Five games and four losses into the 2023 season, the Denver Broncos are facing a short week ahead of playing a rival that's beaten them on 15 straight occasions.
With the NFL's Halloween trade deadline closing in, conventional wisdom suggests the Broncos would be sellers.
That's not the case according to head coach Sean Payton, though he said he and general manager George Paton are listeners.
"We're not looking to do business with any of our players," Payton said Tuesday, via team transcript, when asked about conversations with Paton as the trade deadline approaches. "That doesn't prevent teams from calling at times. We just -- you pick the phone up, but that's kind of where it's at."
Payton's comments come just four days removed from the Broncos shipping pass rusher Randy Gregory to the San Francisco 49ers, and three days after NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Frank Clark could also be dealt. As noted by Rapoport, Denver wide receivers Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton drew plenty of offseason chatter as potential players to be traded, as well.
The trade deadline's set for 4 p.m. ET on Oct. 31. Before that, the Broncos have the unenviable task of playing the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, twice in three weeks -- sandwiched around a home game against the Green Bay Packers. That gauntlet begins this Thursday night on Prime Video when Denver (1-4) visits Kansas City (4-1), where it hasn't won since 2015.
Aside from a massive turnaround, the Broncos going into rebuilding mode would make sense.
Though Payton said he's not looking for trade business, he did indicate his eyes are on 2024.
"We've got a good handle on this current roster and our vision for the roster a year from now," he said. "That's the part about improving and getting better. Until you just said it, I wouldn't have known it was three weeks away. Three weeks seems like an eternity right now."
Despite Payton's comments Tuesday, it wouldn't be shocking if the Broncos' roster sees some notable changes three weeks from now.