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8 Denver Broncos QB solutions for 2024, including one surprising option

Denver Broncos
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Denver Broncos fans are probably wondering what the team’s quarterback plans for the 2024 season are at this point. After releasing Russell Wilson, the only other quarterbacks on coach Sean Payton’s roster are Jarrett Stidham and Ben DiNucci. If these names don’t scream ‘franchise quarterback’ to you, you’re not alone.

So what’s next? Who can the Broncos turn to now? Here are eight potential QB solutions for the 2024 season.

Related: Top NFL free agents 2024

Jimmy Garoppolo

NFL: Denver Broncos at Las Vegas Raiders
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Released from the Las Vegas Raiders, Jimmy Garoppolo could be eager to get back at his former team by joining their AFC South division rivals, and there isn’t a team with a bigger need at QB than the Broncos. After struggling to the point where he got benched, Jimmy G shouldn’t cost much, and if the Broncos do find a way to land a first-round QB, he’d be an ideal short-term stopgap.

Related: Las Vegas Raiders officially release Jimmy Garoppolo: A look at 4 new potential landing spots

Ryan Tannehill

ryan tannehill
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There are others who are much younger than the 35-year-old Ryan Tannehill. But if Coach Payton wants someone with experience, even in the playoffs, Tannehill is one of the best options available. He’s shown he’s capable of playing at a high level, even reaching the Pro Bowl in 2019, but he hasn’t been able to find the end zone very often over the past two years (17 TD, 20 starts). Yet, part of that could be due to the lack of receivers the Titans surrounded him with. He’s a low-risk veteran who may be able to provide above-average production when called upon, and the Broncos could do a lot worse.

Jake Browning

jake browning
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The Cincinnati Bengals have no reason to trade Jake Browning. He’s an excellent insurance policy behind Joe Burrow, and he proved it by leading them to a 4-3 record last season. Yet, after completing 70% of his passes, averaging 215.1 YPG to go with 12 TD and 7 INT, Browning likely feels he’s earned a shot to play, and it won’t ever happen in Cincinnati. The issue is that the 27-year-old is set to play on a very affordable contract ($915K), and the Bengals have absolutely no one to replace him. It may take a Day 2 pick to convince the Bengals to make a deal, but if the Broncos are believers in the former undrafted QB, he could be the next candidate to have a Baker Mayfield-like breakout season.

Related: Super Bowl odds: Every team’s championship futures for 2024 NFL season

Justin Fields

justin fields
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This seems like the most obvious fit for Justin Fields. Of all the players available in free agency or trade, Fields is most deserving of receiving a second chance. He needs work as a passer, but if Coach Payton believes in his process, who better than the former 11th overall pick? Fields is still just 25 and he’s already proven to be a problem with his legs. If Payton found a way to use Taysom Hill, he could find a few plays for Fields too.

Zach Wilson

NFL: New York Jets at Denver Broncos
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Okay, so if Fields isn’t the right flavor, maybe Zach Wilson is. There are footwork and accuracy issues that need to be worked out, but again, Coach Payton is a supposed QB whisperer. As Roddy White reminded us, it’s time to prove it. Plus, wouldn’t it just be fun to see him get something out of the player Nathaniel Hackett couldn’t do anything with last season? It would only continue this odd coaching rivalry that Payton started when he took over the Broncos.

Related: New York Jets expected to trade Zach Wilson: 3 ideal landing spots

Bo Nix

bo nix
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We know Bo Nix isn’t the player the Broncos fans want to see drafted; everyone wants a first-round quarterback instead. But what if the Broncos strike out in their attempts to trade up, or what if all the other top quarterbacks are gone by the time Denver is on the clock at No. 12? Once again, the Broncos would have to turn to Option B. Bo Nix isn’t a bad consolation prize. Having started for five seasons in college, he’s one of the most experienced QB draft prospects in the class. He also has an intriguing amount of mobility and knows how to maneuver around the pocket, too. But there’s a reason he’s not viewed as a first-round prospect, as his accuracy can be a bit spotty.

Related: Bo Nix compared to a more mobile former Super Bowl QB by NFL Draft expert

Michael Penix Jr.

michael penix jr.
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Continuing the same theme as Bo Nix, if the Broncos can’t move up or land their ideal target at No. 12, then how about Michael Penix Jr.? Sure, there’s a lengthy injury history here, with multiple torn ACLs and shoulder injuries that plagued him in college. But good luck finding a more productive player than Penix. He was one of college football’s best players for much of the season, and he has phenomenal arm strength that allows him to make every NFL throw imaginable. However, like Nix, sometimes there are issues with accuracy and timing.

Related: Former Super Bowl-winning head coach suggests Michael Penix Jr. is a rare NFL Draft talent

J.J. McCarthy is an ideal fit for Denver Broncos

j.j. mccarthy
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The latest 2024 NFL Draft darling, J.J. McCarthy is climbing up prospect rankings. While he’s a bit of an unknown in that Michigan didn’t empower him to lead a high-volume passing offense, scouts love the 6-foot-2 quarterback’s traits. With experience playing in Jim Harbaugh’s pro-style offense, McCarthy will need more development, but he has a good foundation so far. If an NFL team can take this raw ball of clay and mold him into a star, the Broncos could quickly turn around their fortunes. Now, the biggest question is how Denver leaps past Minnesota while staving off others like Las Vegas, who may also be eyeing a trade-up of the draft board, but if they’re desperate enough, the Broncos will find a way.

Related: NFL mock draft 2024: Projecting landing spots for top 2024 NFL Draft prospects

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