Broncos Set to Move QB Trevor Siemian to Minnesota

The Broncos have given up on quarterback Trevor Siemian, as NFL.com reports the Vikings are making a move with Denver for him to make the move from Denver to Minnesota.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday the Vikings are finalizing a trade with the Denver Broncos for quarterback Trevor Siemian. Rapoport reported the deal is in the advanced stages, and the early indications are the Vikings will send a late-round pick to Denver.

Siemian provides the Vikes with a backup once they lock down the Kirk Cousins deal, which is expected to be finalized Thursday. Cousins is heading to Minnesota for a visit Wednesday night.

Siemian will provide experience behind Cousins after starting 24 games the past two seasons in Denver, compiling 30 touchdown passes, 24 interceptions and a 59.3 completion percentage. The former seventh-round pick doesn’t boast the tools that get scouts drooling, but proved he can move the offense when protected.

Broncos Land Their QB – To Ink Vikings Free Agent QB Case Keenum

The Broncos couldn’t land Kirk Cousins, the apple of their eye when it came to free agent quarterbacks, so they went after a guy who took his team to the Conference Title game in the NFC – and it appears they’ve landed Vikings free agent quarterback Case Keenum.

He played for coaches Vance Joseph and Gary Kubiak in Houston at the beginning of his career (2012-13) and already has a feel for the staff and offensive system. Keenum guided the Vikings to recent success in the playoffs — an experience Cousins still lacks after six years in the NFL. And he comes at a cost that affords the Broncos more flexibility in reshaping their roster and adding to it in the upcoming draft. His new deal is expected to be a shorter-term contract, with approximately $18 million per year in average pay.

“We all understand how the quarterback position has a direct influence on how your team plays,” Joseph said in February. “Obviously, we have to get better there, whoever is going to be the quarterback. That being said, we can get better in a lot of areas, like protecting the quarterback, continuing to run the football better and to play dominant defense. Having a quarterback that can help us become a more efficient offense and help us score more points and not turn the ball over, that can only help us get better. But we have to focus not only on that, but also on other parts of the football team.”

It was a breakout year for Keenum, as he hit for a career-high 3,547 yards, 22 touchdowns and only seven interceptions for the Vikings, getting all the way to the NFC Title game before falling to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Broncos Willing to Listen to Offers for Running Back C.J. Anderson

Broncos general manager John Elway hedged during the NFL combine, leaving the door open for both C.J. Anderson’s return and his possible exit from Denver. The former undrafted running back who earned a starting role in 2014 and last year became the franchise’s first 1,000-yard rusher since ’13, was on the edge. And even he knew it.

The four-year contract he signed in 2016 has no guaranteed money remaining in the final two years, meaning the team could release him without paying a single penny. In fact, they’d save $4.5 million in cap space in an offseason they sorely need the extra room to acquire veteran talent. Especially a quarterback, Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post reports.

But the Broncos are in no rush to move on from Anderson. According to an NFL source, the team has no plans to release the veteran back but is listening to trade offers and believes it could get something in return, much like it did with veteran cornerback Aqib Talib.

In 2016, the Broncos placed a low-round restricted free agent tender on Anderson that afforded the team the right to match any offer sheet he signed, but provided them no draft compensation if it chose to let him walk. When Anderson signed a four-year, $18 million offer sheet with the Dolphins, the Broncos matched at the 11th hour, thanks in large part to the departure of quarterback Brock Osweiler. In 2018 and 2019, Anderson has base salaries of $4.4 million and can earn $100,000 workout bonuses each year.

Should the Broncos look to move Anderson, one team that has come up regularly as a potential fit for him is Miami, the same team that tried to sign him two years ago. Anderson is close with head coach Adam Gase, formerly the Broncos’ offensive coordinator, and the Dolphins recently signed Eric Studesville to coach their running backs. Studesville, to the dismay of Anderson, was among the six coaches fired by the Broncos this offseason.

Did QB Kirk Cousins Give Away His Two Team Choices in a Blog Post?

Kirk Cousins is officially moving on, but his next destination remains unknown, Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post reports.

The free-agent quarterback penned a lengthy blog post on Monday, the start of the NFL’s legal tampering period, to thank the Redskins and their fans, as well as former head coach Mike Shanahan.

