clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Mike Shanahan didn't talk to Broncos about Robert Griffin III this year

And now for something completely different.

Mike Shanahan was on hand to honor Broncos owner Pat Bowlen on November 1st, 2015 as Denver handled Green Bay 29-10.
Mike Shanahan was on hand to honor Broncos owner Pat Bowlen on November 1st, 2015 as Denver handled Green Bay 29-10.
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Colin Kaepernick.

I said his name so that I don't have to again.

Tim Tebow.

When Peyton Manning retired and Brock Osweiler left sight unseen to Houston, the Denver Broncos were left with a gaping hole the size of Trevor Siemian at quarterback. Producers, content creators and Twitter enthusiasts all over the NFL could not wait to attach Denver to every single available and unavailable quarterback in the league.

Enter: Robert Griffin III, arguably the best of the available free agent quarterbacks, linked to Gary Kubiak's system through Washington and former Washington and Denver head coach Mike Shanahan. Griffin could come in knowing the system, give the Broncos an obvious boost in their bootlegs and scrambling ability. By all means an obvious signing.

Or not.

In an interview with MMQB's Jenny Vrentas, Shanahan explains that not only did he not speak to Vice President of Football Operations John Elway about Griffin, Griffin didn't even know Denver's system. Vrentas stated that there were rumors that Elway had character concerns about Griffin and asked Shanahan whether he had been contacted by Elway regarding Griffin's character:

I talked to [Elway] one time last summer over at the house, but that was not just about Robert, it was about football in general. I don't really remember our conversation, except that I said I think Robert will go back to running the offense we ran in 2012, which is not the offense we ran in Denver. I told John that we ran strictly an offense that Robert was used to, or that he had run when he was at Baylor, and we didn't do a lot of the principles that we did with Denver except for the zone running scheme. That was about the only thing that we had in common, so it was hard to say how Robert would do in the Broncos system when it was so different than the system we ran with John. And that was the length of our conversation. But I didn't talk to John (about Griffin) this offseason. I had not one phone call by anybody this year, didn't speak to anyone about Robert, except when I called Jeff [Fisher].

While this offseason Shanahan felt compelled to cold call Los Angeles Rams head coach Jeff Fisher in support of the Rams signing Griffin, he was not inclined to do the same for Elway and the Broncos. As Shanahan suggested, he did not believe that Griffin was a fit for Denver's current system.

That's that. It seems that one conversation a year ago with Shanahan added at least in part to Denver expressing no actual interest in the newest member of the Cleveland Browns' quarterback list that now includes a whopping 25 quarterbacks since 1999.

Number two on my list of best Browns quarterbacks since 1999 has also been connected to the Broncos (Brian Hoyer), but much like the RGIII rumors, Denver's interest in Hoyer is probably just professionals and enthusiasts throwing a dart in an effort to garner imaginary Internet points that can either solidify or diminish one's online reputation.