By Matthew J. Buettner, CBSDenver.com
DENVER (CBS4) – Will Broncos general manager John Elway come out of retirement after Denver failed to keep free agent quarterback Brock Osweiler? All joking aside, the Broncos are now faced with the task of finding a quality quarterback, and the pool isn’t that deep.
Osweiler, 25, on Wednesday agreed to join the Houston Texans after the Broncos had offered him a four-year deal worth $64 million.
Instead, Osweiler agreed to a four-year, $72 million deal with the Texans with $37 million guaranteed.
Now it’s back to the drawing board for Elway and the Broncos. The only quarterback currently on the team is Trevor Siemian, a seventh-round draft pick in 2015. He spent most of the season inactive on game days.
Among the bigger name free agent quarterbacks still available are veterans Ryan Fitzpatrick, who had a career year with the New York Jets last season; and Robert Griffin III, who had a rocky relationship with the Washington Redskins brass and was released at the end of the season.
If the Broncos were to sign Fitzpatrick or Griffin, the plan would likely be to use a first or second round draft pick on a quarterback as a long-term prospect.
Another option that has been mentioned is trading for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has expressed a desire to leave San Francisco. Things might have changed since the 49ers hired Chip Kelly as head coach. But if the Broncos were to entertain such a move they would have to consider the salary cap hit the team would take. Denver would have to take on the remainder of Kaepernick’s salary, according to NFL rules. His salary cap figure is $15.27 million for 2016 and $19.87 million for 2017.
Could another option might be Johnny Football? In an interview with GQ’s Clay Skipper, Von Miller, Johnny Manziel’s teammate at Texas A&M, said “Who knows? You might see Johnny Manziel in Denver.”
Miller said he doesn’t believe the troubled Manziel had enough support around him in Cleveland. With Osweiler gone, the idea of Johnny Football becoming a Broncos isn’t as far-fetched as it once was.