- Broncos head coach Vance Joseph was noncommittal when asked after last night’s preseason loss to the Bears if the team would pursue a veteran to back up starting QB Case Keenum. Per Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com (Twitter link), Joseph said, “Right now (Chad Kelly) is our guy. I can’t speak for two weeks down the road here. But right now he’s our backup quarterback.” Troy Renck of Denver 7 ABC says Kelly has been impressive in the preseason, but he would still be surprised if the Broncos do not add a veteran signal-caller (Twitter link).
- In a separate tweet, Renck passes along Joseph’s statement that the Broncos‘ running back competition is still open. Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post, however, reports (unsurprisingly) that rookie Royce Freeman appears to be the winner of the competition, as Denver clearly wants him to be the team’s lead back. Kiszla also points out that UDFA Phillip Lindsay has been sensational in the Broncos’ first two preseason games, and given Lindsay’s abilities on special teams, both Kiszla and Legwold (Twitter link) believe he has a real chance of making the roster.
- John Elway shot down a Colin Kaepernick route to Denver, indicating the former 49ers quarterback turned down an offer in 2016. (Although, Brock Osweiler also turned down a 2016 offer only to return a year later.) But the Broncos GM did not rule out bringing in another veteran backup, Mike Klis of 9News notes. The Broncos demoted Paxton Lynch this week, and new second-stringer Chad Kelly has never thrown a regular-season pass. Matt Moore may be the top non-Kaepernick QB available.
- The 2016 summit between Kaepernick, Elway, Gary Kubiak and Broncos exec Matt Russell at Elway’s house was a “positive meet and greet,” according to Charles Robinson of Yahoo.com. The Broncos liked Kaepernick coming out of Nevada in 2011, and after the 2016 meeting, Kaepernick believed he was en route to becoming Denver’s next starter. However, he balked at taking a pay cut (one that would have reduced his salary to $7MM). Citing the double-standard for Osweiler — whom Robinson believes stirred up some hard feelings among Broncos execs by spurning them for the Texans — receiving a second chance in Denver and Kaepernick not being considered, the NFL reporter points to this being another checkmark in the Kaepernick-being-blackballed column.
- In his first 2019 mock draft, Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller has the Broncos selecting a cornerback in Round 1. Although All-Pro Chris Harris remains well-regarded as a Broncos cornerstone, Miller notes some in Denver’s front office aren’t sold on Bradley Roby as a long-term cog. Roby’s entering his contract year. Harris has two seasons left on his team-friendly deal. The Broncos selected Brendan Langley in the 2017 third round, but 2018 third-rounder Isaac Yiadom was the nickelback in Denver’s first preseason game in place of the injured Tramaine Brock.
The Broncos may be on the lookout for quarterback help, but they won’t be calling Colin Kaepernick. The polarizing athlete will not be in consideration for Denver, GM John Elway told reporters on Thursday (Twitter link via Lindsay Jones of USA Today).
“He had a chance to be here, he passed on it,” Elway said.
The Broncos and 49ers discussed a possible Kaepernick trade at length in 2016, but the deal was nixed when the QB refused to trim $5MM from his ’16 cap number and take additional pay cuts in future seasons. Kaepernick lost the camp competition to Blaine Gabbert, but regained his starting job in Week 6. After the Niners went 2-14 with Kaepernick starting for eleven of those games, the two sides parted ways in the offseason.
The Broncos, meanwhile, went 9-7 that year as they failed to land a quarterback who could fill Peyton Manning‘s shoes. It’s debatable as to whether they would have been better off with Kaepernick under center (Kaepernick personally largely played well that year), but what we do know is that he will not be joining the Broncos this year.
Denver is in a better place overall after signing Case Keenum, but there’s still much to be figured out when it comes to the backup quarterback situation. For now, former Mr. Irrelevant Chad Kelly is slated to be the team’s No. 2 QB with Paxton Lynch in line for the No. 3 job.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Carlos Henderson has had a tough time so far in the NFL. After being taken with the 82nd overall pick in the 2017 draft by the Broncos, Henderson is yet to make his NFL debut. A hand injury cost him his entire rookie season, and he’s been away from the team this training camp for undisclosed reasons.
Gotsis was arrested back in March on the allegations that date back to 2013, and it was reported back in May the district attorney handling his case was still mulling whether to proceed to trial. Ultimately, it seems there wasn’t enough there to move forward.
“The evidence presented does not warrant any further action in this case” the statement from the district attorney’s office read. Gotsis has been practicing with the team, and the Broncos have apparently believed in his innocence all along. Although the charges have been dropped, he’s still not completely out of the woods. While today’s news “increases the chances he will not” face punishment from the NFL, “he could still face league discipline” writes Troy Renck of Denver 7 (Twitter link).
Assuming he isn’t hit with a suspension, Gotsis should play a big role for Denver in 2018. The 63rd overall pick of the 2016 draft, Gotsis started 13 games for the Broncos last season. He racked up 41 tackles, with two sacks and four pass breakups.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
The Broncos have a new backup quarterback, as head coach Vance Joseph told reporters Chad Kelly is now the club’s top reserve to starter Case Keenum (Twitter link via Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic). Former first-round pick Paxton Lynch continued his abysmal NFL run by completing just 6-of-11 passes for 24 yards and one interception during Denver’s first preseason games, while Kelly — the 2017 drat’s Mr. Irrelevant — completed 14-of-21 attempts for 177 yards, two scores, and one interception. Clearly, the Broncos’ decision isn’t solely based on the results of a single exhibition contest, as Lynch also played poorly in two starts last season. Given Kelly’s inexperience, and Lynch’s lack of results, Denver could conceivably aim to acquire a veteran No. 2 signal-caller before the 2018 season gets underway.
Today’s minor moves:
- Claimed: WE DeAndrew White (Texans)
- Waived/Injured: WR Philly Brown
- Signed: RB Tion Green
- Waived: LB William Ossai
San Francisco 49ers
- Waived: OL Alan Knott
- Waived from injured reserve: OL Avery Young
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Waived from injured reserve: CB David Rivers
- The Broncos signed A.J. Johnson earlier today, and it sounds like the organization has high hopes for the embattled linebacker. Ben Volin of the Boston Globe tweets that the organization is giving the rookie $50K in guaranteed money, more than they gave to any of their other undrafted rookies. The former Tennessee star, who has dealt with his share of off-field issues, hasn’t played organized football in more than four years.
- Denver wasn’t the only suitor for Johnson. Volin tweets that the Dolphins (along with a “couple other teams”) had expressed interest in the rookie linebacker before he joined the Broncos.
Today’s minor moves:
- Waived/Injured: LB Jeremy Cash
- Signed: DT Simeyon Robinson
- Signed: S Shamarko Thomas, LB A.J. Johnson
- Released: LB Stansly Maponga
- Waived: WR DeAndrew White
Kansas City Chiefs
- Signed: RB Ray Lawry
- Signed: G Kaleb Johnson
- Signed: C Oni Omoile
- Waived/Injured: OL Parker Collins
- Signed: WR Dan Williams III