In the span of two months, the Denver Broncos are suddenly one of the most quarterback needy teams in the NFL. Having lost Peyton Manning to retirement and Brock Osweiler to the Houston Texans in a stunning move, the Broncos are on the search for a viable replacement. Veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick could fit that mold, but his asking price could be a little too steep for the defending Super Bowl champions.
According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, Denver has reached out to Fitzpatrick’s representatives, but the team is unwilling to pay the salary the former Harvard graduate is seeking. The 33-year old Fitzpatrick had a career season in 2015, throwing for 3,905 yards with 31 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in his first (and perhaps only) season with the New York Jets. Sources told Schefter that the Jets have been at a standstill with Fitzpatrick in regards to a new deal, and appear to be nowhere close to rekindling their relationship for the 2016 season.
The Broncos could certainly keep Fitzpatrick as a potential target down the line, but for now, they seem content to monitor his status. They acquired Mark Sanchez in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday for a conditional draft pick, a deal which executive vice president of football operations/general manager John Elway referred to as the “first step in our process.” Former seventh-rounder Trevor Siemian is the only other quarterback the Broncos have on the roster.
With quarterbacks like Colin Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III, and Fitzpatrick on the market, it appears the Broncos are content to play the waiting game for a veteran quarterback, as long as it’s for the right price.