Broncos cornerback Bradley Roby is in the final year of his rookie deal. This is important because the former first-round pick would obviously like a second contract, either in Denver or elsewhere.

We mention this because during the Christmas Eve meeting between the Raiders and Broncos, "Monday Night Football" color analyst and former Cowboys great Jason Witten questioned Roby's desire to be on the field.

"Watch this effort," Witten said during the telecast. "The ball hits inside -- he just stops. The play's still going. It cannot happen. I would pull the guy out. I would pull him out because you never quit in the NFL."

Added Booger McFarland, the third member of the broadcast team, "That's embarrassing. He's a young guy who's had issues."

You can call an NFL player a lot of things, but "quitter" ranks as the worst. Roby, as you might imagine, wasn't happy with Witten's remarks.

"That's crazy," Roby tweeted on Tuesday, hours after Denver fell to Oakland, 27-14. "This announcer went out his way to speak negativity on me like that. Who was that? From my angle it looked like the running back was tackled. I thought the play was over. I work too hard for someone to judge me on one play like that. SMH. I'll never quit on my brothers."

A day later, general manager John Elway was asked about Witten's remarks.

"I'm actually in the process of looking at the tape now," Elway said, via 760 AM. "We'll see. Someone had mentioned that that Witten had mentioned something about Roby, so I'll take a peek at that. But I think overall [the team effort] was fine. I think that it's never perfect but we're looking at the process now, so we'll see. But bottom line, it's up to us to be pros at this point in time ... It's always a tell-tale about how you play when it's your job (on the line). There's not a whole lot on the line for us except pride, so that's why we'll find out where we are."

By Wednesday, embattled Broncos coach Vance Joseph had weighed in.

"I didn't see that,'' Joseph said. "Our team has maxed out every game we've played; we haven't won enough games, obviously, but how we play, how hard we play, it's no issue. ...

"I love our ex-players; I love they're involved with the game. But they all forget, we could find plenty of tape with all the ex-players doing media they've had issues ... I have not questioned our guys [about their effort].''

A day after first tweeting about Witten's comments, Roby remained bewildered by them.

"I was like, wow, I can't believe he went out of his way to do all that,'' Roby told reporters. "It's unfortunate. I felt like he was reaching to say that because it was the end of the game. For him to characterize me as a quitter, quitting on my team, I feel like that's the most disrespectful thing you can say in a team sport.

"For him to say that on one play -- it was really a mistake, I thought the play was over, I was wrong. But for him to say that, it just made me mad. There are kids I go see at the children's hospital who have cancer, who are paralyzed, and I tell them don't quit ... The game was over ... I just felt like it was kind of unnecessary. On the play, it did look like I stopped, so I understand where he's coming from, but it was unnecessary."

The Broncos started the season with two straight wins but it's been a nightmare since; they lost four in a row and six of seven before stringing together three wins in Weeks 11-13 only to drop their last three, including that humiliating loss to the Raiders on Monday night. One game remains -- against the Chargers this Sunday, which you can stream on fuboTV (Try for free) -- but expect wholesale changes in the coming weeks and months.