While the news about Kubes, Munchak and Scangarello got all of the pub Monday, this quote by Elway got buried a bit. It shouldn’t have.
John Elway says Case Keenum ‘is probably a short-term fix,’ so will Broncos target QB in 2019 NFL Draft? - CBSSports.com
”[W]e’ve got to -- Case is probably a short-term fix -- find the long-term guy for us,” Elway told Peter King of “Football Morning in America.” “When we do find that guy, we’ve got to have the continuity on the offensive side to where we can train him and develop him and get him there. This is our fourth offense in probably three or four years. Quarterbacks need to be developed. You don’t find one ready-made. We got to have a solid system in place for when we do go after whatever guy it may be, a young guy or a trade or whatnot.”
It probably should have been obvious back when Elway said that he was going to shake some trees to see if a quarterback earlier this month, but let there be no doubt: The Broncos are back to big game hunting at the game’s most important position.
Who’s the target?
As a bit of a trial balloon, I threw a poll out during the playoff games Sunday to see how Broncos fans would react to a hypothetical Wentz trade. Nearly 80% of you supported the idea of trading for the 2nd overall pick. Debate got a bit more heated when I suggested it would cost 2 first rounders, and for good reason.
If you’re the Broncos, 2 first rounders seems steep until you realize Wentz is only 26 years old and has already thrown for over 10 thousand yards and 70 touchdowns in his young career. He’s thrown an interception on just 1.9% of his passes and has looked like the textbook franchise quarterback when he’s been on the field. Additionally, he would hit the cap for less than $10 million in 2019.
Of course, if you’re the Eagles 2 first rounders may seem perfect considering the fact that Wentz has had multiple injury issues crop up since 2015. Any one of them could be little more than really bum luck, but taken together they build a bit of a laundry list that makes his $26.2 million option year as well as a huge money extension scarier than it should be for such a talented player.
If you’re looking for a proven veteran without sacrificing draft picks, Flacco’s the guy. He’s played in 163 games over his NFL career and has only missed time to injury in 2018 and ‘15. During that time he’s thrown for just over 38,000 yards and 200 touchdowns while completing 61.7% of his passes. John Harbaugh called him the best quarterback in Ravens’ history and for good reason: Baltimore doesn’t win Super Bowl XLVII without
Rahim Moore Joe Flacco.
So why is he available? In one word: cost. In a couple sentences: his production has failed to keep up with his exorbitant cap number. Following the Super Bowl run, Flacco signed a 6-year, $120.6 million deal that was so ugly that the Ravens had to extend it in 2015 to try and spread out the cap hits. As it stands, the Ravens will eat a cool $16 million dollars if they cut Flacco this offseason. Lamar Jackson looked promising enough during his rookie season to push Flacco out the door anyways, and all reports suggest the 33-year old will hit the market.
It is worth noting that Baltimore’s front office remains optimistic that they’ll be able to trade Flacco and while that may be the case, I’m a bit dubious. Teams know he’s gone and while it only takes one to make an offer; the fact that his cost is so onerous and the Ravens all but need to move him will hurt their negotiating power.
So why should the Broncos make a deal? I’ve been highly critical of any such talk, personally. Flacco looked like a shell of his former self for the two seasons following his back injury. Last year he looked better, but a 33-year old who’s QBR hasn’t crossed the 60 mark since 2014 for $20 million? Hard pass for me.
If you like the great unknown, Teddy B could be just what the doctor ordered. Back in 2015, the Vikings first round quarterback completed 65% of his passes for 3231 yards and 14 touchdowns in an offense ill suited to his talents. If not for Blair Walsh pulling for a Cody Parkely, Minnesota beats the Seattle Seahawks and advance to the divisional round of the playoffs.
2016 was the year everything was supposed to come together for Teddy’s Vikings, only to see him suffer one of the more grotesque leg injuries this side of Alex Smith. Some wondered if it would be career ending, but almost 2 seasons of recovery later Bridgewater threw passes in an NFL game. During the 2018 offseason he was a buy low option for the Jets who played so well in the preseason New York traded him for a third rounder to a the New Orleans Saints.
Prior to week 17, Bridgewater was a sought out man. The preseason form fresh in the minds of the media, word on the street seemed to be that Teddy would test the market after the Saints season ended and become a starter in 2019. Then he filled in for a resting Drew Brees and looked ho-hum against the Carolina Panthers, which has cast his future in doubt.
