A fan holds up a t-shirt which reads "got Peyton" in reference to quarterback Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts during Media Day ahead of Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
The first week of Free Agency in the NFL has come and gone, with it a series of rash moves and the overpayment of contracts as if there were an estate auction going on. Not only that, but one player holding 3 teams (and their fan bases) hostage. It isn't fair and personally it's downright cruel, but it is what it is. A giant mess.
Denver Broncos V.P. of football operations John Elway has demonstrated a vote of "no confidence" in 2011 starting Quarterback Tim Tebow and is on a quest to improve that position on the team, notably chasing after the illustrious Peyton Manning. I don't intend to discuss the merits, assets or shortcomings of any of these three Quarterbacks in this post. What I would like to talk about is; who is left if both Manning or Tebow are not Broncos in 2012 and what happens if the bottom falls out?
About an hour ago, it was announced that Matt Flynn signed with the Seahawks. It is a matter of opinion, but I think Flynn may have represented the last decent upgrade at Quarterback left in the Free Agent Pool. The other QB's who agreed to contracts so far are Kyle Orton, Chad Henne, Jason Campbell, Shaun Hill, Sage Rosenfels, Brady Quinn, Drew Stanton, Rex Grossman, Chris Redman, Josh McCown, David Carr, Charlie Whitehurst and Dan Orlovsky can't be considered top tier. Journeymen, spot starters and some quality backups maybe, but nothing to get excited about to be sure.
Let's look at who is left now.
Alex Smith would likely be the best of the rest here. The remainder of the list contains a few has-beens, dinosaurs and underachievers. Josh Johnson, David Garrard, Byron Leftwich,Donovan McNabb. Chad Pennington, Dennis Dixon, Luke McCown, Charlie Batch, Jake Delhomme, Vince Young, J.P. Losman, Derek Anderson, A.J. Feeley, Caleb Hanie, Kellen Clemens, Matt Leinart, Kyle Boller, Mark Brunell, Jeff Garcia and Kevin O'Connell. Anyone there get you fired up? Yeah, me neither.
That leaves next month's NFL Draft or the desperate thought of dragging Brett Favre out of retirement. The Broncos have the 25th overall selection and we all know that Andrew Luck and RG III will be gone by then. Ryan Tannehill has moved up the draft boards and may have moved too high for the Broncos to play on. That leaves Brandon Weeden (ranked 42nd) and Kirk Cousins (71st) in the 2nd round. Beyond that I'd hate to speculate. One thing's for sure, it would be a slim chance that these rookies could outdo what Tim Tebow did last season.
Alex Smith is the only guy I can see who might be an improvement for the Broncos passing game out of the remaining choices left. The trouble is, the conflict of interest with player agents exists between Smith and Manning also exist with Tebow. This whole ordeal has created a three-headed monster and the end result will be disappointment and hard feelings for two-thirds of the factions involved -- team, players and fan bases included.
And here we all thought the Lockout was bad.
Again, it is not my intent to stir up a Hornet's nest between who wants Tebow or Manning. This is a crucial point for the 2012 Bronco season though. If EFX doesn't land their big fish, things could unravel and spiral out of control. I leave it to you MHR. If Peyton Manning signs elsewhere and Tim Tebow is alienated enough to end up on another team, what happens next? Do we chase after Alex Smith or one of the other Free Agents left or try for Ryan Tannehill?
I don't see a viable solution to that scenario, do you?