Good morning, Broncos Country!
John Elway's press conference yesterday wasn't all that revealing - though he admitted as much when he sarcastically introduced the presser as "typically very informative" - but there were a few important takeaways to be gleaned nonetheless.
1. No one is satisfied with QB choices right now, even Elway
Despite all of Elway's compliments a month ago over Mark Sanchez' ability to win the starting job or comments that Trevor Siemian and possibly Brian Hoyer will bring high-quality competition to training camp, when the GM says, "I think we're happy with Mark. I think that Mark was the starting point..." you know he's looking around.
But for all the panic and complaining among fans, ask yourselves which quarterbacks out there are legit options for Elway right now?
- Colin Kaepernick? Offer is there, Kap doesn't want it. And Elway is smart not to match what Kap is getting out of the 49ers. Kap needs to figure out how much he wants to play for more money and a team he dislikes versus less money and the defending Super Bowl champs. It would be a clear choice for me, but that's easy to say when it's not my millions.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick? Too expensive and not enough ROI.
- Sam Bradford? Nick Foles? Basically backups...and Broncos have those.
- Tyrod Taylor? He's not likely available for a trade, but you can bet Elway has inquired.
Believe it or not, Hoyer just might be the best option for having another body in camp - aside from a potential draft pick.
"There are some good players in it. ...There is no question that there are going to be players," Elway said of draft prospects. "I think there will be some guys that have a chance to compete and have good careers. There are going to be some guys that are quality backups."
It seems quite clear that Elway is working on scenarios to make sure the Broncos have more than just that.
2. Von Miller will sign a long-term deal, count on it
Didn't we learn anything with the Demaryius Thomas contract drama last season? Or Ryan Clady's two years before?
Talks now are not where they will be come the July 15 deadline, so no need to panic that they haven't reached a deal yet.
"You would like to be a little bit closer but that's where you start," Elway said. "We'll continue to work on it and hopefully be able to get something done."
Elway said yesterday the Broncos made an offer and Miller's camp made a counter offer. Reports indicate both have a ways to go to meet in the middle. But this is not surprising. This is how it works - and it will sit like this for months and then the process will accelerate the day before and both sides will work out a deal because ultimately both sides want this.
"I know what I think of Von Miller and I know what this organization thinks of Von Miller," Elway said. "He is very important to us, and we're going to work our tails off to try and get something done with him."
Miller wants to play for the Broncos but wants a good deal. The Broncos don't want to offer too high because that's not how good negotiations work, but they definitely want to keep their Super Bowl MVP and No. 1 draft pick five years ago.
So never fear, Miller will retire here.
3. Elway's draft philosophy is sound
The former Broncos quarterback is known for his "best player available" approach no matter what some team needs might be - which has led him to choose a defensive player first in all of his years as GM.
While this may be frustrating for fans really wanting a top offensive lineman or quarterback early on, the Broncos' GM prefers to get the guys he knows can be successful in the NFL - because those are guys whose investment in training will pay off.
Could that be offense this year?
"I want to make your job easy, just not that easy," Elway said, laughing, when asked what the Broncos' positions of need were.
But the GM does believe the Broncos are in good shape at almost every position, so look for him to stick to his BPA stance.
"We try to go in not having to have some place that we really have to have somebody," he said. "Everybody has needs. I think the most important thing is to hit on your draft picks. A lot of the times when you get in trouble, [it] is when you reach."
Elway on if Nkemdiche is red flag: "Ask me on the 30th."— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) April 21, 2016
Elway noted that the team addresses character concerns on a case-by-case basis and uses the interviews to distinguish the red flag cases from the one-time mistakes. There are a few players the Broncos may consider who have had off-field concerns this year, such as quarterback Dak Prescott and defensive end Robert Nkemdiche.
"I think one of the best things that we do have is our locker room. We have a lot of good guys with the right mentality," Elway said. "That locker room is a real good locker room right now. We want to continue to add good people to that locker room."
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