“Knowing I will not be putting on a Redskins jersey next season, it’s hard to look back at all that’s taken place and not become emotional,” Cousins wrote on his website. “I will forever be grateful to Mike Shanahan for taking a chance on me in the 2012 draft. At the time, many people saw his selection as foolish. Time proved otherwise and taught me that there are no guarantees in this business — if you work hard and learn from your mistakes, good things can happen. For the first time in 11 years I will participate in choosing where I play. Having said this, I would not trade the past decade for anything.”

But at the bottom of his blog post, Cousins might have revealed his top choices for his next team. When it was initially published, “Jets” and “Vikings” were among the keywords tagged at the bottom. They have since been removed.

The Broncos have long been considered to be on the short list of options for Cousins, along with the Jets and Vikings and Cardinals. But a definitive group of targeted teams has never been revealed by Cousins or his agent.

Broncos Could Have Interest in Vikings QB Case Keenum as Backup Plan

The Broncos are “interested in” free agent quarterback Case Keenum according to Mike Klis of 9News in Denver.

Keenum is viewed as a secondary option to Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins but, with Cousins expected to signe with the Minnesota Vikings, the Broncos have to have a contigency plan in place. Klis says he doesn’t know if Keenum is the Broncos’ absolute “Plan B” but does know that John Elway and company have interest. Keenum has a personal connection with the Broncos in Gary Kubiak, the former Super Bowl-winning coach who is now serving as Elway’s senior personnel advisor. Kubiak gave Keenum his NFL start with the Texans and spoke highly of Keenum in January.

Keenum could land $16-20 million per year on his next contract-an astounding figure for a 30-year-old QB who was the epitome of the career journeyman backup until his magical 2017 run with the Minnesota Vikings in 2017. That salary does not seem to be scaring teams away and Keenum will likely be a very wealthy man by mid-March.

Broncos Players Continue to Be Vocal About Wanting QB Kirk Cousins

Broncos players haven’t been shy about their recruitment of quarterback Kirk Cousins. With the signal-caller heading to free agency, the pitches can be made with more earnest for the next week, Kevin Patra of NFL.com reports.

Linebacker Von Miller continued to speak glowingly about what adding a player of Cousins’ caliber at the most important position in sports could mean for a team like Denver.

“He’s just that type of player,” Miller told ESPN, via the Denver Post. “He not only would be a difference-maker to my team, but any team he goes to in the National Football League. It’s an instant upgrade, leadership, he can throw and make all the passes on the field. So, yeah, when you get a guy like that, you’re automatically in Super Bowl contention.”

After Tuesday’s deadline passed to franchise tag players, receiver Emmanuel Sanders — whom Broncos general manager John Elway said last week he plans to have back in 2018 — threw his hat into the recruitment ring.

The Broncos have been the most vocal about targeting Cousins, but as the sweepstakes gets off the ground, it’s anyone’s guess whether all the love will help land the best QB on the market.

Broncos Gab 2018 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Louisville QB Lamar Jackson

He could be this season’s Kordell Stewart, a player who can play both quarterback, and at a moment’s notice shift to being a wide receiver.

He’s Lamar Jackson, who just wrapped up a solid college career that saw him throw 9043 yards in three college seasons with 69 touchdowns, and he’s ready to make an impact on the team that drafts him come late April.

Jackson is a possible game breaker of a player, but at what position and how long he’ll have to be developed are two big questions about him, and if a team is patient, they may get a player that could stretch the field either under center or lined out wide.

Here’s our report on Jackson, a player to watch in this seasons draft.

Walter Football’s breakdown of Jackson

In speaking with a general manager from an AFC team, they said that Jackson is the most dynamic player in the 2018 NFL Draft. With amazing running ability, speed, and a powerful arm, Jackson is a rare talent who possesses a phenomenal skill set. While he made highlight-reel plays on a routine basis, some in the media have criticized him to the point that he may not be a high first-rounder and could slip to the middle or back portion of the first round. Some analysts have even suggested Jackson should move to another position. However in speaking with team sources, multiple top executives and scouts think that Jackson is being undervalued and definitely can stay as a quarterback in the NFL.

