Denver Broncos quarterback options are slim after day 2 of free agency

Denver Broncos preseason - Gardner Minshew. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos preseason - Gardner Minshew. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s no secret the Denver Broncos are eyeing quarterbacks to sign for competition with Drew Lock.

The question that remains is this: which quarterback will they sign?

We saw several options become unavailable on Tuesday, including Andy Dalton, Jacoby Brissett, and Tyrod Taylor. Those three were linked to Denver leading up to free agency.

Another potential option that has since been taken off the board is Jameis Winston.

So, who remains?

We can start at the most desirable option — or, if you ask his team, he isn’t an option, as of now: Deshaun Watson would be the best quarterback the team could acquire. The question is, will he ever be available?

Let us assume that the answer to that is no. That means that the Broncos truly would be signing a reject, or simply a proven veteran that is past his prime.

Alex Smith is probably the best option out there. I previously wrote about Smith as an option. I think that signing him would be smart.

Perhaps the most likely option is former Bears third overall pick Mitch Trubisky. He would provide true competition for Lock, which has been the team’s goal. Trubisky is 0-2 in the playoffs while completing 62.5 percent of his passes for 502 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in those games.

Sam Darnold’s name has also floated around Broncos Country over the weeks. This option does make sense, as the Jets have the second-overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft, and seem destined to take Darnold’s replacement while in position.

Darnold is a cheap option for 2021, but his cap hit is almost twice as much in 2022 than it is in 2021. The Broncos would almost certainly want to lower that number if he were to be acquired.

Gardner Minshew is another name floating around, with the Jacksonville Jaguars in prime position to draft a rookie to be the team’s future.

I won’t lie: this is a pretty sad list. However, the point is to hopefully have Lock step up his game rather than be instantly replaced. If a free agent comes in and beats him out, so be it. That would say all you need to know.

The Broncos could have signed Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has been decent in spot action since being a seventh-round pick in 2005. That ship has since sailed as he signed with the Washington Football Team.

He would probably have been my preferred choice.

The Broncos surely want to give Lock as much time as possible, to see if he can turn his career around. It would be very unfortunate to see them admit defeat on their former second-round pick.

That being said, the clock will be ticking faster for Vic Fangio if they do not figure out their future guy.

The point here? Unfortunately, there are not a lot of solid options for the Broncos, especially with the wave of guys who signed early on in free agency. If they don’t move fast, they are going to have to stick with Lock in 2021, without that possibility of finding somebody who could potentially unseat him as the starting quarterback.