DENVER -- On a Monday when the legions of Broncos loyalists hoped to hear positive news from the franchise, all they really got was terrible news.
By mid-afternoon, several unreliable reports linked the Broncos to a couple of unrestricted free agents as the "legal tampering" period opened, but nothing was concrete. And while other teams have been swarming to signings and trades, the Broncos have been silent since the jettison of cornerback Aqib Talib for a fifth-round draft pick from the 49ers.
Meanwhile, the Broncos acknowledged that defensive end Adam Gotsis had been arrested in Atlanta in connection with the investigation of a 2013 "strong arm rape" of a woman, who was 25 then. That year Gotsis, a native Australian, played football at Georgia Tech.
The outcome of the accusation against Gotsis, who was released on $50,000 bail, won’t be determined for some time (and maybe for a year or longer), but the Broncos’ reputation will be stained again. Over the past two decades the Broncos have been near the top of NFL teams in regard to the high number of arrests of players (and even front-office personnel).
They could lose another starter and stalwart on defense.
The Broncos only could counter with the announcement that starting center Matt Paradis and backup outside linebacker Shaq Barrett, both restricted free agents, were tendered (second-round choices).
While the 49ers, the Rams, the Browns, the Bills, the Patriots, the Packers and other teams were acquiring veteran players in trades and close to signing free agents on Thursday, the Broncos seem left behind.
Often, Boss Bronco John Elway prefers to be patient for a day or three before closing in on the free agents of choice, but the Broncos should have leaked some optimistic information through their lackeys.
People in other places linked the Broncos to conversations covering long-time Patriots left tackle Nate Solder (who is from Colorado) and quarterback AJ McCarron, who was declared an unrestricted free agent last month. One report claimed Solder is too rich for orange blood, as if it wasn’t known previously that the former CU player wouldn’t come cheap to any team, or give a home-state discount to the Broncos.
You’d think that with all the movement, and the releasing of so many veterans – including Ndamukong Suh, reportedly being dumped by the Dolphins – that the Broncos would be taking action on several fronts.
We know that Elway is operating behind the scenes, but there should be smoke.
And the Cousins Sweepstakes continues, with strong suggestions that he will sign with the Vikings.
If the Broncos lose out on Kirk Cousins, what would Plan B be?
According to a reputable inside NFL source, the Broncos likely would turn to a short-term veteran quarterback – AJ McCarron or Josh McCown – and draft a quarterback at No. 5 overall. Their top two choices supposedly are Josh Allen, who is known to be an Elway favorite, and Josh Rosen.
To Elway, the most obscene word in Noah Webster’s dictionary is "rebuild."
"Life is too short to rebuild in the NFL," he said last week at the NFL combine.
The definition of rebuild is to "build something after it has been damaged or destroyed."
The Broncos are rebuilding, and John should just admit it. Despite what Jack Nicholson once proclaimed in "A Few Good Men," football fanatics in Colorado can handle the truth.
The Broncos have too few good men. They are closer to 5-11 than 11-5.
John’s been here long enough (35 years) to know that he could say frankly: "We’ve down now, but we’re rebuilding, and we’ll back on the top where we belong in two-three seasons."
Elway obviously is intent on getting the Broncos another Elway, a "franchise" quarterback for 10-15 years.
So far Elway has "swung and missed" (his words) on Brock Osweiler, Zac Dysert, Trevor Siemian and first-rounder Paxton Lynch.
Monday was "Bad News" Broncos. Tuesday needs good news.