Are Broncos risking future to win now? 

March, 12, 2014
Mar 12
11:57
AM ET
The Denver Broncos own the NFL’s best regular-season record in the two seasons since quarterback Peyton Manning improbably hit the market and signed with them. However, they are only 2-2 in the playoffs over that span, compared to a combined 12-3 for the more defensively oriented Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens. And after enduring a Super Bowl humiliation last month, there was no way the Broncos could sit by idly and hope for a different result next time. They were going to address their defense in some fashion, but could anyone have expected this?

One day into free agency, the Broncos slammed the accelerator to the floor in a clear push to win a championship before the nearly 38-year-old Manning's career is finished. While the money Denver allocated for cornerback Aqib Talib and safety T.J. Ward sent a clear message on its own, the Broncos’ immediate interest in the recently released DeMarcus Ware left little doubt. The question is whether the Broncos can have it both ways. Will their win-now mentality cause them to pay a steep price later?

Every NFL general manager would tell you successful franchises ideally build through the draft and supplement with value buys in free agency.