The Denver Broncos are playing a difficult waiting game right now, reportedly holding off on contract talks with Brock Osweiler until Peyton Manning gives his final decision about his 2016 plans.
Mike Klis of 9News in Denver has the scoop on this interesting development:
“Out of respect to Manning, the Broncos have not engaged in contract negotiations with Osweiler, who played well while posting a 5-2 record as a starting quarterback in 2015 but otherwise spent the past 3 ½ seasons serving as Manning’s backup.”
This could eventually lead to a situation in which the Broncos start the 2016 season without Manning or Osweiler, who is expected to be a hot free agent if he isn’t re-signed by Denver. The Denver Post reported Osweiler will almost certainly command more than Nick Foles, who recently signed a two-year extension worth $24.5 million with the Los Angeles Rams, including $13.79 in guaranteed money.
The Broncos aren’t going to franchise Osweiler, because that designation is going to be saved for pass-rusher extraordinaire Von Miller. This dymamic certainly sets up a situation in which Osweiler could bolt for greener (literally) pastures, which we wrote about on Super Bowl Sunday.
Peter King of MMQB envisions a scenario in which the Cleveland Browns forego a top quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick and pick up Osweiler instead, and it’s likely other teams picking near the top of the draft have similar thoughts.
Without a consensus top quarterback in the 2016 NFL Draft, and considering the free agent market for quarterbacks isn’t exactly full of promising assets, Osweiler’s stock is inflated right now.
Nobody should fault the Broncos for holding off on negotiating with the quarterback right now “out of respect to Manning,” but it could certainly end up coming back to haunt the franchise.