Denver Broncos: Passing on Justin Fields looks even worse now
The Denver Broncos have found their quarterback for the 2021 season, but the move doesn’t exactly invoke excitement.
Teddy Bridgewater has won the starting job for the team, edging out Drew Lock in a move that is questionable, to say the least. Sure, you can easily make an argument for Bridgewater to be the starter. The question is, why would the team want that?
If the competition was that close and Lock showed clear progression, which he did, why would you bench the younger option that you used a high draft pick on in favor of a guy playing on his fifth NFL team?
If you watched any Carolina Panthers games last year, you can get a pretty good idea of what you’ll be getting out of Bridgewater. The argument to that will be that Carolina didn’t have the kind of offensive weapons that the Broncos do, but it’s still the same quarterback who is more of a guy who manages the game rather than one who can make dynamic plays.
A “game manager” seems to be exactly what Vic Fangio wants for this team. It makes one wonder if there was even a question about this competition from within the organization.
If the Broncos were going to pass over the younger option that they drafted for a journeyman quarterback, then it makes even less sense to have passed on Justin Fields in the first round of this year’s draft, a move that many Broncos fans loathed.
Instead, the team went with Patrick Surtain, a solid-looking cornerback, but Fields has the chance to be one of the league’s best quarterbacks at some point down the road and has already shown flashes of being great this preseason with the Chicago Bears.
Fields was there for the taking when the Broncos went on the clock with the No. 9 overall pick in the draft. When they took Surtain, it was assumed the team may have a deal in place for Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers or at the very least, were committed to giving Lock one more chance.
But if someone would have told you during that draft that the Broncos just passed on Fields and would be starting Bridgewater this season, what would you have thought? Even with the benefit of hindsight and assuming the coaching staff didn’t anoint Bridgewater as the starter in their minds a long time ago, this looks like a terrible decision.
When the Bears saw that Fields was actually still on the board past Denver, they traded up several spots to make sure he wasn’t there much longer.
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Could Fields end up being an average or even not-so-average NFL quarterback? Of course, but there’s nothing there now to say that he will, and most signs point to the exact opposite.
Even if Fields wasn’t ready to start this year, the Broncos still could have gone with Bridgewater and fans would have a lot to look forward to in terms of a future quarterback rather than whatever it is the team still has in Lock now.
Bridgewater will be the 11th different quarterback to start a game for the Broncos since Peyton Manning retired. Yes, 11. That’s like one of those old Cleveland Browns stats when that team couldn’t get the position right.
The Broncos still don’t have this position right, and passing on Fields could end up being a negative mark for years to come.