Broncos GM Paton says he wants to “win now,” explains some of his moves
The Denver Broncos 53-man roster is set. For now.
The roster will inevitably change multiple times in the next 48 hours, but this is where we stand on Tuesday afternoon. Your 2022 Broncos have been pretty much assembled.
Some of the controversial moves by Broncos GM George Paton were trading Malik Reed to the Steelers, picking Corliss Waitman to be the team’s punter over Sam Martin and selecting Brett Rypien over Josh Johnson as the backup QB. Paton was asked about all them at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, and said the Reed situation was a product of Denver having too much talent at the outside linebacker position.
“I love Malik. Everyone does. Great kid. Really good player. We just had a log jam. We have a lot of really talented outside backers that can rush. I though it’d be best to trade Malik and trade him somewhere where he’s going to fit in with a really good organization. We wouldn’t of just traded him anywhere. He wanted to go to Pittsburgh and we found a home for him. I think it’s win-win for both sides,” Paton said.
On the punter situation, there was some speculation it had to do with money. Martin had a $2,733,334 cap figure compared to Waitman’s $825,000. It meant that the 10-year veteran had to be appreciably better for what special-teams coordinator Dwayne Stukes wanted to do in order to remain with the Broncos. He wasn’t, so he’s gone. But Paton said it wasn’t about the money.
“It had nothing to do with it. We picked the best punter for us. The punter with the most upside, the biggest leg. Money had nothing to do with it. We have plenty of cap room to do what we need to do. We’re not going to get rid of a good player than can help us win for money,” Paton said.
He added that they like Waitman a lot and are excited about him being Denver’s punter.
“With the punting situation, again, another great competition. Two really good punters. Sam’s been a good punter in this league for a long, long time,” Paton said. “Corliss is really talented. Big leg, lefty, we think he has unique ability.”
Finally, Paton discussed wanting to win this season. He has the QB in place with Russell Wilson, so he’s all-in on pursuing a championship this year.
“We want to win now. We want to win this year. So, there’s a fine line, just getting picks to get picks. We also want to win games,” Paton said.
Paton said the Reed trade helped them move up a little bit in next year’s draft, from the seventh-round to the sixth-round with their final selection (for now), and there was other trade interest with different players. But he didn’t pull the trigger, because as he explained above, picks don’t help the Broncos win this year.
There you have it. The grind of training camp, preseason and roster assembly is pretty much over. Now it’s time for these guys to go get it done on the field.