John Fox, after just four years where he went 46-18 in the regular season, has agreed to “mutually part ways” with the Broncos organization. Now, with Denver joining the long list of teams without coaches, the future looks bleak.
How does a coach leaving suddenly turn a contender into a catastrophe? It doesn’t. But what it entails for the future is what will really hit hard.
Peyton Manning failed to complete a postseason run where expectations were Super Bowl or bust, and it puts Denver into a terrible situation for Bronco fans. Manning’s health is declining and, with that, his play.
Which bodes the question of will the MVP hang up his cleats and retire from the league that he has had so much influence on? And it also bodes the even deeper question of do the Broncos even want the hobbled 38 year old back?
I know asking that seems ridiculous, as the former MVP and Super Bowl Champ has proven countless times both this season and before that he is one of the best quarterbacks of all time. But it may be a legitimate concern.
Make no mistake, the loss to the Colts and literal replacement Andrew Luck in the AFC Divisional Round will definitely go into Manning’s decision to stay or to go. He may realize that if he can’t beat his replacement, its time for him to call it quits.
So with Fox gone, and let’s just say hypothetically with Manning gone too, what do the Broncos do?
Well first off, Julius Thomas is a free agent, along with superstar DeMaryius Thomas. Those both will command big money this offseason, but they need a guy to throw them the ball.
Is Brock Osweiler ready to be that guy? Who knows. But with the money going to be spent on retaining the Thomas tandem, there won’t be much cash left over to throw at the dazzling QB free agents of Brian Hoyer and… Brian Hoyer.
It also isn’t like Denver will have a draft pick to use on a QB, as their 5th best placement or so in the playoffs will leave them with a high first rounder in this May’s draft.
The loss of Fox is bad, but it could be just the start. Denver without Manning is just a talented team with no leadership or direction. That can’t be what fans expected at the start of the season.
While Andrew Luck basks in Indy’s glory as they march to the AFC Championship, it makes you wonder what would have happened had Manning stayed with the Colts. But that doesn’t matter, as Manning’s health is the biggest concern to his future, not his talent surrounding him.
But with Denver having a big 0% Super Bowl success rate since Manning joined them in 2012, it is clear that something is wrong in Denver. Unfortunately, today’s and possibly tomorrow’s news could be the nail in the coffin of Denver’s playoff window.