The Bradley Chubb trade had November 1st feeling like Groundhog Day for Broncos Country, as for the second-consecutive season, they found themselves making a blockbuster deal for one of their highly-coveted edge defenders.

Did the Broncos get good value for Chubb, or did they get fleeced by the Miami Dolphins? Was the additional move of acquiring Jacob Martin, to fortify that position group, a prudent one?

Bradley Chubb trade

Broncos send: EDGE Bradley Chubb, 2025 fifth-round pick (DEN)
Broncos receive:
RB Chase Edmonds, 2023 first-round pick (SF), 2024 fourth-round pick (DEN)

In a vacuum, one can certainly debate about whether or not moving Bradley Chubb was the right move for the Denver Broncos.

He’s younger than Randy Gregory, has similar injury concerns, and is currently just a half-sack off the league-lead in the category. He’s been a phenomenal pass rusher this season, and that’s been par for the course with Chubb, when healthy.

If given a Delorean from Doc Brown, George Paton might go back and give the contract he gave to Gregory to Chubb instead (after making sure to dodge the mistakes of hiring Nathaniel Hackett and staking the franchise’s future on Russell Wilson).

Unfortunately, no such Delorean exists, and we have to judge the trade within the timeline it exists in.

With that in mind, it’s hard to see how the Denver Broncos would have kept Chubb around for the long haul.

Gregory is on the roster for 2023 and is making a good amount of money. Baron Browning looks ready for a starting role, and Nik Bonitto, while very limited against the run, has led all rookies in pass-rush win rate, according to Pro Football Focus.

That makes it hard to invest in Chubb long-term.

One thing Denver could have done is hit Chubb with the franchise tag, and then choose between either Gregory or Chubb ahead of the 2023 deadline. While appealing, that route also likely forces the Broncos to either let Dre’Mont Jones walk, or greatly limit the scope of their free agent acquistions this coming offseason.

Even then, one would hope that the 2023 wouldn’t be as disastrous, and so the Broncos wouldn’t find themselves as sellers at the deadline.

That means, when they were to hypothetically choose either Gregory or Chubb, they probably wouldn’t have been selling the other one for a first-round pick.

They also would be looking at a long-term extension for Chubb after 2023. After eight strong games, his asking price has already reached $20 million per season. What would his asking price be after two strong seasons? $25 million a year?

Even if you believe Chubb is better than Gregory, and the better long-term option, do you believe he’s $11 million and a first-round pick better?

Now that we’ve thoroughly tackled the Chubb stuff, let’s discuss the other part of this deal that deserves mention — Chase Edmonds.

The Denver Broncos run game needs some help, and while anyone plugged-in to the run-game discourse over the past half-decade can tell you that upgrading the offensive line is the better way to address the problem, upgrading the running back position can also help.

Edmonds, despite being pretty disappointing for Miami, should still function as an upgrade. Latavius Murray was signed off a practice squad and immediately became Denver’s best back. With Javonte Williams out of the lineup, the bar Edmonds would have to clear to be deemed ‘an upgrade’ couldn’t be any lower.

Plus, Denver can easily move off of him after this season, and take on zero dead cap in doing so. If they wish to keep him, they can.

Overall, the Denver Broncos had to move off Bradley Chubb, and got close to maximum value for him, in the form of a first round pick, a pick-swap that sees Denver climb a round, (though in different years), and shores up a glaring weakness. The only way this could be an A is if the first-round pick was more appealing.

Grade: B+

Jacob Martin trade

Broncos send: 2024 fourth-round pick (TBA)
Broncos receive: 
EDGE Jacob Martin, 2024 fifth-round pick (TBA)

Don’t worry, this trade is much simpler and requires way less analysis.

With Baron Browning, Randy Gregory and Aaron Patrick injured, and Bradley Chubb now jettisoned from the roster, the Denver Broncos need some reinforcements on the edge of their defense, and Jacob Martin should serve as just that.

Martin started for the Houston Texans last season, generating 38 pressures and four sacks, per Pro Football Focus. It should also be noted that he’s generated at least one pressure in every single game this season.

He won’t wow anyone, but as the team’s fourth or fifth-best edge-defender, he’ll be fine, and a likely upgrade on what Malik Reed long-provided as a reserve player.

Denver will also have the option to cut him after this season, and take on $1 million in dead cap, or retain him for $5 million. If he proves to be solid edge depth, that’s a nice option to have. If he doesn’t make an impact, there will be no problem moving off him.

Considering the Denver Broncos only had to move down one round on Day 3 of a future draft to ensure this depth, it feels like a strong move.

Grade: B+