That is the question that many people are beginning to raise with the Broncos, who it seems like the joys of winning Super Bowl 50 have not remained with a couple of the players who have fled Denver in favor of greener, or as some would say, better financial pastures.
Looking at the contract numbers of the former Denver Broncos, who have signed with other teams, believing that many of them could have been retained is a falsehood. While defensive lineman Malik Jackson and linebacker Danny Trevathan were assumed departures, there was one player in particular whose signing is a curious one. The Broncos seemingly never had a chance to sign quarterback Brock Osweiler.
Historically, NFL teams lose their minds when they have money to spend when free-agency looms. This offseason was no exception. Several clubs had north of $30 million to use in the NFL shopping spree. It is the reason why teams such as the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars were able to make splashy moves on the first day of free agent signings.
It was the Texans who acquired Broncos’ Osweiler with a four-year deal that NFL.com reported to be worth $72 million.
That is a ton of money to pay for a signal-caller who has but eight NFL starts. Nevertheless, the Denver Broncos many conclude that they would have loved to re-sign if the price was right. As unproven as Osweiler is, the $72 million deal in principle meant that the Denver Broncos were never in the running for his services.
Provisions were put in place to prepare for the losses of Jackson and Trevathan, who Denver did try to conduct contract talks with. There is the feeling that they were hoping to negotiate with Osweiler also, especially with the timing of incumbent starter Peyton Manning announcing his retirement.
Brock Osweiler signing with the Houston Texans may have saved the Broncos tens of millions of dollars. The secondary free agent market will provide better answers.
Again, Brock Osweiler is still an unproven commodity. There should be no tears or frustrations thrown in his direction, or the Denver Broncos for that matter. Not with a player of Robert Griffin III’s skill set available at a lower price tag. Not with a proven starter in Ryan Fitzpatrick on the free-agency market.
The primary objective in NFL free-agency for the Denver Broncos is to sign linebacker Von Miller to a long-term deal. After looking at $90 million that Jackson got from the Jaguars, one can only imagine how huge a Von Miller contract would be.
John Elway and the Bronco’s front office was fair to make the $50 million offer they were rumored to submitting. They have to put an entire team together. With the salary cap being the way that it is, a hard cap, only one or two players can be on the roster with a contract similar to what Malik Jackson and Brock Osweiler signed. No one believes that they are players in the same level league of Von Miller.
Even with Miller wrecking havoc on defense, the Broncos need a quarterback.
Adding Robert Griffin III would be seen as an upgrade for the Super Bowl champions. He can play in the pocket under center and play in the shotgun. RGIII is billed as a running quarterback, with a strong arm who can hit his targets in stride when given ample protection. The downside to Robert Griffin III is his size and injury history, but he is worth the risk on a two-year, prove-it type of deal.
Denver Broncos’ head coach Gary Kubiak prefers a zone-blocking scheme for the run and the passing game. His playbook is suited for RGIII.
It is not as if the quarterback is asked to do a lot for the Broncos. It was the defense who carried them to the Super Bowl. All the quarterback had to do was manage the offense and keep the turnovers to a minimum. The departures of Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan will weaken the defense slightly, though the system that is in place allows others to step up and contribute. The secondary, considered the best in the NFL, remains intact at the top.
In the 2016 season, the defense will be missing a couple of key players, but the cupboard is not bare by any means. There would be no pressure for Robert Griffin III to set the world on fire. All RGIII, or any quarterback for that matter has to do is be efficient in running the offense.
For Robert Griffin III, it would be about the revitalization of his once promising career. It is not that he has fallen out on hard times. The former Washington Redskins’ QB was in a no-win situation.
Tight end Chris Cooley gave the Washington Post his accounts on how RGIII did not make many friends in the Redskins’ locker room.
“Two years of who should be the starter, constant competition between a guy who doesn’t want to handle competition. And I think there was respect. I think there was enough working respect. But you have to understand, there’s a group of quarterbacks on every team, usually three, sometimes two. There’s a quarterbacks coach. Seventy-five percent of their professional time is spent in just that meeting room. Really. Quarterbacks spend more time [in meetings] than anybody else. Seventy-five percent of their time is spent not talking to each other, in the same room. That’s got to be so hard. You deal with it, but that’s got to be so weird.”
Cooley’s comments are an indictment on how much Robert Griffin III kept to himself and never was about true team building. At his next stop he needs to go an organization to be just one of the 53 players on the roster and perform at his best.
“The offensive line did not like Robert Griffin. A lot of the receivers did not like Robert Griffin. The offensive line had a problem with Robert, because they were considered for a year-and-a-half or two years a terrible offensive line that couldn’t protect a quarterback. A lot of that isn’t true. A lot of that was Robert. A lot of the sacks were put on Robert. Want to believe it or not, they were, okay?”
RGIII has questions surrounding him that need to be answered.
Can he stay healthy?
Will Robert Griffin III continue to have happy feet in the pocket?
Is it possible for him to just be one of the guys after being alienated in Washington?
If the answer is yes to all of those questions, RGIII would fit well with the Broncos, a team which is now in desperate need of a QB.
The Denver Broncos now have a need for a quarterback after Brock Osweiler took the Texans’ offer. Is Robert Griffin III the answer?
[Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images]