You gotta love it when things fall into place.
Ever since Brock Osweiler bolted the Broncos for the Texans and a contract that was more than what he may have been worth at that point, John Elway never panicked.
Others would have caved in and given the 49ers and Colin Kaepernick whatever they wanted. Or the Eagles and Sam Bradford whatever they wanted. Or chase after any veteran QB they could find, just to say they had filled the position.
Not Elway. Because that’s not how he plays the game.
He calmly dealt a seventh-round pick in 2017 for Mark Sanchez and just shrugged his shoulders at the Buttfumble jokes.
Then he continued calling everyone’s bluff, remaining patient, watching as the Niners didn’t trade down, as the Browns did but bypassed Paxton Lynch, as the Jets’ pick came up and they, too, bypassed on Lynch.
Then he had to deal with the Cowboys wanting to jump back into the first round in a deal with the Seahawks, and the Browns supposedly in the talks as well, only to have the offer the Seahawks preferred.
And Elway got the quarterback he wanted.
Paxton Lynch will take a year to develop. Honestly, I doubt he sees the field this year unless Sanchez is injured. Because something tells me Sanchez will do just fine in holding down the fort for a year, keep the Broncos a playoff contender, and they just might win the AFC West despite all the doubters out there.
Because while repeating as Super Bowl champions is nice, the best thing to be is a playoff team every single year. That’s what the Broncos have been ever since Elway took over team operations. And Elway has gone against popular opinion frequently, yet the Broncos keep finding ways to get to the playoffs.
And while, in some cases, we might be talking about what might have been in the playoffs, at least we get to have those talks. Talk to fans of teams who haven’t been to the playoffs in more than a decade and they would love to at least be able to talk about what could have been different in a playoff game with their favorite team.
The QB talk, from this point forward, should be settled as far as trading for any veteran. If somebody gets cut or waived and is worth bringing in, fine. But let’s be honest with how the QB landscape is likely to take shape from this point forward and realize that we have zero reason to press the issue hard.
Brian Hoyer will go to the Jets unless he is content with being a backup. Josh McCown may be sticking around with the Browns as the backup to Robert Griffin III. If we are being honest, Tyrod Taylor was never really an option. Nick Foles, Colin Kaepernick, Sam Bradford… forget about them, it’s not worth dealing picks for them any longer. And don’t count on Mike Glennon or A.J. McCarron being waived by their respective teams, because those teams don’t want to be left without a reliable backup and it will take a hefty offer to pry them away.
If a veteran QB comes along who can be signed as a free agent or is sent through waivers, that’s fine. Otherwise, no. It’s Sanchez, Lynch and Trevor Siemian, folks. Just learn to accept it and be happy with it.
Because something tells me this is going to work out. That Sanchez will get the Broncos to the playoffs. That Lynch will develop into the long-term starter. And that Elway will continue to show everyone that, while he’s not perfect, he knows that the worst thing you can do is panic.
And that’s why he has made the right moves more often than he hasn’t.