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5 biggest questions facing the Broncos in 2024

Denver Broncos coach Sean Payton went 8-9 in his first season with the club. That was a notable improvement from the team’s 5-12 record in 2022, but Payton arrived with playoff expectations and failed to deliver.

Now entering his second season in charge, Payton will aim to take another step forward in 2024, and there are several big questions facing the club. Here are five key storylines we’ll be watching going forward.

What's the plan at quarterback?

(Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
(Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

Payton has insisted that Russell Wilson might return in 2024, but the quarterback expects to be released (and that seems likely). So if the Broncos do part ways with Wilson, what’s the quarterback plan for 2024 and beyond?

Denver could add a short-term solution like Jameis Winston or Sam Darnold, or they could make a big splash and trade up for a top QB prospect in the 2024 NFL draft. Alternatively, the Broncos could stay put and pick a QB at No. 12 overall (or later in the draft).

Payton surely has a quarterback plan for 2024. We’ll find out what that plan entails in the coming weeks.

Is Alex Forsyth ready to start in the NFL?

(James Snook-USA TODAY Sports)
(James Snook-USA TODAY Sports)

Lloyd Cushenberry is coming off the best season of his career and he’s expected to get a big contract in free agency, perhaps so big that Denver won’t be able to afford him. The Broncos have said they view Alex Forsyth as a starter, which might be a sign the team is bracing to lose Cushenberry. Forsyth was inactive for all 17 games as a rookie in 2023, but he did appear to be a potential future starter coming out of the draft. After not playing in any games as a rookie, will Forsyth be ready to start in Week 1 this fall?

Will the team trade a wide receiver?

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The Broncos only hold six draft picks this year and we know they would like to acquire more through trades. Denver has entertained trade offers for Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy for the past two years — will they finally part ways with one of the WRs this spring? Doing so would free up some cap space and give the team more draft capital.

Who will start at inside linebacker?

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Josey Jewell is set to become a free agent in March and it’s unclear if the Broncos plan to re-sign him. Denver used a third-round pick on Drew Sanders last year, but he ended up playing on the outside more than he did on the inside as a rookie. The Broncos are also bringing back Jonas Griffith, who has starting experience, but he has struggled to stay healthy. Will the team re-sign Jewell, or are they okay with one of Sanders or Griffith starting in 2024? We’re assuming Alex Singleton will keep his starting role, but Denver will need to decide who lines up next to him this fall.

Can the Broncos finally make the NFL playoffs?

(Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

Since winning Super Bowl 50 following the 2015 season, the Broncos have missed the playoffs in eight straight seasons, and they’ve posted a losing record in seven straight seasons. Will this be the year that Denver finally snaps that streak? Despite the team’s roster holes, can Payton take the Broncos back to the postseason? At the end of the day, that’s what fans care about most: winning. Will Payton deliver?

Story originally appeared on Broncos Wire