What Should Broncos Do With QB Brock Osweiler?


The conversations about the Denver Broncos quarterback situation this offseason have centered around Peyton Manning, but Brock Osweiler seems to be a forgotten man aside from the discussions of whether or not he’d be ready to step in. I think the Broncos have a humongous decision to make and it lies in the hands ultimately of John Elway and Peyton Manning.

Manning needs to decide whether or not he can come back, but not just that. He needs to decide if he comes back if he not only has plenty left in the tank, but that he stops at a gas station and fills up all together. At the end of the 2014 season, Manning was clearly playing hurt. Kudos to him for his toughness, but he should not have been playing. His injury or injuries caused him to look like a shell of the All Pro we saw a year ago and he was clearly dejected and disappointed in himself.

If Peyton Manning decides to return, the Broncos should figure out whether or not they want to trade Brock Osweiler or look at extending his contract. Osweiler needs to know that he has a future in the league, and forcing him to sit on a bench for four seasons going into the final year of a contract in 2015 is both unfair and a detriment to the organization.

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The Broncos need to know they have a quarterback of the future, not just someone who is going to be there in 2015, and if Osweiler is that guy and has always been that guy, the Broncos should give him a contract extension so they can see what he has at least through 2016 and 2017. If the Broncos feel like with Manning coming back in 2015 that they want to start from scratch in 2016, then they should trade Osweiler to the highest bidder.

There are arguments out there as to whether or not Osweiler has any worth at this point, and I hate that argument with a serious passion. Quarterbacks always have worth. Osweiler has a unique physical skillset and was a 2nd round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. He is young, has a strong arm, is athletic, and has lots of potential. The fact that he’s been developing behind Peyton Manning for the last three years is a plus as well, at least you would assume it is, and if you think another NFL team wouldn’t pay at least a 2nd or 3rd round pick for Osweiler, especially with this year’s crop of quarterbacks, you are sorely mistaken.

For me, the ideal situation would be to have Peyton Manning come back with a fire lit underneath him, making bold declarations about how the Broncos are out for blood and they are taking names along the way. I want Manning to put a target on his back because sometimes I have felt over these last three years, the Broncos have been too polite. If Manning really is going to come back for one last swan song, then he should make sure to make it count in terms of winning, not just setting passing records.

Along with that, I think the Broncos should hand Osweiler an extension and throw some guaranteed money his way. If they are so confident that he’s the QB of the future, prove it and don’t let him walk away after this season. He knew the plan from the second he was drafted was to be the successor to Peyton Manning, and he’s been fine with that, but we all know this is how Osweiler feels on a daily basis, not just in this game.

For Osweiler, the Gary Kubiak hire in Denver is exciting because he has virtually the perfect skillset. Osweiler has a rocket for an arm and does a great job making plays outside the pocket. He’s more athletic than people think as a former basketball player, and getting him in on some bootlegs has Broncos fans swooning. The problem right now is, will we ever see that happen?

John Elway has some big decisions to make. He is going to meet with Peyton Manning about whether or not he is going to play, and Elway should honestly gauge whether or not Manning really wants to play anymore, or if he feels like he has to come back. If Elway gets the sense at all that Manning is coming back for any reason other than to win a Super Bowl and get the Broncos back the Lombardi trophy the team and city deserve, then he should ask Manning to pull the plug and move on with Osweiler.

You have to think that when Elway signed Manning in 2012, he figured the team could contend that year but that it might take some more rebuilding and developing before it would actually happen. The Broncos’ best case scenario was likely to win in 2013 (when they were demolished by Seattle) and worst case this past year in 2014 (disaster). They probably figured at worst, Manning would ride off into the sunset in one of those first three years, and that they’d get at least one year of Osweiler as the starter to know what they have.

Now, it’s desperation mode. Everyone knows or at least believes in some way shape or form that Peyton gives the Broncos the best shot at winning a title in 2015, but if/when he comes back, you risk losing your QB of the future because his rookie contract ran out. If Manning leaves this offseason, the Broncos are in a pickle because it’s hard to see Osweiler stepping in and bringing them into the Promised Land immediately.

That’s why I believe the best solution is to re-sign Osweiler this offseason at a decent price, and make sure you are taken care of for the future and then convince Manning to return. Osweiler won’t be 25 until November, so no matter what, the Broncos are still going to be getting a young quarterback who will have at least 10 years with which to work if everything goes according to plan.

It’s a sticky situation, but the Broncos can come away feeling pretty comfortable if they extend Osweiler this offseason. If that’s not something they want to do, they should trade him this offseason and get something while they can, and sign a veteran to back up Peyton Manning while they develop someone else or look to the 2016 NFL Draft for the QB of the future.