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#pounditThursday, February 25, 2021

Articles tagged: Denver Broncos

Broncos could part ways with Von Miller?

Von Miller

Von Miller has been one of the most dominant defensive players in the NFL for the last decade, and has become synonymous with the Denver Broncos. That may have to change in 2021.

Miller has a team option carrying a cap hit of over $22 million for 2021, and the Broncos could save $18 million in cap space by declining it. ESPN’s Dan Graziano believes the team will do so, with the possibility of bringing Miller back at a lower salary.

Mike Klis of 9News reported Wednesday that the Broncos have not yet reached out to Miller about the option, indicating that no decision has been made yet by the team.

Miller missed the entire 2020 season after suffering an injury to a tendon in his ankle in September. The linebacker turns 32 next month, and had eight sacks in 15 games in 2019.

The Broncos will also have to contend with this potentially significant issue when considering what to do with Miller’s option.

Report: Broncos will only pursue trade for top-tier quarterback

Deshaun Watson

The Denver Broncos’ potential pursuit of a quarterback apparently should not be taken as a vote of no confidence in current starter Drew Lock.

According to James Palmer of NFL Network, the Broncos are interested in top-tier quarterbacks such as Deshaun Watson, and will aggressively pursue him if he becomes available. The same was true of Matthew Stafford, and they might also look at Russell Wilson in the unlikely event the Seahawks are willing to trade him.

However, the Broncos are not interested in the next tier of quarterbacks, instead preferring to stick with Lock.

In other words, the Broncos are interested in clear upgrades but not much else. Palmer adds that the Broncos were pleased with how Lock finished out the 2020 season and would be content to continue with him if that clear upgrade does not become available.

On the other hand, it’s hard to see the Broncos pursuing high-level quarterbacks if they thought Lock could reach that level. The reality may simply be that they think Lock can start, but won’t end up being a franchise guy.

Broncos have unofficially given up on Drew Lock?

Drew Lock

The Denver Broncos have been mentioned as a potential landing spot for multiple starting quarterbacks this offseason, so it would stand to reason that they do not have much confidence in Drew Lock. According to one NFL insider, Lock’s days in Denver are numbered.

During an appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” Tuesday, Michael Lombardi of The Athletic said he has been led to believe the Broncos have already gotten close to trading for a quarterback this offseason. Lombardi said he believes the “whole conversation about Drew Lock being the guy is over.”

You can hear Lombardi’s thoughts at about the 1:40 mark below:

That meshes with another report we heard last week that said people around the NFL feel the Broncos are down on Lock.

Lock had 2,933 yards, 16 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in his second NFL season. He started out rough and played a lot better down the stretch, but Denver’s schedule was much weaker over the latter half of the season.

The Broncos made one major organizational change this offseason that may not bode well for Lock’s future with the team. They are also clearly in on the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes, should the Houston Texans agree to trade him.

At the very least, it seems safe to conclude that 2021 will be a make-or-break year for Lock if he remains in Denver.

Report: Broncos will pursue Deshaun Watson trade

Deshaun Watson

The Denver Broncos have a quarterback in Drew Lock, but it appears they’re willing to move for a big upgrade if it becomes possible.

According to Troy Renck of Denver7, the Broncos intend to pursue a Deshaun Watson trade if the Houston Texans make him available. The team is not, however, pursuing Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz.

The Broncos appear to be taking the approach of pursuing a clear upgrade if they see one. Watson would represent that. With Wentz, it’s less clear. If the Broncos were aggressively trying to replace Lock, they’d be looking at names like Wentz. Instead, they appear willing to stick with Lock for another year unless there’s someone significantly better available.

Watson would have to approve a trade to the Broncos, but there is some thought that he might be willing to do that.

Report: Broncos ‘not sold’ on Drew Lock

Drew Lock

Drew Lock was inconsistent at best in his first full season as the Denver Broncos’ starting quarterback, and there have been some questions about whether the team is committed to him going forward. According to one report, 2021 may be the former Missouri star’s final chance to prove himself.

Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network said this week that there was buzz at the Senior Bowl that some with the Broncos are down on Lock. The concern is that offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur’s offense could be too complicated for the QB.

“I have heard everything from ‘people are not sold on Drew Lock’ to ‘people are down on Drew Lock’. What I found out at the Senior Bowl is the Denver Broncos had to kind of slim down the playbook, take things out of the playbook that Drew Lock can’t run,” Pauline said, via Nick Kendell of Mile High Huddle. “They (the Broncos’ offensive coaching staff) almost had to dummy down the playbook so Drew Lock can handle it. That’s a major concern.”

Pauline added that 2021 will be a make-or-break year for Lock and that some people at the Senior Bowl envision the Broncos moving on from the former second-round pick.

Lock had 2,933 yards, 16 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in his second NFL season. He started out rough and played a lot better down the stretch, but Denver’s schedule was much weaker over the latter half of the season.

The Broncos made one major organizational change this offseason that may not bode well for Lock’s future with the team. They have also been mentioned as a potential suitor for Deshaun Watson. If they have an opportunity to acquire Watson, the decision to move on from Lock will be easy.

Former Deshaun Watson teammate says QB has interest in this team

Deshaun Watson

The Denver Broncos have been increasingly mentioned as a potential suitor for Deshaun Watson, and defensive back Kareem Jackson says that is something that interests the quarterback.

Jackson, who played with Watson for two seasons with the Houston Texans, told TMZ this week that he has spoken with Watson about the possibility of teaming up again. He says Watson did not rule it out.

“I had a couple conversations with him, just with him saying Denver is a place he’s interested in landing,” Jackson said. “Everybody knows the type of talent he possesses and the type of guy he is. It’d be nice to have him, but we’ll see what happens.”

Watson has a full no-trade clause, but Denver may be on his list of preferred destinations. Mike Klis of 9News reported on Tuesday that the Broncos have been assured they are one of a handful of teams for which Watson would want to play.

Drew Lock showed some flashes of potential in his second NFL season, but the former Missouri star is nowhere near Watson’s level. The Broncos would almost certainly be willing to give up him and some high draft picks for Watson.

The market for Watson is robust, though it seems like the Texans are playing hardball.

John Elway weighs in on Peyton Manning as Broncos GM candidate

Peyton Manning

There has always been chatter about Peyton Manning wanting to run an NFL organization. With one of his former teams now seeking a general manager, is this the time for him to take the plunge?

The Denver Broncos are seeking a GM after John Elway announced he was giving up the responsibility. Elway was asked about Manning as a possible replacement, but it doesn’t sound like that’s a realistic possibility.

“Put it this way, Peyton has not called,” Elway told Mike Klis of 9News. “A lot of people have called but Peyton has not called.”

If Manning wanted in, this would probably be a great job to take. He won a Super Bowl with the Broncos. Plus, Elway would be around as both an experienced sounding board and as someone who went from playing quarterback to running a franchise.

Ultimately, Manning has never really jumped at these opportunities. He’s at least left the door open to doing it, but has never come close. He’s been similarly reluctant to go into broadcasting, though he has come closer on that front.

For now, Manning seems content to pick and choose his involvement with NFL teams. That may never change, but we just don’t know, because the iconic quarterback has always been pretty quiet about his ultimate post-playing ambitions.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via CC-BY-SA 3.0

John Elway gives up duties as Broncos GM

John Elway

The Denver Broncos are making a major change in the structure of their organization.

Team president John Elway announced Monday that he is giving up his duties as general manager. The team will hire a full-time general manager to work with coach Vic Fangio, and that GM will have the final say on personnel decisions.

“Working in this role for the last 10 years and going back to my playing days, I’ve always tried to do everything I can to help the Broncos win and get better,” Elway said in a statement. “As part of a transition I’ve thought about for a long time, I have made the decision to step up into an elevated role and hire a general manager to lead our personnel and football staff.

“While I’ll continue to be President of Football Operations in 2021, the GM will have final say on the draft, free agency and our roster. This person will be empowered to make all football decisions, working in partnership with Vic.”

Elway added that Fangio will have a say in deciding who the GM will be.

This is a major shift for the Broncos. Elway has been in charge of personnel decisions since 2011, and he was the key figure in the construction of the team’s Super Bowl winning team in 2016. However, fortunes have changed in recent seasons, with the team struggling in particular to find a long-term answer at quarterback.

This immediately becomes an attractive job, as the Broncos still have some talent but need to address some key areas. Denver joins the Carolina Panthers and Houston Texans in a GM hiring process that is already well underway for those other teams.

Broncos gave Shelby Harris private plane for great reason

Shelby Harris

Shelby Harris had an incredibly busy day on Sunday with a game against the Los Angeles Chargers and the birth of his child, but the Denver Broncos made it a lot easier on the veteran defensive end.

Following their tough 19-16 loss to L.A., the Broncos arranged for a private plane to fly Harris back to Denver so he could be there for the birth of his fourth child. Harris learned hours before kickoff that his wife Stephanie had gone into labor, and the team offered to fly him home right then. Harris chose to play, however.

“It was something we discussed and he came to the decision — we had a flight for him, made an arrangement for him to miss the game,” Broncos head coach Vic Fangio told reporters, via Mike Klis of 9News. “He chose to stay and now we have him on a private flight that the club’s picking up for him, and he’s going to get back a couple hours hopefully before the rest of us.”

Harris did end up flying back before the rest of the team, and Klis later said the 29-year-old made it home in time. The plane arrived in Denver at around 9 p.m and Harris’ son, Shelby Lamar Harris Jr., was born at 10:48 p.m.

Harris actually played a big role in the game, as he deflected two passes and recorded a quarterback hit.

This isn’t the first time an NFL player has used a private plane to both play in a game and be there for the birth of a child. It’s nice to have those luxuries, and it’s classy of the team to offer them.

Jerry Jeudy appears to take shot at Drew Lock in deleted tweet

Jerry Jeudy

Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy is understandably frustrated with the way things have gone over the past several weeks, and he appeared to take a shot at his quarterback and/or the team following Sunday night’s loss.

Jeudy was targeted just four times and caught one pass in Denver’s 22-16 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Shortly after the game ended, he sent what seemed like a very sarcastic tweet and then deleted it.

That may have been Jeudy’s way of taking a swipe at Broncos quarterback Drew Lock, who threw two more interceptions to bring his total to 13 picks in nine games. Lock’s passer rating of 67.1 is the worst mark among all NFL quarterbacks.

Of course, Jeudy could have also been criticizing Vic Fangio and the Broncos’ coaching staff. Whatever the case, he has just four catches over the past three games and is obviously tired of running routes without seeing any passes his way.

Jeudy had a funny reaction to the Broncos losing all of their quarterbacks next week, but it doesn’t sound like he’s laughing anymore.