In many ways, Teddy Bridgewater is a bit like Colin Kaepernick. People’s views on the two often say more about who they are as players and more about the people speaking. I’m personally a fan of both, but wouldn’t hand $10+ million in starter money to either in 2019. A smart team could do worse than give Bridgewater a chance to compete for a starting job in camp with an incentive laden deal worked out, but a desperate team will probably make him and they look silly this spring.
All signs are it won’t be Elway and the Broncos.
The magic man. How you feel about Foles probably speaks volumes about your belief in the intangibles and how important they are to the quarterback position. Anyone who’s paid attention knows that Nick Foles beat Tom Brady’s Patriots in a shootout fashion last February. Did you know he’s also been a Pro Bowler?
Chip Kelly was 14-4 in games coached with Nick Foles as his starter and 14-21 in games coached with any other QB as his starter. But yes, Foles' Pro Bowl season in 2013 was just because of the wizardry of Chip Kelly.— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) January 11, 2019
Everyone knows about the run Foles made last year, but his numbers this season in relief of Carson Wentz may be more remarkable. The 7-year veteran completed 72.3% of his passes for 7 touchdowns and 4 picks during the regular season as he helped steer the Eagles back into the playoffs. If not for an Alshon Jeffrey error on the potential go ahead drive, he’s still playing for the Lombardi. Simply put, he’s been the best story in football for two years.
That doesn’t mean the Broncos should sell the farm to sign him though. Elway’s already tried magic men and if Case Keenum lived up to the fairy dust, Denver wouldn’t be doing the QB dance again so soon. Foles has improved during his tenure in Philadelphia, but outside of a green jersey he’s looked abysmal. Combine that with the fact that he’ll cost in excess of $15-20 million on the open market in 2019? You’re betting a lot of futures on the hope that he isn’t fool’s gold.
The Rookie well
Probably the safest option from a monetary perspective, though perhaps a bit unsettling from the talent perspective. Word has been that this may be the weakest QB crop since E.J. Manuel was the only first round quarterback in the 2013 draft. You’ll hear often that the same was said about the 2017 class that produced Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes and Mitch Trubisky, but I can promise you its nothing more than a narrative.
This year’s class is now headlined by Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins. Fitting, as the two finished the season 1-2 for Heisman voting. Both were 1-year starters for their respective franchises and both come with serious questions. Haskins played in an Urban Meyer offense and had shaky accuracy at times during the 2018 season while Kyler Murray could stand at as little as 5’9. The fact that they headline the class should speak volumes.
Beyond those two is the quarterback Elway and the Broncos have been linked to most often so far: Missouri’s Drew Lock. The 6’4 22-year old looks the part and has the kind of numbers to suggest he’s far safer than the bigger names. A redshirt junior, he’s thrown for 12,193 yards and 99 touchdowns in his collegiate years to just 39 interceptions. There are questions, however. Some have noted that his mechanics and poise under pressure leaves a lot to be desired. He’s also completed just 56.9% of his passes during his career, a glaring red flag that would be damning for me, if not for the fact that it jumped every year of his career; from 49% as a freshman to 62.9% last season.
There are definitely other names to watch: Duke’s Daniel Jones has garnered some first round hype. Buffalo’s Tyree Jackson, North Dakota State’s Easton Stick and Boise State’s Brett Rypien could all surprise. In a way, the numerous possibilities have led to one elementary certainty for Elway.
The quarterback decision will define the Denver Broncos going forward.
Your Broncos Links
Coach is settled, now what should the Broncos do at Quarterback?
We discussed this last week, but I still want to know what you think Broncos Country
Related to my last tweet: #Broncos scouted Mizzou's Drew Lock. He could be in play in first round. Also, I would go to Keenum with new deal to make him a backup by adding years to ease cap hit. #Denver7— Troy Renck (@TroyRenck) January 14, 2019
Kubes is off to Minnesota
After the Broncos passed over Gary Kubiak, the Vikings are hiring him. Kubiak will join the Vikings’ coaching staff, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. It is unclear what Kubiak’s title will be on a staff where Kevin Stefanski will be the offensive coordinator.
Kubiak is out. Now what?
Report: Broncos finally receive permission to interview 49ers QB coach Rich Scangarello - Mile High Report
He will likely be the Broncos Offensive Coordinator in 2019.
“I would say the one thing I could truly appreciate beyond anything with coach Shanahan is that he’s trying to score on every single play he calls,” Scangarello said. “And I never thought that way as a play caller in the pass game. Sometimes I was thinking more about staying on schedule. And he was always thinking, ‘How can we attack the defense and create explosive (plays)?’ It really changed my mindset for the better.”
Nick Mullens credits Rich Scangarello for bringing him to the 49ers, eager for Seahawks rematch | 49ers Webzone
”Coach Scangarello, he pretty much found me,” Mullens said. “I was at East-West Shrine game in [St. Petersburg, Florida] and I guess he liked the things that I did in that game and in those practices. And then he followed up with me with a phone call after that.
Report: Broncos agree to terms with Mike Munchak to be their Offensive Line coach - Mile High Report
This is a huge get for the Broncos.
The Broncos got the best offensive line coach in the NFL in Mike Munchak. A BIG loss for Steelers.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) January 14, 2019
Have you been blocked? I have.
Both Chris Harris and Emmanuel Sanders expressed their excitement for the Vic Fangio hire, saying his discipline is what their young team needs.
When the selection committee weighs the candidacy of Atwater, it should be abundantly clear he’s one of the best to ever play the safety position.
Coaches like to put faith in players and people they already know and trust. Could Fangio go all in for the polarizing yet ultra-talented quarterback who he shared a locker room with in San Francisco?
Broncos star Von Miller, who at one point was a young guy who had trouble keeping out of trouble, and has since grown into a great, great example for all his younger teammates. I came across his name combing through stuff for this week’s shoutout, and saw that he led a $200,000 commitment to SHIELD616, a program to improve the public’s relationship with local law enforcement, late last year. Then I popped over to the team’s Twitter, and saw the effort made there to raise $25,000 for Von’s Vision, his foundation to help Denver-area youth in need eye exams and eyewear. You get the idea—Miller really is working all over the place with this stuff. Good for him. He was always a good-hearted guy, and he’s come a long way over the last five or six years.
10. Denver Broncos Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State I don’t condone the pick, but it’s the best QB on the board — just hope GM John Elway and whoever ends up being his offensive coordinator agree with me. That Vic Fangio hire is swell, and he may push to add a disruptive interior force (Jeffery Simmons), rangy LB (Devin White) or Chris Harris replacement (Byron Murphy) — but QB is the trump card here. Haskins will be better after a year of development, and I think he’ll have that time as Denver rebuilds their offensive line and settles under a new head coach. Haskins and second-year WR DaeSean Hamilton could become something fun, given their relative strengths.
Detailing five NFL Draft prospects primed for strong performances at the 2019 Shrine Game.
With the 2019 Shrine Game lurking next week, who are the best talents at each position? Meet the top talent at this year’s event.
CJ and Lindsey would’ve been hella combo for the Broncos. Just sayin.— shannon sharpe (@ShannonSharpe) January 13, 2019
The Super Bowl Contenders
The National Weather Service is projecting an “arctic blast” in Kansas City Sunday.
Update: Despite the recent influx in people changing their name to Dave in the KC area lol, I was actually able to track down the Dave that helped me thanks to the power of social media and #ChiefsKindgom. Thanks for your kindness https://t.co/e4OkEg6AAw— Jeff Allen (@JeffAllen71) January 13, 2019
With a win against the Patriots, Reid could achieve a rare feat — and with one more, an even rarer one.
Mahomes had the Chiefs out to a 14-point lead over the Colts after only two offensive possessions.
Best drive for an OL is when you have a penalty or give up a sack and you’re able to overcome it and score a TD. You feel like crap and are frustrated but it’s nice that it didn’t ruin the drive and prevent the TD— Mitchell Schwartz (@MitchSchwartz72) January 13, 2019
The Chiefs head coach met with the media on Monday
Cleteman was the referee for last year’s AFC title game as well.
A little insight into the coach’s mind.
It’s legitimately remarkable how little Brady is asked to do— Marxist Film (@marxistfilm) January 13, 2019
A little insight into the coach’s mind.
The coincidences are scary.
Game Balls from the Saints exhilarating 20-14 playoff victory over the Eagles - Canal Street Chronicles
New Orleans responds from an early knockdown to knock out the defending champs.
Two “Ups” and two “Downs” from the game.
Elijah Kim revisits the five Cowboys that played their role, one way or another, in an effort that came up short against the Rams.
Let’s take a look at the best and worst play of the NFC Divisional round playoff game
"He's one of the best backs that I've seen...I'm so proud of him."@ESanders_10 has high praise for his former teammate and @RamsNFL RB @cjandersonb22!— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) January 13, 2019
: @NFLGameDay Morning | #NFLPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/KWKz6oim3w
It would seem that all the Rams needed to stop the run was some good old fashioned disrespect.
The 2i gets mauled and not a run fit to be found on the 2nd level. pic.twitter.com/hWludx8VYS— SpreadOffense.com (@SpreadOffense) January 13, 2019
After the Seahawks’ Week Three victory over Dallas, receiver Doug Baldwin said Seattle diagnosed some of the Cowboys’ defensive calls due to the hand signals used to communicate between players.
You ride for me ima ride for you thanks for the opportunity pic.twitter.com/6g3TW7rz6Z— Cj Anderson (@cjandersonb22) January 13, 2019
With strong hands and even stronger willpower, Michael Thomas carried the Saints to a Divisional Round win over the defending champs. Jim Trotter spoke to the wideout after his 171-yard performance.
how did we let this happen pic.twitter.com/JOYe5ne0bo— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) January 13, 2019
Asked if Sunday’s win over the Chargers was his final home game, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski insisted that he hadn’t thought about it, saying he was only focused on winning.
By their special standard, the Patriots have been less than perfect. But their win over the Chargers reminded the NFL of their presence, even if “everyone thinks we suck,” as Tom Brady said.
Sony Michel and the Patriots took advantage of the Chargers DB-heavy defense, despite clear run-pass predictability based on RB on-field:— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) January 13, 2019
Michel: 82% Run
Michel & Develin: 90% Run
White: 97% Pass
The Chargers did not stack the box once against 21 Personnel.#LACvsNE | #GoPats pic.twitter.com/JsjAo7fovp
Three years removed from their Super Bowl year, the Saints hit the depths—Bountygate, suspensions and, in the end, the NFL’s all-time worst defense. How do you pick up from that and move on? Start with the coach, and the handful of players who endured it all.
After listening to plenty of comments and trash talk, the Rams got the opportunity to clap back after defeating the Cowboys 30–22 and advancing to the NFC championship.
If Sean McVay and the Rams get blown out against the Saints in next weekend’s NFC championship game, how will that modify our thinking about the NFL’s newest head coaching hires and the offensive revolution?
The rest of the NFL Links
If, as it appears, the Eagles will be keeping quarterback Carson Wentz and relinquishing their rights to quarterback Nick Foles, where will Foles land? The first question becomes whether he’ll exit as a free agent.
I think I speak for a lot of football fans, not just Philly people or @Eagles fans-@NickFoles you gave a lot of people some amazing moments and story to hang on to. An incredible amount to be proud of on the field, even more to be proud of off. #Salute— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) January 14, 2019
Carson Wentz and his doctors can’t “pinpoint exactly when” his back injury happened. The medical staff discovered the fracture after the Eagles’ loss to the Cowboys on Dec. 9.
Antonio Brown may never reach Jerry Rice’s level of accomplishments. But according to Rice, he wants to wear the same uniform. During an interview on 95.
Adam Vinatieri might’ve had the worst game of his future Hall of Fame career in Saturday’s loss to the Chiefs, but he has no plans to hang up his kicking boot.
Veteran tight end Antonio Gates says he doesn’t see himself walking away from football after the Los Angeles Chargers’ blowout loss to the New England Patriots in the Divisional Round.
the moment philip rivers finally figured out the math on college tuition for 9 pic.twitter.com/umOibEVRqY— Harry Lyles Jr. (@harrylylesjr) January 13, 2019
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said he plans to “take a little time” to decide on his future with the team. Will the veteran wideout return for his 16th NFL season?
Freddie Kitchens is reportedly adding two notable names to his Browns staff.
The Packers are hiring Nathaniel Hackett as their offensive coordinator, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports. New coach Matt LaFleur also interviewed former Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken for the job, but the Browns hired Monken as their offensive coordinator.
The Jets formally introduced Adam Gase as their new head coach at a Monday press conference and CEO Christopher Johnson said during his comments that Gase impressed the team because he is “coaching to where football is going” in the years to come.