Mark Schlereth Denver Broncos Garbage Screen grab: The Pat McAfee Show

Mark Schlereth has never been one to bite his tongue.

But while most of his criticism has come in the form of him teaching lessons in Man 101, on Thursday, he directed his ire toward a new — and familiar — subject.

Appearing on The Pat McAfee Show, the former NFL offensive lineman-turned-Fox analyst was asked about the Denver Broncos, who as you may have heard, are releasing quarterback Russell Wilson. And despite Denver being the NFL team he was most associated with during his 12-year NFL career, the man known as “Stink” didn’t hold back when discussing his former team.

“For eight years, this place has been garbage,” Schlereth said. “The Denver Broncos were a crown jewel in the National Football League. And they’re not, they’re irrelevant. And we keep putting Band-Aids on things and think that that’s going to fix it.

“And I for one am sitting here and saying, ‘Thank you, Sean Payton, for recognizing this team is not very good.’ This team does not have one guy that’s homegrown on this football team that’s ever even come close to sniffing the playoffs. Ever.

“So ultimately it is time to quit putting Band-aids on gaping wounds and it’s time to perform some surgery. And I think that’s exactly what Sean Payton is doing… I, for one, am glad that they’re actually moving on and saying, ‘Hey, we’re gonna fix this thing. And we’re gonna tear it down. And we’re gonna rebuild it.'”

To Schlereth’s point, the Broncos have largely faded into NFL obscurity since their Super Bowl-winning season in 2015. In the eight years that have followed, Denver has yet to return to the playoffs and has totaled a winning record just once (2016), while amassing a laundry list of head coaches and starting quarterbacks that would make even the Cleveland Browns blush.

The Broncos’ latest embarrassment comes in the form of their two-year stint with Wilson, who Denver acquired in a blockbuster trade with the Seattle Seahawks and proceeded to sign to a five-year, $245 million contract. Following a disastrous debut season that saw first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett fired after 15 games and an underwhelming second year under Payton, the Broncos opted to cut the nine-time Pro Bowl selection before his extension even kicked in.

With Wilson’s release resulting in an astonishing $85 million cap hit, Denver appears to have no other choice but to enter a rebuild. And while that might be the Broncos’ best — if not only — course of action, it will be interesting to see how analysts like Schlereth react as the losses inevitably continue to pile up.

[The Pat McAfee Show]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.