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Broncos quarterback roulette getting more serious

It would appear the most likely course of action is Denver works a trade for Kaepernick or moves up in the first round of the NFL Draft.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Now the real fun begins.

With a Ryan Clady move now in the books, the quarterback speculation will amp up about 500 times. And you thought it's been crazy the last month. Buckle up, Broncos Country. At least the Clady rumors vanished since he's now with the New York Jets.

Until John Elway and the Denver Broncos make another move at quarterback, the rumors, reports and "sources" will persist. At least after the most recent story from Mike Klis at 9News, there wasn't another that dropped 15 minutes later to dispute all that he reported. Give it time, that story only came out Saturday night.

If you didn't see it, reference our coverage of it here, Klis said the Clady deal has no impact on what Denver does with Colin Kaepernick. The other news item from Klis is the Broncos don't want to pay Kaepernick more than "elite backup quarterback" money since that's how they view him. If a move is made with the San Francisco 49ers, he'll have to compete and earn the starting job; it won't be given to him.

At this point, according to Klis, a move between Kaepernick and the Broncos isn't dead, but it doesn't look good. So as is custom with stories like this, we should expect that move any day now.

One would hope the reports of Josh McCown and Brian Hoyer are similar to the one about Johnny Manziel earlier this week: The Broncos discussed it and moved on. There's no real interest. On the list of plans, McCown and Hoyer should be Y and Z. If those two are truly an option, just bring Jake Plummer out of retirement.

In a situation in which we don't have all of the facts, it's impossible to predict what will happen. When Elway is involved in off-season moves, the rate of success in predicting what he will do plummets. The three teams in the AFC West have a better chance to win the division than people predicting what Elway will do next, and those odds aren't that great.

It would appear the most likely course of action is Denver works a trade with the 49ers for Kaepernick or it moves up in the first round of the NFL Draft to get their quarterback - say, Paxton Lynch.

With Mark Sanchez on the roster and working with his teammates in southern California, it doesn't make sense to add a similar quarterback and skill set (McCown or Hoyer). That doesn't bring competition or make the Broncos better. Thus, it's either Kaepernick or they trade up.

The latter of those makes sense given Elway added another draft pick to his collection. Denver now has 10 picks in the draft, which gives him options galore in terms of moving up. The average amount of picks teams have in the draft is between six to eight. The speculation on that front rests with the University of Memphis quarterback who just had his pro day and will work out for the Broncos, perhaps this week.

In terms of Kaepernick, even with the near $10 million in cap space, Denver would still have to finagle their cap to make that move work. It also must have enough for the players they draft, and that's around $6 million.

There are pluses and negatives to both situations for the Broncos. Who knows, why does it have to be an either or situation? With Elway, you can't rule out anything. Of course, he could make a move no one predicts. Further up in the first round, perhaps?

Regardless, it's both exciting and fun to see this play out. To see the team come to life piece by piece. Despite the doom and gloom from national media, this is still the defending Super Bowl champions. The Broncos still have the core of their defense in place, and it was the best in the NFL last season.

The offensive line has seen the most drastic improvement and will play a huge role in whether Denver stays on top. That means a running game that more resembles what we've seen from a Gary Kubiak offense. If that gets better, the odds rise Denver can repeat.

As defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said earlier this week at the Boy Scouts of America's Denver Area Sports Breakfast, "Our defense will be good again, and our team will be good again."

All that's left is the draft and another quarterback. The two could be tied - or not. We've waited this long. We might as well remain patient a little while longer.

Let the fun begin.