Should Tony Romo play elsewhere next season, the Broncos would make plenty of sense. They are a veteran-heavy team with talented receivers who may be one quarterback away from the Super Bowl, just like they were when Peyton Manning arrived in 2012.
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On Sunday, one of Denver’s receivers, Emmanuel Sanders, talked about the difficult balance between reaching for another talented player with experience and abandoning their tandem of young, moldable prospects at the position.
“I believe I would benefit,” he said on GameDay Morning. “But one thing about it is: I’m always gonna take it back and I’m just gonna put it on (general manager) John Elway. In John Elway I trust. If he does bring him over, I think Tony Romo will fit good in (offensive coordinator Mike) McCoy’s system. It’s a no-huddle, up-tempo offense. I think that it’s gonna be similar to the Cowboys. I think he has Demaryius Thomas and some receiver No. 10 on the other side. I feel like we will win ballgames with Tony Romo or potentially a championship. At the same time, Paxton Lynch played in a spread offense at Memphis and he can be successful. I think Trevor (Siemian) can be successful. We’ll see what we do. I can’t sit up here and say ‘Bring Tony Romo!’ because I also have two other quarterbacks that are playing really well too.”
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Broncos linebacker DeMarcus Ware, also on the show Sunday, added: “I just think he (would) be a great fit for the Denver Broncos, but also, we already got two vested guys in Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch. So you got to think about what type of message you want to send to the team? … Is it a right now thing or do you want to use your vested guys and say, ‘we’re going to build this team or what are we going to do?’ You never know what everyone wants to do, so I think regardless if he goes to Houston, Broncos, or goes to the Jets, it’ll be a good fit.”
Lynch’s four-year deal is worth $9.476 million, which includes a $5.09 million signing bonus, NFL Media’s Rand Getlin reported, per sources informed of the deal. Also sources with knowledge of the deal told NFL Media’s James Palmer that Lynch will receive $600,000 guaranteed in the fourth year of his contract — a first for a player selected late in the opening round of the draft.
Lynch has been making a push for the starting quarterback gig, though it might be difficult to climb the depth chart dramatically before training camp. Coach Gary Kubiak told reporters Tuesday that the Broncos went “1-2-3” at quarterback during that day’s practice with Mark Sanchez taking starter’s snaps and Trevor Siemian taking snaps with the backups. Sanchez and Siemian are believed to be the front-runners for the job at the moment, with Lynch taking a developmental redshirt year on the back end of Denver’s roster.
Lynch was one of the most intriguing prospects available in this year’s class. His combination of size and mobility exceeded that of Jared Goff and Carson Wentz, though his non-traditional collegiate offense led some scouts to believe that he’d need some fine tuning at the next level. Lynch has drawn more comparisons to Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota than flame-out dual-threat passers like Vince Young and for good reason: He wants to make his offense run from the pocket. Kubiak, after a Super Bowl win in his first season as head coach, now has the stability to groom Lynch into the quarterback of the future.
When asked if he almost had to expect Elway to do something big by now, Harris laughed.
“Oh yeah, automatic splash,” he said. “For sure.”
While last offseason was relatively quiet by Elway standards, he still re-signed the team’s best player, Von Miller, to a six-year, $114.5 million deal. The Broncos let Brock Osweiler, Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan walk but did manage to sign one of the top-20 free agents on the board: former Seahawks offensive tackle Russell Okung.
This will be an interesting offseason for the Broncos, who have been linked to Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, even though NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport poured some cold water on that storyline a few weeks ago. As is often the case this time of year, the list of potential free agents reads like a Pro Bowl squad, though many will be re-signed.
Denver will have a healthy amount of space given their relatively low salary-cap number spent on quarterbacks ($2,781,902 between Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch), which allows new head coach Vance Joseph some room to bring in players familiar with his system. Will that include another quarterback for offensive coordinator Mike McCoy? That would certainly constitute a splash.