John Elway admits Broncos open to talking with Tom Brady; are happy with Drew Lock
Elway won't say no to speaking with Brady, at the very least
The Denver Broncos won't shut down the idea of Tom Brady as their next quarterback, even though they may have their next franchise quarterback in place with Drew Lock. Broncos Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway addressed the potential of signing Brady when asked about the free agent quarterback.
Of course, Elway also didn't shut down Luck is the quarterback at this moment.
"We'd always talk to him but I think we're happy with what we have in Drew," Elway said at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, via Chad Jensen of Sports Illustrated. "We're excited about Drew. It's nice to have a young guy to be able to build around and feel like you've got a guy that has the potential to be a long-time starter for you and really kind of the sky's the limit for him, depending on how he continues to improve."
Brady is set to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in March and will have his list of potential suitors. The Broncos would be an interesting fit for the 42-year old Brady, especially since they have a projected $62.1 million in cap space (per Over The Cap). While Denver is tied to Lock for three more seasons, the Broncos have a cap number of just under $1.6 million committed to him in 2020. The Broncos also have a cap number of $23.65 million tied to Joe Flacco, but they can save $10.05 million in cap space by releasing him this offseason.
Patriots at the combine this week. There had been pretty much "no movement" in talks between the two sides up until this point, raising speculation Brady's days are numbered in New England. Brady threw for 4,057 yards, 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions last season, but his passer rating (88.0) was in the 80s for the first time since 2013 and his yards per game (253.6) was his lowest since 2010 (243.8). The Patriots also went 12-4 and won the AFC East, even though they failed to reach the AFC Championship game for the first time since 2010.with the
So what would the Broncos want with Brady even though Lock has presented the most stable option at quarterback since Peyton Manning retired after the Super Bowl championship in 2015? Denver is coming off three consecutive losing seasons and four straight non-playoff seasons, the franchise's longest drought since 2006 to 2010.
Elway could be feeling the pressure to deliver Denver back to the playoffs and retain job security after a bunch of quarterback debacles over the past several years (Trevor Siemian, Case Keenum and Flacco). Brady could be the best option for Denver to return to the playoffs and compete for a Super Bowl, even though he will be 43 come August.
Lock was a spark for the Broncos offense in his rookie season, completing 64.1% of his passes for 1,020 yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions for an 89.7 passer rating in his five starts, as Denver had a 4-1 record in games he started. Denver averaged 21.4 points per game in Lock's starts.
While Lock certainly has room to grow, especially under new Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, Denver can certainly improve its offense under Brady if the Broncos feel he can provide a boost to the organization. Similar to Manning in 2012, Brady's presence could attract multiple top tier free agents to Denver.
The Broncos wouldn't just be signing Brady, but all the benefits that come with having him in the organization. Elway has been through this before.
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