400 responses came in from the 2018 Broncos Quarterback Survey before news broke that Alex Smith will be traded. Thank you for all those responded! Let’s take a look at each question to see what Broncos fans think the team should do at quarterback.
The grand majority want to add both a veteran and rookie quarterback.
It pleases me to see that most agree (63.2%) with my assertion that the position needs so much improvement that the Broncos should not rely on just one new acquisition to address the position. It was also crystal clear that fans want at least one new quarterback, to the tune of 98.8%.
Kirk Cousins won a clear plurality for the most desired veteran quarterback.
43.2% of respondents demanding a veteran quarterback demanded Cousins. This far and away beat out Tyrod Taylor in second place at 14.4%. Smith came in 3rd, an option I always thought was unlikely to begin with. It would be interesting to see who the Smith supporters would go for now that he’ll be off to DC. Teddy Bridgewater (8.9%) and Drew Brees (7.2%) were the next two most popular choices.
The grand majority are fine with opening up the cap coffers for a veteran quarterback.
A simple majority were fine with spending more than $20 million APY, while another 41.2% (for 93.6% combined) were fine with spending more than $15 million APY.
Few are fine with giving up first round pick(s), but most are fine from Day 2 onward.
Only 21.9% said they’d be willing to part ways with any first round pick. However, 45.5% said that Day 2 picks (Rounds 2-3) would be fine. I would be very curious to see if that 45.5% would hold up with knowledge of the Smith trade. That’s because Smith, as well as Cousins, would likely be the two leading quarterbacks for which Day 2 picks would be most justifiable to give up. But now Smith is off the table, and Cousins will very likely not demand any draft compensation to acquire.
Most want to retain Demaryius Thomas, few want to retain Menelik Watson, while the jury is split on Aqib Talib, Emmanuel Sanders, and CJ Anderson.
It’s not terribly surprising to see Watson as the primary cap casualty to make room for a veteran quarterback, at 83.7%. Talib was the only other high cap player to command a majority at 57.1%, although both Sanders and Anderson commanded percentages in the 40s. Only 15.7% were willing to part with Thomas.
An overwhelming majority are fine with the Broncos restructuring contracts.
That’s to the tune of 90.8%. What I find most interesting about this is that this is the one question that the Broncos are most likely to dissent from the popular opinion, as
I cannot think of one instance in which the Broncos restructured a contract under John Elway. The closest I can think of was when they made preparations for it had they acquired Joe Thomas in a trade in 2015.
CORRECTION: One example did come to my mind: Peyton Manning getting a $10 million restructure in 2013. However, as I recall that restructure was less for cap management reasons and more for getting Manning some money earlier. Nonetheless, my general point that restructures are rare under Elway stands.
Baker Mayfield garnered a majority among ten contenders for most desired rookie quarterback.
I am curious if there is some recency bias here coming off the Senior Bowl with Mayfield getting 59.2%. Josh Allen also came in 3rd with 9.6%. 2nd place went to Josh Rosen with 12.2%, but Sam Darnold and Lamar Jackson only got votes in the 6% range. Will the combine and pro days help to boost the perception of Darnold and Jackson in particular among Broncos fans?
A grand majority want the 5th overall pick to be used on a rookie quarterback.
79.7% went for this option, with a Day 2 pick (or trade up into the late 1st) being the clear second option at 17.4%. This means 97.1% of respondents wanting a rookie quarterback want to go big in the draft.
There was no consensus on how much draft capital the Broncos should be willing to give up to get a rookie quarterback.
While few (6.8%) were willing to part with multiple first rounders, 32.8% were OK with one of them. 26% set their limit at Day 2 picks, while 28.3% weren’t comfortable with parting with anything. This may make some sense on the grounds that the draft is still quite a ways away, and much will change in the coming months.
Most want to see Trevor Siemian cut or traded, and even more want to see Paxton Lynch gone and Brock Osweiler to walk.
The verdict was about 60/40 against Siemian. A slight below majority (49.5%) would only consider trading Lynch, but only 16% unequivocally want him to say. Osweiler had the least sympathy, with only 12.3% wanting to bring him back.
Most lean on the pessimistic side with Chad Kelly.
A majority (58.3%) went with the “unlikely but not impossible” option on Kelly, while a third were more cautiously optimistic. Few (only 8.5%) were absolute on Kelly one way or another.
Either tomorrow or next week, I will try to aggregate some of these responses to see if I can detect any other notable trends.