The Denver Broncos appear to be hopping back on the quarterback carousel in 2024. It's not where any fan of the team wants to be at this point, but it's the reality of the situation after the Broncos benched Russell Wilson with two games remaining in the 2023 season and turned to backup Jarrett Stidham.
Although nothing is a certainty at this point in time, the move to bench Russell Wilson now certainly appears to be a deliberate signal for the future of the team. Meaning: Russell Wilson is not part of it. When the Broncos acquired Wilson in 2022 via trade with the Seattle Seahawks, it was a move that was supposed to take the team out of quarterback purgatory. The Broncos were supposed to have a solidified QB position with a future Hall of Famer on board.
But two years into the massive investment (both in what the Broncos traded and financially), the team appears set to move on. What direction will Sean Payton go? Who are the most likely candidates to start for this team in 2024?
1. Jarrett Stidham, incumbent
I think as of right now, the most likely option to be starting for the Denver Broncos in 2024 is Jarrett Stidham, who is going to be starting these final two games. Sean Payton was really impressed with what he saw from Stidham last year when Stidham played for the Raiders, and said in the offseason that Stidham was "quietly" a really important signing for the team.
When Stidham signed a two-year deal, I think the writing was on the wall -- the Broncos were going to turn to him as soon as things went south with Russell Wilson. And that's exactly what happened. The Broncos' offense has struggled to throw the ball all year. They rank 26th in percentage of throws going for a first down. The passing offense, overall, ranks 25th in the league.
The Broncos are turning to Jarrett Stidham for a spark offensively. This team hasn't been good on third downs. They haven't been able to play within the structure of the offense for most of the year. It's been tough sledding on that side of the ball.
Stidham will have an audition for just two games here at the end of the season, but in a way, that speaks volumes to what this team thinks of him going forward. If I were a betting man, I would peg Stidham as the odds-on favorite to be the Broncos's starting QB in 2024.