Put down your pitchforks and blow torches friends, the Denver Broncos do in fact need a quarterback this offseason as Brady Quinn is likely to leave via free agency, though Adam Weber--who spent 2011 on the Broncos' practice squad-- is signed to a future contract.
Weber's signing could indicate one of two things: Denver likes having Weber play scout team quarterback when prepping their defense for conventional quarterbacks or it could mean that the Broncos plan on molding Tim Tebow into a 'more conventional' quarterback and having Weber as insurance.
However, anyone that saw Quinn warming up on the sideline of the AFC Divisional Playoffs game versus the New England Patriots felt a brief moment of panic. I don't see Denver re-signing Quinn nor do I see them going full speed ahead with Tebow, Weber and a something round rookie either.
Expect the Broncos to find a backup via free agency, here is who I would look at (and who is available):Yes, this is an off-season that as of now features Drew Brees and Alex Smith as unrestricted free agent. This offseason could also feature the great Peyton Manning being dealt. I am not anticipating any of these things happening. There is also the eerily Matt Cassel-esque Matt Flynn likely becoming available, the thing that people often forget about Flynn is that he has only won one game as an NFL starter.
I am not going to lie, it's pretty paper thin out there as far as available talent goes at the quarterback position. The Pittsburgh Steelers Dennis Dixon is a quarterback that I can see being able to step up and taking over a Tebow style offense. Staying with the Steelers Charlie Batch is also a decent option, however neither will provide much as far as improvement goes at the position.
The Oakland Raiders will likely be forced to let Jason Campbell walk, as he'll want an opportunity to start somewhere and for this exact reason he probably won't look toward Denver as an option. Vince Young appears to be very Tebow-like occasionally, but I don't see John Elway wanting that type of player on the Broncos. John Fox's former quarterback Jake Delhomme is looking to retire this off-season so don't place your bets with him.
So who do I think makes sense? The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Josh Johnson, he's young and can play that offense that I expect the Broncos to go forward with. He's a University of San Diego alumni and played for Jim Harbaugh, so there will be competition for him likely. If Denver really wants to go for a long bomb and a veteran presence I would insist on bringing in Chad Henne, who is also familiar with the wild cat and I think could fit in as a backup with the Broncos.
Other free agent quarterbacks who will be on the market: Derek Anderson, Trent Edwards, Max Hall (RFA), Donovan McNabb, Drew Stanton, and Charlie Whitehurst.
Then of course there is always Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn.