When Broncos boss John Elway signed former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning before the 2012 season, it was huge. It set the team up for four years of success, never winning fewer than 12 games from 2012 to 2015. They went to two Super Bowls, set all sorts of offensive records, and won Super Bowl 50.
Since Manning’s retirement, the Broncos have tried everything else. Playing seventh-round pick Trevor Siemian. Playing former second-round pick Brock Osweiler. Drafting Paxton Lynch in the first round. Picking Chad Kelly with the last pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Nothing has worked. The Broncos are an utter mess. Elway has proven that he’s not great in the draft, but he’s a superstar in free agency.
Is it time to look at 2018 the same way he looked at 2012, going after a huge free agent signing? That’s what Elway does best and it’s what got the team where he wanted it to be.
Names have been floated, for a signing or a trade, including New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, and Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins.
“No to Eli Manning,” wrote Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post. “Please no. He appears to be done. Or near done. But I do expect Elway to actively explore signing a free-agent QB. Whether he can make a deal for somebody like Kirk Cousins? That’s another question entirely.”
Here’s the thing: If Elway wants to make a deal, he can make a deal. He proved that with Peyton. Again, this is what he does best. He knows the value of elite quarterback play and he has to hate the 2017 season as much as anyone. It’s not a long shot to expect him to aggressively pursue changes in the offseason.