The Denver Broncos quarterback position comes with a lot of controversy. The fanbase is split on the positon, from top to bottom. However, the decision-makers at Dove Valley already know who their starter is going to be.
So, despite fans being split on their opinions, they all know who will be the starter and the backup. Really, the only competition is for the third quarterback spot.
No. 1: Peyton Manning
As the starter, the Broncos have Peyton Manning, who returns for the fourth year of his five-year deal he signed in the spring of 2012. During the offseason, there was some speculation that Manning may not be back, due to a dispute over his contract. The business side was resolved and he is back for $4M less.
As I said earlier, the fanbase is split on Manning and his return. Some love it, and some hate it. Manning is 39 years old and after dealing with injuries down the stretch last year, there is a major concern as to whether he can play at a high level for another season, or even stay healthy for a full season.
The truth is, no one knows for sure if he can grind it out or not. However, when it is all said and done, Manning is the Broncos starter and will remain as such, as long as he stays healthy.
A lot of the focus for the offense is to blend the Gary Kubiak scheme with Peyton Manning’s predilections. That could end in brilliance or as a total disaster. Only time will tell.
Stat Prediction: 4,200 yards passing, 30 TDs, 14 INTs.
No. 2: Brock Osweiler
The backup quarterback for the Broncos is Brock Osweiler. Oswieler was drafted in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft and is entering the final year of his deal. No one really knows what the Broncos have in Osweiler, but they have expressed confindence in him, as talks of an extension have been rumored coming out of Dove Valley. Also, they did not select a quarterback in the past draft until their third-to-last pick, which speaks to their confidence in Brock Osweiler.
Part of the split in the fanbase is because some believe the time is now for the Osweiler era. Others say the Broncos best chance to win is with Manning. Whatever your stance is, the simple fact is no one knows if that statement is true or not. The coaching staff is confident in Osweiler and they will look to get him more in-game snaps to better evaluate what they have in him.
With Manning’s age and health a concern, when the Broncos get big leads in games, expect them to put Osweiler in. This will get him a good amount of snaps, which some may brush off as “garbage time", but it is a good way to get him on the field with live bullets to evaluate him properly.
This will help them figure out if he is the answer post-Manning, or whether they need to look elsewhere. If they do believe Osweiler can get it done, it will help in contract negotiations for an extension.
Stat prediction: 500 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT.
No. 3: Trevor Siemian
Now, with the top two spots out of the way, this is where things get interesting. Well, as interesting as things can get for the third quarterback position. Right now, I will have to say the spot will go to Trevor Siemian over Zac Dysert. This is completely dependent on Siemian getting healthy closer to the start of training camp. If he can't get healthy 'til closer to the end, the spot will go to Dysert.
There are a couple of reasons I give the No. 3 spot to Siemian over Dysert—the first one being that Siemian is this coaching staff's guy. He was just drafted in the seventh round by Gary Kubiak and Rick Dennison, whereas Dysert was a seventh round pick by the former coaching staff.
Also, Siemian is a better fit in the Kubiak offense than Dysert, although Dysert is not a bad fit by any means. Both are actually good fits, just to be clear.
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The coaching staff really like Siemian, and although they reportedly like Dysert as well, Siemian is their guy. Of course, him netting the third quarterback spot all depends on when he gets healthy. If he is unable to get on the field early enough, the spot is Dysert’s, with Siemian on the practice squad.
Another question that will likely be pondered here is if they go with Siemian, are they confident they could get Dysert on the practice squad, or are they fine with letting him go to another team? I bring that up because letting Dysert hit the waiver wire, could see a team like the Chicago Bears jump at the opportunity to pick him up.
Of course, the Broncos could decide to keep only two and either keep Siemian on the practice squad or IR, and cut Dysert and see what happens, potentially bringing him back. However, based on Gary Kubiak's history with rostering quarterbacks, I do not see them keeping only two.
Stat prediction: N/A