Forget draft position. Denver Broncos safety Will Parks says the team simply isn’t going to mail it in and tank out for the rest of the 2017 season.
“You know, it’s crazy. I see that all the time,” he said when asked by Denver7’s Troy Renck. “I scroll and I see what people say about us. Even in my mentions, I’ve got negative comments all day long. But, ah, you know, that kind of fuels me to go out and get the job done even more. Some fans are mad. They’ve got a right to be mad. We haven’t been playing up to our potential. But, you know, in this game of football you can’t just give up. From their perspective, that’s essentially what they are asking us to do. But, you know, we can’t do that.”
Parks does seem slightly confused. The push to tank the season isn’t a “negative comment” from fans who are mad. It’s just a realistic comment on what is best for the team. They’re not going to the playoffs either way. Yes, fans are frustrated about that, but asking them to tank is focusing on the future and hoping to make the team better. A higher draft pick does that.
However, he’s also right. They can’t do it. As players, they can’t worry about even next year. There is an incredible amount of player movement in the NFL. Half the guys on the roster won’t even be around a year from now, in all likelihood. Why would they tank to help the franchise when it’s better for them to play hard so that they look good in free agency?
Plus, the push for a top draft pick is often for a quarterback. Imagine that the Broncos do draft a real franchise quarterback with their first-round pick. How soon is he ready? As a rookie? Two years from now? Three?
The percentage of this roster that will still be in Denver in three or four years is tiny. While it makes sense that fans who will still be fans in three years want the team to get better in the long run, it also makes sense that Parks and the rest of the players simply can’t worry about that.