NFL Rumors: Denver Broncos Believe Returning Wide Receiver Key to Offensive Turnaround

The first year of the marriage between the Denver Broncos and quarterback Russell Wilson was an unmitigated disaster, but the team evidently believes the answer to their problems is already on the roster. According to the NFL Network's James Palmer, the Broncos are banking on returning wide receiver Tim Patrick to give the offense a much-needed boost in 2023.

Patrick tragically suffered a torn ACL during training camp last year, costing him the entirety of the 2022 season. In his last healthy year, he finished second on the team in receiving with 734 yards. According to Palmer, people in the Broncos organization see him as the best player in the team's wide receiver room.

Patrick, along with fellow wide receivers Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton, was a big reason why there was so much optimism surrounding the Broncos offense in 2022. Still, it'd be foolhardy to suggest the absence of a wide receiver who has never finished with more than 742 yards in any season in his career was the only reason the Broncos struggled last season. They finished dead last in scoring because they had issues at scheme, quarterback, and up and down the roster.

That being said, Patrick's return certainly won't hurt, and the Broncos have taken other steps to help fix their broken offense. They hired Sean Payton, who coached the New Orleans Saints to an incredible 10 top-five finishes in points scored. They've also radically remade their offensive line, investing heavily in Ben Powers (two years, $27 million) and Mike McGlinchey (two years, $35 million) in free agency.

As much as the Broncos have done this offseason, a sudden transformation into one of the NFL's elite offenses is unlikely. Even a climb back to mediocrity would be a stunning turnaround for a team that scored 4.9 points fewer per game than the league average last season. The Broncos may need another offseason's worth of upgrades (potentially even at quarterback) before they're truly a contender.

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