Lynch will enter training camp vying for the backup spot, James Palmer of NFL Network reports.
Lynch has struggled to get off on the right footing in Denver but that doesn't mean the team is throwing in the towel just yet. After passing on a signal caller in the draft, Denver has made it clear that Lynch will reportedly battle Chad Kelly for the No. 2 quarterback spot behind Case Keenum. The 2016 first-rounder appeared in just two games last season.
Broncos head coach Vance Joseph proclaimed a similar sentiment last offseason, noting that the offense under his first year on the sideline would suit Lynch and Trevor Siemian, who has since been shipped to Minnesota. As for this year's quarterback duo, Keenum and Lynch deliver their best work when extending plays with their feet, so roll-out plays should become staples in Denver's offense under coordinator Bill Musgrave. At the same time, that scheme could also be adaptable for Baker Mayfield, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen and other quarterbacks with decent mobility available near the top of the draft. Denver may be able to spin the Keenum signing and playbook adjustment as positives for Lynch's development, but the team could also be looking at developing another signal caller come April as the front office makes its way through the pro-day circuit.
Joseph merely is stating the obvious, after the Broncos signed Case Keenum to be their starter and traded Trevor Siemian (shoulder) to the Vikings. Given how bad he's looked in limited action since being selected 26th overall in the 2016 draft, Lynch ultimately may face competition for the backup job from 2017 seventh-round pick Chad Kelly (wrist) and/or a rookie from the upcoming draft. The Broncos don't seem especially likely to add another veteran signal-caller, as they still need to address weaknesses at right tackle, tight end and the No. 3 receiver spot.
Broncos general manager John Elway pointed out that the team hasn't really had a chance to evaluate Lynch, a 2016 first-round pick who has completed 79 of 128 passes (61.7 percent) for 792 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions in five career games. He's also taken 18 sacks and fumbled four times, displaying a glaring lack of awareness in the pocket. The Broncos might be fine with keeping Lynch around, but they presumably hope he'll be the clear backup behind a proven veteran starter. Trevor Siemian (shoulder) may be available for trade during the offseason.
Lynch completed 30 of 45 passes for 295 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions during 2017. He added 30 yards and two fumbles on five carries.
General manager John Elway lamented that the team didn't get to see much of Lynch this season during his year-end press conference. The second-year passer missed much of the season with a sprained throwing shoulder and then sprained his ankle a little more than halfway through his first start. Lynch made some big-time throws in Week 17 against the Chiefs, but also turned the ball over three times. Obviously, you'd want to see your first-round pick play more than about 16 quarters in two seasons before thinking about making a switch, but Denver is in a unique position. With the fifth overall pick, the Broncos are in prime territory to nab Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, or Baker Mayfield. Denver might also be in on Kirk Cousins. It might not be fair to Lynch, but Denver seems likely to move on this offseason.
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