Denver Radio Host Rips Broncos GM George Paton: ‘Blood Is on His Hands’

George Paton

Getty What will the Broncos do with its first-round pick in the 2024 NFL draft?

The Denver Broncos planned to release veteran pass rusher Randy Gregory, head coach Sean Payton told reporters on October 4.

His planned release is another move that reflected poorly on general manager George Paton. Gregory was one in a string of high-priced free agent additions made by Paton that failed to pan out. And now one Denver radio personality is ready for Paton to be held accountable for his missteps.

Paton’s signing of Gregory had “warning signs written all over it,” according to Zach Bye, host of “The Drive” on Denver Sports 104.3 The Fan.

“Before Randy Gregory ever came to Denver,” said Bye in a video posted October 4 on X, formerly Twitter. “He had already missed more games than he had ever played as a member of the Dallas Cowboys. That’s not over the course of one or two years, this was a half-decade sample size.”

Gregory, who was signed during the 2022 offseason, played in just 10 games during his brief stay in Denver and was benched in favor of emerging second-year linebacker Nik Bonitto. Bye called the move a “disaster of a signing” for Paton.

“George Paton, the blood is on his hands because his tenure in Denver has gone off the rails, and this is the exclamation point on top of it.”

Bye additionally cited failed moves during Paton’s nearly three-year tenure as having left the Broncos with a “disjointed construct of a football team.”

“You put this all together, and these are not deaths by a thousand paper cuts. These are gashes that bleed out an organization, and that’s what the Denver Broncos are suffering from right now. This should be, and I believe will be the last year for general manager George Paton on the job in Denver, Colorado.”

As of late afternoon on October 5, the transaction had not become official and Gregory was still on the team.

Analyst Addresses Gregory’s Release: ‘Sean Payton Is Running the Show’

The Broncos were willing to move on from Gregory because they wanted to rely on younger players, Payton said. Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio addressed the release, saying, “Sean Payton is running the show” in Denver.

“You typically don’t let quality pass rushers go and I think it’s just one of those things where Sean Payton decided Randy Gregory, not his cup of tea, not his tempo,” said Florio on October 4.

Florio said Payton went to Denver to work with Paton to build the same kind of relationship with his general manager that he had when he was with the New Orleans Saints. But not everything goes to plan, Florio said.

“Relationships can take a turn. If the cupboard is as bare as it looks, George Paton is the guy who put a lot of those empty boxes in that empty cupboard.”

Florio said he was curious whether Payton “decides he needs to bring in someone else to be the one who helps him find the right players to turn the Broncos around.”

Broncos Listed Among Biggest Disappointments at the Quarter Mark

The Broncos have struggled through the first four weeks of the 2023 season, sitting at 1-3 and in last place in the AFC West.

Mike Jones of The Athletic listed Denver as one of the NFL’s biggest disappointments at the quarter mark.

“They got their first win in Week 4, but Sean Payton’s Broncos have gotten off to an atrocious start. That’s ironic considering Payton’s pointed comments about Nathaniel Hackett’s coaching performance last season.”

Jones pointed to uneven play from Russell Wilson and poor defense as contributors to the Broncos’ disappointing start. The writer doesn’t expect a miracle playoff run from this team.

“Payton was supposed to quickly turn this team around, but instead has endured one embarrassment after another. It’s a long season, but a playoff run seems like a long shot based on what we’ve seen so far.”

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