Ian Rapoport hopped on the latest episode of the Locked On Broncos podcast with analyst Cody Roark to preview the Broncos’ impending off-season.

During the interview, Rapoport opened by talking about the decision the Broncos will have to make on Von Miller’s upcoming contract option.

“Von Miller has a team option that now, they need to figure out and see if they’re gonna pick it up, if they’re gonna do a new contract, if they’re going to work on things,” Rapoport said. “Like what are they actually going to do? I know he wants to be back, I know they would want him back. I just think they would like to figure this out somehow.”

That bodes very well for Broncos Country as it seems Miller should remain a ‘Bronco for life.’

Rapoport also tossed a bucket of cold water on Denver’s recent interest in some previously and potentially available quarterbacks.

“[The Broncos] were in — obviously — on Stafford, they were in on Goff. I have not gotten the sense that Denver has been in on Carson Wentz at all. Now, maybe if Russell Wilson or Deshaun Watson gets traded or is available for trade, maybe they’ll be in on that. Maybe. But I think it’s more; find a way to get competition for Drew Lock, if you’re not going to get someone markedly better than him, and how are you going to do that?”

The fact he emphasized the “maybe” in regards to Denver’s potential interest in Watson and Wilson makes it appear that Broncos fans should strap in for Lock to at least be the team’s Week 1 starter. That lines up with what 850KOA’s Benjamin Allbright has reported in regard to new Broncos general manager, George Paton’s plans since he was hired, and what Roark has been arguing for, in part.

As for the veteran names Broncos Country should be eyeing at quarterback, Rapoport listed Jacoby Brisset, Marcus Mariota and Mitch Trubisky.

The most important takeaway from the interview though might have been Rapoport’s clear admiration for the new general manager, Paton.

“[The quarterback situation] is why you hire George Paton. To be able to come in and handle what is, really an extremely, extremely tricky situation,” Rapoport said. “I think the main thing about George Paton is that he is ready for this job. He is perfect for this job. He was someone who was obviously lieutenant to Rick Spielman in Minnesota. He did all their trades. He was involved in everything they did. Spielman delegates so…[Paton] was involved in everything. He’s involved in scouting, he’s involved in the cap, he’s involved in — heavily — in trades.

“He’s just a full, well-rounded, multi-faceted general manager candidate and I thought he was the perfect hire,” Rapoport continued. “I thought he would’ve left for a job a lot earlier. The fact that Denver was able to get him is unbelievable to me. I think the future is really bright there”

If the Broncos have found their long-term answer at general manager, it means they now only have to find or develop a coach, quarterback and owner to shepherd this team into its next bright era.

There’s a long way to go, but the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.