Videos by OutKick
The NFL rumor mill has been rife with whispers about the Denver Broncos the past week and on Thursday general manager George Paton met with reporters to basically dispel those rumors.
Paton, in London with the team for Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium, said he does not have buyer’s remorse about signing quarterback Russell Wilson to a $245 million contract.
Wilson so far this season has thrown 5 touchdown passes and 3 interception and is completing a career low 58.6 percent of his passes.
No Wilson contract buyer’s remorse for Paton
“We felt really good about Russ,” Paton said. “We feel really good about Russ. We just wanted to get ahead of [the contract situation]. We didn’t want a lot of distraction during the season. We feel really good about it. I feel really good about that deal. I feel like it will hold up. I feel good about Russ.”
The Broncos have been fielding phone calls about numerous players as teams check in prior to the Nov. 1 NFL trade deadline. Wilson has gone so far as to try to quell the concerns of players such as linebacker Bradley Chubb and receiver Jerry Jeudy, to tell them teams only call about good players.
Amid thoughts the Broncos might be selling off talent and basically quitting on this season, there’s ongoing questions about the status of coach Nathaniel Hackett.
Hackett, in his first season as an NFL head coach, has had some rough moments already and, worse, the team is 2-5 and in last place in the AFC West.
That has led to the idea that if Hackett’s team loses to the Jaguars, either Paton or ownership will fire Hackett during the bye that follows the game.
But Paton endorsed Hackett.
Broncos GM George Paton Endorses Coach
“I believe in Nathaniel. I support Nathaniel 100 percent,” Paton said. “The scrutiny he’s faced has been unprecedented. We’ve had four prime-time games so he’s had to kind of learn in front of the world, but I really like how he’s kept the team together. They’re connected. He’s kept our building together. I appreciate how he’s fought through that.”
The Broncos started the season winning two of their first three games. But they’ve lost four in a row and vultures are starting to circle on a season that seems all but lost. So Hackett, the day-to-day face of that losing, has been the chief target for blame.
That apparently has not affected Paton’s opinion of the coach. Indeed, he’s seeing improvement.
“I see the day-to-day with Nathaniel, see him in front of the team,” Paton said. “It’s hard to lose five games like we’ve lost, and Nathaniel has shown great leadership. He’s kept this team together, this coaching staff, and really our entire building together.”
Paton also dismissed the idea the Broncos will be in sell mode at the trade deadline, regardless of how many teams call.
“We’re not in the mode of getting rid of our really good players,” Paton said.
Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero