Here’s the latest on the status of Broncos GM George Paton

After trading for quarterback Russell Wilson last year and then giving him a massive contract extension, Denver Broncos general manager George Paton has faced heavy scrutiny from fans and pundits in recent months.

Despite the recent backlash, the Broncos are expected to bring Paton back for the 2024 season, according to a report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

“Paton is viewed as safe inside the organization, sources say,” Rapoport wrote on Sunday. “Based on his overall evaluation talents and a strong working relationship with Sean Payton since the head coach arrived last offseason, all indications are Paton should stay on.”

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Saturday that “Payton is expected to have the final say” on Paton’s status. Schefter went on to write that “it is his organization, and he gets to shape it how he wants it.”

After some pushback from the team via a report from KUSA-TV’s Mike Klis, Schefter edited his report to now read: “Payton has significant authority and influence over the shaping of the team’s football operation.”

After Schefter’s original report that it was Payton’s decision, Klis pushed back on Saturday evening with this: “Despite national speculation surrounding Paton as general manager because of the Wilson trade and contract extension, Paton works well with Payton and owner Greg Penner. … While Payton has significant influence with the team’s football operations, it would be Penner who would make the ultimate call on any change of this magnitude.”

In the end, the framing of who makes the decision seems to be semantics — Schefter’s original phasing and Klis’ stance can both be true. Penner is the literal boss so he obviously gets the final say, but he’s going to give the coach what he wants after placing the team in Payton’s care.

If Payton wants Paton fired, Penner will fire the GM. If Payton wants Paton to return, the GM will return — and it sounds like that’s what will happen in 2024. Paton will continue leading the team’s draft prep and salary cap plight while Payton remains involved across the board. It’s Payton’s team, but there’s room for Paton in the front office.

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Story originally appeared on Broncos Wire