In an NFL offseason rife with quarterback trade rumors and controversy, the Denver Broncos rank somewhere in the "who gives a sh**" range for intrigue.
Drew Lock, the Broncos starter in 2020 who just got an endorsement from Peyton Manning, is like unbuttered toast -- nutritious enough to sustain life, but not flavorful enough to tantalize your tastebuds. The Broncos pick in the 2021 draft (No. 9) is equally unappealing when discussing the top draft prospects or the quarterback trade market.
Well, a couple of Denver insiders just sprinkled some spice on the roast and suddenly the Broncos are an enticing menu item to discuss.
According to Broncos insiders Troy Renck and Mike Klis, who work for separate local broadcast stations in Denver, the Broncos are expected to make a big push to trade for Deshaun Watson. The reported asking price for Watson is two first-round picks, two second-round picks and two young defensive starters, which Klis said the Broncos likely couldn't afford. But Klis, one of the most respected reporters on the Broncos beat, also mentioned Sam Darnold, Mitch Trubisky and even Dak Prescott as possible options for Denver.
As Alka Seltzer once told us, that's a spicy meatball.
While Prescott seems as unlikely as Watson, Darnold and Trubisky are very interesting options. Darnold could potentially be traded for a late first-round or early second-round pick and Trubisky is a free agent. Adding either to the Broncos quarterback room to compete with and push Lock would immediately create one of the most intriguing quarterback competitions in the NFL -- à la Trubisky vs. Nick Foles in the 2020 preseason.
NFL insider Mike Lombardi also said the Broncos are going to be active in the market and were close to making a trade last week that, "didn't go through." Regardless, where there's this much smoke, there's fire.
After 18 starts, Lock hasn't done enough to make the Broncos believers in him as their long-term solution. It's hard to blame them considering they selected wide receivers with their first two picks in the 2020 draft and Lock still regressed in his sophomore season, throwing 15 interceptions against 16 touchdowns and completing 59.1 percent of his passes. His quarterback rating of 48.9 was ranked No. 29 in the NFL. Unbuttered toast.
The Broncos are now considering all their options, including trading for the best quarterback on the market or signing one of the top free agent quarterbacks. That could lead to a massive shift in perception of the Broncos as playoff contenders and create an intriguing quarterback competition worthy of following. Either way, the Broncos have become players in the quarterback conversation and could wind up leading it depending on how things play out. That's a spicy scenario.