The second Brock Osweiler signed with the Houston Texans, the Denver Broncos had a very real problem at quarterback heading into the 2016 season. John Elway is still negotiating for Colin Kaepernick and signed Mark Sanchez as a fallback option, but the holes at the position are still very real.
In Peter King's MMQB, he suggested that Cincinnati Bengals backup quarterback AJ McCarron may be the best option for the Broncos in the post-Manning, post-Osweiler era.
Just a few reminders about Cincinnati backup AJ McCarron, who I maintain would be the best option for Denver in the wake of losing Brock Osweiler:
- In the last four games of the regular season, when McCarron played for the injured Andy Dalton, McCarron completed 69, 71, 63 and 63 percent of his passes, including a 63-percent day against the league’s top defense, Denver.
- His 97.1 rating would have been ninth in the NFL had he qualified.
- In yards per pass attempt, a key number all coordinators are mindful of, McCarron and Osweiler both recorded 7.2 yards per pass play.
- Points per games in 2015, in games they started and played the whole game: Osweiler 20.5, McCarron 20.3.
I’d call Bengals boss Mike Brown if I were John Elway, just to check out McCarron’s availability.
Last offseason, the Broncos did try to pick up Tyrod Taylor, but he chose the Buffalo Bills instead. Mostly so he could get the playing time he felt he could get. So this quarterback crisis was apparent to the Broncos front office long before Osweiler "proved" himself in seven starts late last season.
McCarron appears to want the same opportunity that Taylor has gotten. So much so that he even floated the possibility of being traded by the Bengals a week ago. Bengals fans seem to value McCarron for the Broncos second round pick with the Bengals also throwing in their third rounder.
On the surface that seems fair, but I just don't think Elway has any interest in parting with either of his first two picks in the draft. That and McCarron displayed many of the same flaws we all saw in Osweiler, so we could be staring at the same outcome. Hopefully, the Broncos find a better transitional option that could net some deep playoff runs.