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John Elway: We still have high hopes for Paxton Lynch

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John Elway and the Denver Broncos gave Paxton Lynch a vote of confidence after signing Case Keenum last week.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

When the Denver Broncos signed Case Keenum to open free agency, they then traded Trevor Siemian to the Minnesota Vikings. That left Paxton Lynch and Chad Kelly on the roster and plenty of questions for John Elway about the quarterback situation and the 2018 NFL Draft.

Instead of hinting that drafting a quarterback was on their radar, Elway spent his time talking up Lynch to the media.

“Paxton is still young,” Elway said. “We still have high hopes for Paxton. He’s a young guy that is talented. He’s been here for two years and had a tough year last year with the injuries and everything, but we still have high hopes for Paxton to come in here and compete and continue to grow as a quarterback. That is the expectation for Paxton. We have a lot of opportunities at five now. We’re in good spots. We’re high in a lot of rounds. As I said, it’s going to be important for us to find guys that can help our football team. We’ll continue to work that. We still have to go through the free agency side. Once we get into our draft meetings the first of April, than we’ll start looking at all of the different ways we could possibly go there.”

That doesn’t sound like a guy who is going to draft a quarterback with the fifth overall pick, but then again nothing the Broncos are doing suggests anything other than them taking a quarterback with the fifth overall pick.

Scotty Payne of Mile High Report translated part of Elway’s quote to me privately in a satirical manner and it was too good not to share here.

“We still have high hopes for Paxton. <signs Case Keenum to a 2-year deal> He’s a young guy that is talented. <attends Pro Days for Baker Mayfield and Josh Rosen> He’s been here for two years and had a tough year last year with the injuries and everything, <attends Josh Allen’s Pro Day> but we still have high hopes for Paxton to come in here and compete <brings them all in for private workouts/meetings> and continue to grow as a quarterback. That is the expectation for Paxton.“

All the signs are there, but a lot of will be determined by how the things play out on draft day itself. Keenum has a bridge quarterback deal and Elway has busily been working to fill holes through free agency. What he is missing is a quarterback to bridge to, because it doesn’t feel like Paxton Lynch would be the right choice.

I’ve been wrong before, but it sure doesn’t feel like this is a situation where the Broncos intend to keep trying to develop Lynch when he hasn’t been able to stay healthy or beat out Siemian - who wasn’t very good either. They should just get their franchise quarterback and go out and try to win some playoff games in 2018 as they prepare the newly drafted quarterback for the 2019 season.

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