Denver Broncos QB search: Is the option to add 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick drifting away? Let’s look at the latest from Denver…
What is going on with the Colin Kaepernick trade, or lack thereof?
Our pal Jon Heath over at Broncos Wire has a very good, informative post about what’s going on in the latest with the Broncos, Browns, and 49ers in this possible trade.
The general gist of it is this: The Broncos apparently have had productive talks with Kaepernick’s camp regarding a contract restructure. The Browns have apparently offered a third round pick, which is at the top of the round (65th overall). The Broncos would have to offer their second round pick (63rd overall) to beat the Browns’ compensation offer, but Cleveland might not be offering Kaepernick as favorable of a contract restructure.
Yuck. This is all disgusting to me.
Mike Klis of 9News in Denver said on a Facebook Live video mailbag on Friday that the date to watch out for on Kaepernick is April 1st, when just under $12 million is basically guaranteed to Kaepernick on his contract with the Niners. He suggested that the Broncos (and feasibly the Browns, too) were hoping to wait out the Niners and see if they might just cut Kaepernick outright at that figure.
The Niners aren’t hurting for cash, so they might be willing to play that game of chicken. The Broncos don’t feel like they have to rush into anything, for some reason. The quarterback market hasn’t really thinned out in terms of guys that we would actually want to see starting on the Broncos next year (Kaepernick, RG3, Ryan Fitzpatrick) but it feels like the consensus is that RG3 is likely to sign somewhere to be a backup in 2016.
That would mean that teams view Kaepernick and Fitzpatrick as the only viable starting QBs on the open market right now.
Which is why Broncos Country is (largely) freaking out right now, but it’s time to take a step back and look at the facts.
1. It doesn’t get any worse than it was in 2015 at QB.
Let’s face that fact for what it is. Peyton Manning led the NFL with 17 interceptions. Brock Osweiler was able to come in and provide at least average play for a few weeks before getting benched in week 17.
Like I said, it doesn’t get any worse, and that includes Mark Sanchez.
2. Sanchez isn’t that terrible, aside from the butt fumble.
The 29-year old, former first round pick completed 64.5 percent of his passes with the Eagles in 13 games with 18 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. The Broncos aren’t going to ask much of Sanchez, but if he has to start, this defense is more than capable of picking up the slack. Sanchez isn’t going to necessarily elevate the play of everyone around him — not by any stretch — but he’s got a great defense to pick up the slack of or when he would mess up.
Initially I hated it beyond what my mind could fathom. For a conditional 7th round pick? The Broncos basically got a 29-year old backup QB for nothing, and his cap hit is incredibly low for a QB as well. Like John Elway said when the move was made — this is just the 1st step, the 2nd of which is hopefully Kaepernick.
We have to also remember that Sanchez has been part of four playoff victories in his NFL career. That is as many or more than anyone else in the AFC West, not including the Broncos, since 2003.
And by the way, every single one of his playoff wins has been on the road. The Jets in 2009-2010 came one win away from Super Bowl appearances.
Sanchez is a known game manager that, if he’s asked to do just that, can help your team win, rather than cause it to lose like we’ve seen plenty.
3. Be glad we didn’t pay Osweiler that kind of money.
Osweiler, as much as we may have wanted to see it with our orange blinders on, was very average. Hard worker? Yes. Great teammate? Yes.
But when he strapped on the pads and actually got to go play, it’s like the offense became allergic to touchdowns. Osweiler was able to throw multiple touchdowns in just two of his 8 appearances in 2015 — a 17-15 win in Chicago and a 24-31 loss in Pittsburgh.
Every other game he had one or fewer touchdown tosses.
I’m not saying that means he’s going to be that way his entire career — I’m sure he’ll have plenty of multi-touchdown games — but it happened for four years where Osweiler would come in during preseason action and the offense would stall. I won’t speak for everyone, but I will say that I had convinced myself that he was making good throws, whether receivers were dropping them or whether his drives resulted in three points or none at all.
There was too much convincing myself that Osweiler was becoming what we’d all hoped he could be, or feared he wouldn’t be.
The Texans overpaid — big time — for Osweiler. We’ll see how it works out for them.
TO SUM UP
It feels like the Browns’ offer of a high third round pick would force the Broncos to offer a 2nd round pick for Colin Kaepernick, and I don’t know if that’s a price the Broncos are willing to pay. If they were planning on taking a QB with one of their first two picks anyway, then I say go for it. Kaepernick has experience in this league unlike any QB in this draft.
Still, the Broncos seem reluctant to overpay, and I can’t blame them for that. They need to be sure of their investment, and Kaepernick is going to cost the most money as well as a high draft pick.
It’ll be interesting to see how it all shakes out.