Broncos quarterback battle gets another interesting twist before training camp

Jarrett Stidham is not going down without a fight
Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

The Denver Broncos do have a competition going for their starting quarterback position in 2024, but any "competition" feels contrived at best. The Broncos drafted Bo Nix 12th overall in 2024 and Nix is widely expected to be the starter sooner rather than later.

So are we all just spinning our proverbial wheels with the idea that Jarrett Stidham -- the only holdover from last year's quarterback room and the player who started the final two games of the 2023-24 season -- is actually a contender to be under center when the Broncos open their season up against Seattle in Week 1?

Maybe not.

Jarrett Stidham showing starter-level leadership qualities ahead of Broncos camp

Jarrett Stidham might be the oldest player the Broncos have at the quarterback position, but he's played the least actual football over the last four years compared to both Bo Nix and Zach Wilson. Nix played 61 collegiate games and is the second-oldest first-round quarterback selected in league history (behind Brandon Weeden). Wilson was the 2nd overall pick of the New York Jets in 2021 and has started 33 games over the last three years.

Stidham has been in the NFL since 2019 and has thrown 197 passes in 16 games with four starts.

Yet, he remains the elder of the group, and perhaps -- for now -- the QB1 of this team. How long will that last? Nobody knows, but Stidham is carrying himself like a QB1. As has been planned all offseason, Stidham is hosting throwing sessions with a little side of fellowship and bonding at his home in Texas.

According to 9News Broncos insider Mike Klis, a group of Broncos players (which includes wide receiver Courtland Sutton) will be working out at TCU for some throwing sessions.

Stidham is picking up the mantle left by players like Russell Wilson and Peyton Manning, who both hosted throwing sessions and understand the importance of getting that additional offseason work that isn't sanctioned by the team. This is completely by the players' own volition, and there's no requirement for any of these workout sessions. But having these throwing sessions to help gain chemistry and timing can give young quarterbacks a crucial edge.

And Stidham has learned from some of the best already in his pro career, which started out as a backup behind Tom Brady in New England.

Does the fact that Stidham is the one hosting this workout session mean a lot in terms of the overall QB1 battle? Probably not, but he's at least taking on the leadership mantle and approaching the offseason as though he is the one who will be looked upon to lead the team.

It's a crucial year for Stidham, who is entering his 6th NFL season and is viewed as someone with starter qualities. He did a solid job late last season when called upon to replace Russell Wilson in the lineup, but we certainly didn't see anything like his 2022 performance against the San Francisco 49ers as a member of the Las Vegas Raiders. That game was a big reason why the Broncos signed Stidham to a two-year deal in the first place.

Once training camp gets going, Stidham is going to be fighting daily to hold onto his job with the likes of Nix and Wilson at his heels. Both Nix and Wilson will be attending the throwing sessions at TCU as well.

Stidham organizing this certainly adds an intriguing potential wrinkle to the quarterback battle, though the chemistry gained by these throwing sessions -- even if it's minimal -- will be valuable for all of the quarterbacks.