Why did Blake Bortles sign with the Denver Broncos for 2020?

Blake Bortles, Denver Broncos (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Blake Bortles, Denver Broncos (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

Why did Blake Bortles sign with the Denver Broncos?

Two weeks into the 2020 NFL season and the Denver Broncos have already lost their two best players (Courtland Sutton, Von Miller) to likely season-ending injuries as well as their young starting quarterback to a 3-5 week throwing shoulder injury.

How is everyone doing?

That is, unfortunately, not even the full extent of the Denver Broncos’ injury problems, yet somehow the team has managed to lose their first two games by just a combined seven points, including a road game against the Pittsburgh Steelers who will probably be a top-five AFC team in 2020.

The Broncos made it clear in the 2020 offseason that their plan was Drew Lock all the way, and they signed Jeff Driskel to a modest deal over two years to be Lock’s backup.

Adding Driskel was the only move the Broncos made at quarterback in 2020 until they recently signed veteran Blake Bortles in the wake of Lock’s shoulder injury.

At this juncture of the season, you’d be hard-pressed to do much better than Bortles, and that undoubtedly means exactly what you think it means.

There just aren’t many quarterbacks out there right now for the signing, and Bortles is a better option than most.

With that being said, why would Bortles agree to sign with the Denver Broncos? Even with his history as a starting quarterback well documented at this point, teams probably called Bortles throughout the offseason offering him the chance to be a backup.

He didn’t take any of those opportunities, whatever they were.

As a matter of fact, Bortles intentionally didn’t sign any contracts before the season (assuming he was offered at least one) because he was waiting for the right situation.

This tweet from Tom Pelissero of NFL Network in early September is very interesting.

Keep that information handy for the time being here. Let’s explore the Broncos’ quarterback situation at the present moment.

What about Jeff Driskel?

The signing of Blake Bortles has absolutely nothing to do with Drew Lock over the long-term, but potentially everything to do with Jeff Driskel in the short-term.

Why did the Broncos not sign Bortles earlier in the offseason instead of Driskel to be their QB2? Was the price tag too high?

The situation with Lock out for a seemingly short period of time (3-5 weeks) is exactly what Driskel was signed for, right?

Driskel has been the one to go through camp with the Broncos, learning Pat Shurmur’s offense and getting live reps with the Broncos’ receivers. Is the purpose of bringing in Bortles simply to upgrade your QB3 spot?

More about Brett Rypien?

On the surface, the move to bring in Bortles feels a lot more like an upgrade over Brett Rypien than it does an indictment of Driskel.

With that being said, why would Bortles come to Denver simply to be the QB3?

Remember Tom Pelissero’s report earlier? Bortles was waiting for an opportunity to get onto the field, so what did the Broncos offer him to get him to come to Denver for the veteran minimum salary?

Was he really that interested in being the Broncos’ QB3?

A working theory

Something just doesn’t add up here, does it?

If the Broncos wanted Bortles as their QB2, why not sign him earlier in the offseason? If Bortles was holding out for opportunities to get onto the field, why sign in Denver with Drew Lock’s injury window somewhat slight and Jeff Driskel seemingly a no-brainer to step in for the time being?

You have to wonder if the Broncos potentially promised Bortles he would be playing sooner rather than later.

The team is hopeful that Drew Lock can come back inside of three weeks but they are willing to give him the full five weeks if he needs them as well. With that in mind, could Bortles potentially come in if Driskel is unable to lead the Broncos to victory against the Bucs? After the Jets game?

If Bortles wasn’t told he has a legitimate shot at playing, it makes his decision to sign in Denver a bit curious considering how quickly Lock will be back in the fold.

Next. 7 takeaways after loss to Steelers. dark

Will we see Bortles on the field for Denver sooner rather than later? It’s now up to Jeff Driskel to hold him off.