Is it smart for the Broncos to bring back GM George Paton?

Although the Broncos’ season is a disaster, the team plans to keep general manager George Paton, per ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter. The decision raises even more questions about this floundering organization.  

“I expect that George Paton is going to be safe. You can write that down from me,” Schefter told KKFN-FM in Denver on Thursday.  

Paton’s return would probably upset Denver’s media and fanbase. 

“The Broncos are the mess that George Paton made,” wrote the Denver Post’s Mark Kiszla recently. 

The Broncos (3-9) are a blue-and-orange mess. They haven’t won since late October and could eclipse the worst record in franchise history if they fail to end the four-game losing streak.   

The futility traces back to Paton’s baffling decisions. The Russell Wilson debacle is obvious. Trading two first-round draft picks (2022 and 2023) and more for an aging quarterback and then giving him a five-year extension with $165 million guaranteed were ill-advised.

But Paton’s head coaching hire and drafting are equally awful.

Per longtime Denver sportswriter Woody Paige, the Broncos interviewed nine head coaching candidates before they hired rookie head coach Nathaniel Hackett.

One candidate Denver passed over was Kevin O’Connell, whom Minnesota hired instead. Per FiveThirtyEight, the Vikings (10-2) have more than a 99 percent chance to make the playoffs. 

Aside from 22-year-old budding star Pat Surtain II at cornerback, Paton’s two drafts were spotty. His top pick in 2022, OLB Nik Bonitto, is losing playing time. He played one snap in a 10-9 loss against Baltimore on Sunday.

So why would you keep Paton when the team is shattered? Perhaps the new ownership group, the Walton-Penner Group, is too laissez-faire. 

Broncos owner Greg Penner hasn’t made a public address since October, after the team started 2-5, per Paige.

Denver fans have suffered through six consecutive losing seasons. If there is no overhaul, it will continue to reside in the league’s dustbin.  

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