The signings of Patrick and Sutton indicate that Paton has freedom to think about the future

Oct 17, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton (14) reacts in the second half against the Las Vegas Raiders at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to whether or not the Denver Broncos should fire Vic Fangio, I hear the same argument time and time again.

There’s going to be new ownership next year so the Broncos should hold off and let a new owner decide.

Aside from the obvious flaw that any ownership transition is likely to be a timely process (think buying a $3 billion house), the organization has shown in back-to-back weeks that the theory just isn’t true.

Reports broke this morning that George Paton has signed Courtland Sutton to a four-extension. Good for Paton. It’s a great move that follows up last week’s great move of inking Sutton’s fellow wide receiver Tim Patrick to a new deal.

The Broncos are certainly thinking about next year and beyond. Except when it comes to the leadership on the sideline. If Paton has permission to spend the money of someone who doesn’t even own the team then he should certainly have permission to cast off a head coach that in no way, shape or form will be calling the shots next season.

And with extensions done for Sutton and Patrick, now is still the ideal time to do it. Fangio has been downright stubborn when it comes to showcasing young players on the roster, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Time and time again, Javonte Williams has shown to be the better running back on the roster, yet Melvin Gordon continues to get carries in the biggest moments of the game. And when he fumbles away the Broncos chances at winning, frustrations boil over at Empower Field.

Fangio has dismissed any thought of putting Drew Lock in a quarterback. He has gone with safe over potential upside all season and the result has been entirely too predictable. Statistically, Bridgewater has been fine by completing 69 percent of his passes and throwing 14 touchdowns to five interceptions.

His ability to attack secondaries down the field has been meh, to say the least. And as Paton has now shown, it’s not because of lack of talent in the receiving core. And we haven’t even factored Jerry Jeudy into the conversation.

Despite Jeudy’s limited time on the field, his potential as a playmaker might be even higher than Sutton or Patrick.

The top three receivers (four if KJ Hamler is factored in) are under contract for multiple seasons, giving potential free agent quarterbacks a good reason to check out the Rocky Mountains in the offseason. The Broncos, however, continue to convince themselves that they’re very much in win-now mode by hanging on to Fango, offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and special teams coordinator Tom McMahon.

If the team was going to make a move in shuffling the coaching staff, logic says it should’ve happened last week. But the bye week came and went with only news of contract extensions for two wide receivers. Which is great. Kudos to Paton and the front office for locking key pieces of a very young offensive unit. And perhaps bigger kudos for not waiting until the offseason when trying to get those deals done could distract from more important signings.

This was clearly a move poised to make the Broncos a better football in 2022 and beyond. And if Paton has the authority to provide roster stability for next season and beyond (when it will be a new owner signing the checks), then there is no reason he can’t move on from instability for the remainder of this year.

Get a head start on a coaching search and bring in an interim that will make decisions that could allow the Broncos to really evaluate what they have coming back next year in someone like Lock.

Sutton and Patrick will officially be around next season. Fangio and Bridgewater likely will not. If Paton truly has the ability to think about the future while living in the now, he might as well keep the momentum rolling and make the moves that will make the Broncos a better football team in the coming years.

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