Welcome To The Scrap Heap
This is going to be a challenging off-season and training camp for Broncos fans. Any way you slice it, Denver will have a quarterback competition during training camp and that battle will, at a minimum, consist of Mark Sanchez, Trevor Siemian and a drafted rookie. They may also add another vet to compete with these three. It’s a steep fall from the Peyton Manning era when you knew one of the greatest of all time was leading your team each and every Sunday. Even if Manning’s play had diminished (significantly), there was comfort knowing he was at the helm going into the last four seasons and Denver would, one way or another, be a playoff team. Last season, the defense was the identity of the team and helped mask his own as well as the offensive deficiencies. In the previous three seasons, though, Manning was the catalyst for success. He willed the Broncos to their victories and fans knew what they were getting when 18 was commanding the offense.
That feels like a long time ago now as fans take a gander at the crop of quarterbacks that might lead this team back to the promised land. Some fans will argue that this group of QBs may offer improvement on the abysmal numbers put up by Manning/Osweiler last season. Time will tell on that but what we do know, with absolute certainty, is that the next Broncos quarterback will not inspire fear in his opponents. Denver’s next QB will be flawed and the defense will probably have to bail him out “any given Sunday.”
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 29, 2016
So, with all that in mind, let’s take a look at the newest additions of quarterbacks that are on the radar for Denver. According to Ian Rapoport with NFL Network, the Texans are looking to move on from QB Brian Hoyer. Brandon Stokley, from Sandy and Stokley, has been calling for Hoyer to lead the Broncos next season since Brock Osweiler signed with Houston. Hoyer started nine games for the Texans last season but played in eleven while sharing time with former Houston QB Ryan Mallett. He completed 60.7% of his passes for 2,606 yards, 19 touchdowns, 7 interceptions and 6 fumbles. Most NFL fans will likely remember his final performance with Houston in the playoffs vs Kansas City in a 30-0 loss where he torpedoed his team with SIX turnovers. Those numbers likely don’t inspire a lot of confidence in Broncos fans but remember, we need to change the way this position is looked at going into this season. The fact is, a future hall-of-fame quarterback won’t be leading this team.
Hoyer is 15-10 in three years as a starter and is due $4 million base salary next season.
This 2-year deal for @RGIII can be worth up to $22M. Which underscores what we knew: Josh McCown will be playing for another team in 2016
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 24, 2016
Another quarterback that is available for trade or possibly soon after he is released is former Bears, Bucs and Browns QB Josh McCown (the Broncos could become the fourth straight team he’s been on that starts with B so he would get a free set of steak knives). McCown has been in the league for FOURTEEN seasons however, when called upon in recent years, has been an effective starter for his teams. With the Bears in 2013, he played in eight games, threw for 1,829 yards, 13 TDs and 1 INT. Last season with the Browns, he played in another 8 games, threw for 2,109 yards, 12 TDs and 4 INTs. Not spectacular, but when you compare those numbers to former Broncos QB Brock Osweiler, he lines up similarly. Brock also played in eight games, throwing for 1,967 yards, 10 TDs and 6 INTs. Neither of these QBs inspire confidence but for the Osweiler apologists out there, you can rest on his wins against New England and Cincinnati. McCown only had one win last season, in overtime, against a bad Ravens team. Even with mediocre numbers, Brock was 5-2 as a starter.
So there you go. Add Hoyer and McCown to the list of quarterbacks that are likely on John Elway’s radar. Don’t expect Colin Kaepernick to be available unless he agrees to take less money AND the 49ers take a lower draft pick than they are currently asking for. Another mediocre quarterback on their radar, Ryan Fitzpatrick, still believes he should be paid close to Top 10 money.
Broncos fans are going to blanch at this scrap heap of QBs but this is what was always going to be. Brock Osweiler, after being benched in Week 17 vs the Chargers, was never going to return to Denver. Elway is simply trying to make a bad situation as palatable as he can with the crop of quarterbacks available to him. Broncos fans should HOPE they draft a quarterback-of-the-future at the end of April to be developed who could be available mid-way through the season for a playoff run. This scenario represents the quickest way for Denver to escape the quarterback purgatory that so many teams continue to find themselves in year after year. If Elway misses on the right QB in the draft, expect another year of below average QB play from the Broncos. Then again, they won the Super Bowl last season so maybe that’s not such a bad thing?
TOP PHOTO CREDIT: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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