Clayton: Two quarterbacks make sense for Broncos
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.