After finishing 2018 at 6-10, the Denver Broncos recorded consecutive losing seasons for the first time in 46 years - and it's going to spark some major changes.
Head coach Vance Joseph was fired after just two years on the job, and the Broncos will take some time to interview candidates before finding his replacement. After that, president and GM John Elway will have plenty of decisions to make regarding the roster.
Those decisions might mean simply tearing down the roster and rebuilding for the future. That's at least what 29-year-old Pro Bowl cornerback Chris Harris Jr. believes will happen in the offseason.
"I think, after the Super Bowl, we just kind of got stagnant. We haven't evolved," Harris said according to Sean Keeler of The Denver Post. "So we've got to figure out how we can evolve on offense, defense, special teams, everything...I see it as a big rebuild coming on. I see a big tidal wave coming."
The Broncos have fallen well short of expectations following their Super Bowl 50 championship victory. After a 4-0 start in the 2016 season, the Broncos faltered in the second half and missed the playoffs - finishing 9-7.
Denver went 5-11 last year and 6-10 in 2018, and though Joseph was given much of the blame, Elway has to be held responsible for some of his awful roster decisions. Since Peyton Manning retired, he's acquired Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch, Chad Kelly, Brock Osweiler and Case Keenum.
The latter was given a two-year, $36 million contract after leading the Minnesota Vikings to the 2017 NFC Championship Game. But Keenum had a miserable season in Denver, tossing 18 touchdowns, 15 interceptions with eight fumbles. It'd be a surprise if the Broncos kept him after this season.
What This Means
Elway constructed a roster that won five straight AFC West division titles, two AFC Championships and Super Bowl 50. It's up to him to rebuild the Broncos in a timely matter so they can catch up to their foes in the AFC West in the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers.
Elway hasn't been able to do much right since the Broncos won the Super Bowl three years ago. The fans in Denver are impatient, and if Elway can't fix this mess soon, he could be out of a job.