Denver Broncos general manager George Paton addressed the media on Thursday in London, sharing his outlook on Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett and the various trade rumors involving several key players.

Paton throws support behind Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett

The Denver Broncos 2-5 start to the season has been disappointing considering the high expectations with the hiring of new head coach Nathaniel Hackett and the trade for franchise quarterback Russell Wilson.

For Broncos general manager George Paton, the results have been disappointing and he noted the importance that the team needs to get better, starting with him.

“Obviously, the results aren’t there,” Paton said on Thursday. “[It’s] not good enough at 2-5. We all need to get better, and it starts with me. I do believe in this football team, and I do believe in the people in our building—our coaching staff. We can turn it around. It’s only seven games. We’ve been in every game, [but] that’s not what it’s all about. It’s about winning games. We need to learn how to win football games. We haven’t done that.”

For first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett, players love him, but in the business of winning football games, he has yet to achieve this in his first seven games. His positive mindset and caring attitude towards his players are well respected, but business is always at the forefront in the NFL. Paton shared his thoughts on Denver’s first-year head coach and the team’s struggles early on.

“I believe in [Head Coach] Nathaniel [Hackett],” Paton said in support of his head coach. “I support [Head Coach] Nathaniel [Hackett] 100 percent. He’s been in this for seven games as a head coach. The scrutiny he’s faced is unprecedented. We have had four primetime games, so he’s kind of had to learn in front of the entire world. I really like how he’s kept the team together; they’re connected. He’s kept our building together, and I appreciate how he’s fought through that.”

While what Paton expresses is authentic for how he personally feels, he also understands the business side of things. Denver’s defense is playing at an extremely high level, and if the offense could muster up even a resemblance of a Top-15 product, an argument can be made that the Broncos could be 5-2 or 6-1.

However, that is not the reality of the 2022 Denver Broncos. Paton has drawn criticism from Broncos fans for the hiring of Hackett, and while it may not seem likely he makes a change at head coach, he still may step in and ask the team’s first-year head coach to relinquish playcalling.

Why did the Broncos extend Russell Wilson before playing a down?

Criticism and questioning come with the territory of being a general manager in the NFL and George Paton has undergone some for his decision to extend Russell Wilson prior to him playing a single down for the team.

“We considered everything,” Paton said. “We just wanted to get ahead of the contract cycle. We saw how ‘Russ’ (QB Russell Wilson) was in the offseason and in training camp. We felt really good about ‘Russ,’ and we feel really good about ‘Russ’. [We] just really wanted to get ahead of it. We didn’t want a lot of distraction during the season. We feel really good about it. I feel good about that deal. I feel like it will hold up, and I feel good about ‘Russ.’”

Paton makes a great point here. The Broncos would have eventually run up against the clock on a potential extension with other quarterbacks around the NFL like Lamar Jackson, Justin Herbert, and Joe Burrow potentially inking record-setting extensions after some point this season or next season.

Denver needed a quarterback during the off-season and Paton executed a deal that any GM would have made if they were in the same position the Broncos were in. Hindsight is always an interesting argument, but the reality is, Paton was applauded for the deal he made before the offense ever took the field. Not one person reading this column or in the national media envisioned the offense would struggle as badly as they have. The offense has to play better, no excuses.

“I’m not concerned,” Paton said regarding Russell Wilson’s performance through seven games. “We’re in it for the long haul with ‘Russ’ (QB Russell Wilson), not the first seven games. We believe in ‘Russ,’ and I believe in ‘Russ’. We just need to play better on offense. The timing, the rhythm—we need an identity. We really don’t have an identity on offense, and I think that comes with time. Hopefully, it comes soon.”

Will Broncos make moves near the trade deadline?

Trade rumors involving key players like Bradley Chubb and Jerry Jeudy have run rampant throughout the last five days, but will Denver make any moves?

“I work the phones a lot, and they call,” Paton discussed on Thursday. “We talk to [general managers] all the time. We have received calls. Obviously, nothing [is] imminent. We’re going to do whatever is best for this football team, but we like our players. We’re not in the mode of getting rid of our really good players.”

One of those really good players is outside linebacker and team captain Bradley Chubb who currently leads the team with 5.5 sacks on the year. Chubb’s playing at an elite level this season and has maintained being healthy despite all the injuries that have impacted this Broncos football team in 2022.

Justin Simmons, another team captain expressed how much he values Chubb as a teammate and friend earlier this week despite the trade rumors surrounding the team’s dominant pass rusher.

“Unfortunately, it’s always part of the business,” Simmons said regarding trade rumors surrounding some of his teammates. “In terms for us, I think [OLB Bradley] Chubb has been an outstanding player here. I honestly don’t pay attention to any of that type of stuff. Obviously, I’ve heard. You hear those types of things, but I love playing with [OLB Bradley] Chubb. He has been an amazing player. I think he’s a great player for us. He’s, in my opinion, having his best year with us. I’d love for him to be my teammate for forever. It makes my job so much easier on the back end. The way he’s disruptive, not only in the passing game but the run game too. So, I absolutely love him man. Honestly, I don’t know much just because a lot of times during the season you just try and stay locked in, and so I’ll just shut off all that stuff. The good, the bad, the indifferent, not good looking at it anyway. So, I don’t really know much other than that, but love for him to be my teammate.”

According to Paton, Chubb is one of the Broncos core players and he doesn’t have any intention of trading away any core players.

“I’ll keep that with [OLB] Bradley [Chubb] and his agent,” Paton noted about his interactions surrounding Chubb. “You know how much we like [OLB] Bradley [Chubb]. We want to keep all of our core players, and he’s one of our core players.”

While the message is appealing to fans in Broncos Country who want Chubb to remain in Denver, Paton’s comments could also be perceived in a way that drives up the value Chubb could generate in a potential trade. Paton noted that he was going to do what was best for the team.

Times like these present some interesting scenarios ahead for this Broncos football team. Whether or not they actually become sellers at the trade deadline remains to be seen.