randy Gregory are big for a defense that opens a season without Von Miller for the first time since 2010. A secondary that showed signs of growth might approach special if second-year corner Patrick Surtain II gets enough help.
–WEEK 1 IN FOCUS:
Broncos at Seahawks, Monday Sept. 12, 8:15 p.m. ET
Line: Broncos -5.5 (FanDuel)
Total: 42.5 points
The NFL couldn’t wait to schedule Wilson’s return to Seattle, so this primetime affair will be a big to-do at the end of Week 1 even though the QB has barely been gone long enough to be missed. The Broncos are rightly favored against a team that looks to be entering a rebuild.
–SHORT OF MILE-HIGH EXPECTATIONS
A 10-7 finish seems possible for the Broncos, but at press time, the over/under was set at exactly 10 with no half-win. The under (+100 at DraftKings) holds the longer odds, but 9-8 might be more reasonable than 11-6 when considering the two games against the Chiefs, the Chargers and the bulked-up Raiders. Denver’s nonconference slate is no cakewalk, featuring the NFC West (Rams, etc.) and trips to Tennessee and Baltimore.
–Field Level Media