Grading the Week: At least Broncos GM George Paton is self-aware — unlike another franchise in Colorado

Say this for George Paton: At least he’s self-aware.

All too often, franchise executives view their own teams through a set of funhouse mirrors, unable to apply a clearheaded assessment of the roster they helped construct.

That the Broncos general manager did just that before executing Tuesday’s trade of Bradley Chubb reassures the Grading the Week staff that he just might be able to pull the Broncos out of a mess of his own making.

George Paton — B-

It would have been easy for Paton to peer through the London fog of Denver’s 21-17 win over the similarly subpar Jacksonville Jaguars last Sunday and see a team turning a corner.

Instead, Paton saw the Broncos for what they are — a roster with too many holes to compete for anything more than a longshot Wild Card bid — and pulled the trigger on a deal two days later that improves his franchise’s long-term outlook.

Outside linebacker Bradley Chubb is a lot to give up. By all accounts, the 2018 fifth overall selection is a consummate professional. Invested. Compassionate. Selfless.

But given the return from the Miami Dolphins — a 2023 first-round pick, 2024 fourth-rounder and tailback Chase Edmonds — Paton made a good deal.

Chubb is simply too great of an injury risk for Paton to fork over the five-year, $110 million extension he later received from Miami after the trade. And due in part to Paton’s previous mistakes (cough, Russell Wilson trade), Chubb wasn’t going to be the difference between a Broncos Super Bowl bid and sitting at home in January this winter.

Paton knew it, even if he wouldn’t admit it publicly, and pushed the button on a small-scale roster demolition.

If only another front office in Colorado could apply such a sober, rational perspective to its own roster.

Brendan Rodgers — A

Speaking of the Rockies, how about some rare positive news out of LoDo!

Thanks in part to his own selflessness — and, of course, skill — Colorado’s starting second baseman now has a Gold Glove to add to his trophy case.

Once upon a time, Rodgers was considered a rising shortstop prospect in the Rockies farm system. If he had a little bigger ego, 2015’s third overall selection in the MLB amateur draft might’ve insisted the franchise keep him there. Instead, he rolled with a switch to second, performed up to his pedigree, and now he’s the National League’s Gold Glove champ at second.

Squint hard enough with shortstop Ezequiel Tovar’s addition to the everyday roster on the horizon, and you just might see an outline of hope materializing at 16th and Blake — however faint it might be.

Kyrie Irving — F

And now, the completely clueless.

If ever there was someone whose inflated ego caused them easily avoidable harm, it’s the Nets’ superstar point guard.

All Irving had to do this week was immediately apologize after he promoted a movie on social media that espoused harmful anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

Instead, a man who once clung to flat Earth theory for months as a way of demonstrating his “free-thinker” bonafides, threw money at the problem, then danced around explicitly rejecting the abhorrent ideas shared in the film until after he was served a multi-game suspension by the Nets.

All of which leaves us to wonder: Just how sorry is he?

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