JOHN CLAYTON

Clayton: Two quarterbacks make sense for Broncos

Mar 25, 2021, 3:32 PM | Updated: Mar 26, 2021, 6:56 am
LANDOVER, MD - AUGUST 24: Quarterback Alex Smith #11 of the Washington Redskins looks to pass again...
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The Jacksonville Jaguars made an unusual move that could directly affect the Denver Broncos’ search for a quarterback to challenge Drew Lock.

Jacksonville signed C.J. Beathard to a two-year, $5 million deal to most likely play behind Trevor Lawrence, the expected first pick in the NFL Draft.

Most people expected Urban Meyer would go for his former college quarterback Alex Smith. They also could have kept their former starter Gardner Minshew as the backup. Instead, they went with Beathard.

Enter George Paton. Could the Broncos go after Smith in free agency or Minshew via trade to compete with Lock?

Smith’s story is amazing. After having 17 surgeries and missing two years of football, he got a chance to play for the Washington Football Team last season and won the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year Award. He still wants to be a starter, which is why he probably didn’t go to Jacksonville as he wouldn’t be starting there long with Lawrence in the fold.

He’s also considered one of the best teammates to be in the quarterback room with. In San Francisco, he helped teach Colin Kaepernick the ins and outs of being an NFL quarterback. He did the same thing in Kansas City with Patrick Mahomes. He would be a very good teacher for Lock.

As for Minshew, he was a surprising quarterback who happened to be on a horrible team. He’s proved he can play the game at the NFL level. He’s a good leader and popular player among fans.

The Jaguars will probably make him available for a low draft choice, and he could asked to be released due to the Beathard signing. Minshew would be an intriguing option for Paton to bring to Denver and battle with Lock.

The market for quarterbacks has dried up pretty quickly. It began when Ryan Fitzpatrick signed with Washington. That led Andy Dalton to Chicago and for Jacoby Brissett to take his talents to South Beach.

This week, former Broncos starter Joe Flacco signed with Philadelphia while elsewhere in the AFC West, Marcus Mariotta took a $5 million pay cut to stay with the Las Vegas Raiders.

There aren’t many veteran options left for Paton to bring on and compete with Lock for the Broncos starting quarterback job. Smith and Minshew just may top that list.

John Clayton

Russell Wilson...
John Clayton

Clayton: With Russell Wilson, life will be different in Broncos Country

On the field and away from the game, things are going to be different in Denver now that a future Hall of Fame quarterback is walking through the door
9 months ago
Russell WIlson...
John Clayton

Clayton: The Broncos finally solve their QB issue with one bold move

On a day that looked like it was going to be bad news, George Paton pulled off a stunning trade, bringing Russell Wilson to the Mile High City
9 months ago
DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 29: Denver Broncos General Manager John Elway stands on the field prior to a ...
John Clayton

Clayton: The end of the Elway era was woefully under reported

John Elway's contract expired on Monday, ending a storied tenure in Denver for the most-influential person in the history of the Broncos franchise
9 months ago
Aaron Rodgers...
John Clayton

Clayton: It hasn’t been a good week for QB-desperate teams in the NFL

For a lot of the quarterbacks thought to be available this offseason, the scouting combine has brought clarity, but not in a good way for the Broncos
9 months ago
DENVER, COLORADO - NOVEMBER 28: Denver Broncos general manager George Paton walks out on the field ...
John Clayton

Clayton: Broncos head to the combine next week with a to-do list

Everyone knows that Denver is looking to upgrade at quarterback, but there are other positions that George Paton needs to target this offseason
9 months ago
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 05: Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) walks out of the locke...
John Clayton

Clayton: The clock is ticking as the Aaron Rodgers situation nears an end

Recent reports suggest that something has to happen with the future of the Packers quarterback by the end of next week, as the waiting continues
9 months ago
Clayton: Two quarterbacks make sense for Broncos