Jackson broke into the starting lineup as a freshman and completed 56 percent of his passes for 3,543 yards with 30 touchdowns and nine interceptions. That season, he also ran for 960 yards and 11 touchdowns while averaging 5.9 yards per carry. In 2016, Jackson set college football on fire while winning the Heisman Trophy. The sophomore was a massive point-producer for the Cardinals. Jackson completed 56 percent of his passes for 3,543 yards with 30 touchdowns and nine interceptions on the year. He also ran for 21 touchdowns and 1,571 yards while averaging six yards per carry.

Jackson’s 2017 was comparable to his Heisman winning season although he wasn’t even invited to New York as a finalist for the sham award, which effectively excludes linemen and defensive players. In 2017, Jackson completed 59 percent of his passes for 3,660 yards with 27 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He averaged 6.9 yards per carry on the ground on his way to 1,601 yards and 18 rushing touchdowns.

Sources from around the league acknowledged that Jackson was a one-man team. Louisville did not have a good running game and fielded a bad offensive line that allowed steady heat on Jackson. Poor receivers consistently dropped well-thrown passes, and that kept Jackson from completing 60 percent of his passes. While a poor supporting cast is used to help justify some of the underwhelming numbers for Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen, the same benefit of the doubt doesn’t seem to get extended to Jackson.

Of the top quarterback prospects for the 2018 NFL Draft, Jackson has the most athletic ability and dual-threat danger to give defenses huge problems. He has elite arm strength with a powerful gun that can make devastating throws. Jackson’s arm is so strong that he can make throws off platform that other quarterback can only make after having set their feet. With just a flick of the wrist, the ball explodes out of Jackson’s hands, and he can beat good coverage with perfect throws that very few quarterbacks can make. Jackson also hangs tough in the pocket while staring down the barrel to deliver passes while under the pass rush. He showed good field vision to work through progressions with pocket presence and patience to let routes develop. Jackson can buy time with his feet, and so many of his highlights are dominated by runs, but Jackson has a devastating arm to hurt defenses downfield. He also has run a complicated college offense under Bobby Petrino, displaying full command for the system.

A First Look Scouting Report from NFL.com

What I liked: Jackson primarily aligns in the shotgun/pistol, but he does take some snaps from under center. He shows quick feet in his drop and has an explosive/snap delivery. He can generate plenty of velocity without incorporating much of his lower half. He flashes the ability to accurately drive the ball into tight windows.

He has tremendous upside as a passer but his ability to make plays with his legs is what makes him special. He has Mike Vick-type explosiveness when he takes off on designed QB runs or scrambles. He gets up to top speed immediately and destroys pursuit angles from opposing safeties. He isn’t quite as shifty as Vick, but he is just as fast in a straight line.

Where he needs to improve: Jackson has a ways to go to develop into a consistently accurate passer. He has a bad habit of locking out his front leg, screwing himself into the ground and falling off throws. This dramatically affects his ball placement and touch. He flashes the ability to work to Nos. 2-3 in his progression, but usually if No. 1 isn’t there, he looks to run. In his defense, the pass protection at Louisville was terrible at times (see Houston game).

The other major concern about Jackson is his thin frame. He is very wiry and he’ll need to add some bulk to withstand a 16-game schedule at the next level. The same things were said about Deshaun Watson early in his college career. He packed on plenty of bulk before leaving Clemson and hopefully Jackson will do the same.

Biggest takeaway: I don’t use the Mike Vick comparison lightly. Vick is the most explosive quarterback to ever play the position. Jackson has that type of dynamic speed. However, Vick was a more polished passer and Jackson has some mechanical improvements that need to be made before he’ll be capable of matching Vick’s professional success. If Jackson can clean some of these issues up, watch out!

I can’t wait to see him play … Clemson on Sept. 16. Jackson put on an impressive display against the Tigers last fall, but Louisville came up a little short against the eventual national champions. This time, Jackson gets to play the Tigers at home. Last year, a highly rated Florida State squad came to Louisville and got thrashed. That was probably the moment that won Jackson the Heisman Trophy. If he leads his team to a win over Clemson this year, his campaign for a second consecutive Heisman would receive a huge jolt.

Some Highlights of Jackson:

Luke Easterling makes the Case for Jackson being the Best Player of the Draft:

First, I’d like to thank you for actually opening this article and beginning to read, rather than seeing the headline and angrily quote-tweeting “yur an moran” along with the link.

Let’s proceed.

The 2018 quarterback class got tons of hype this past offseason, with the likes of UCLA’s Josh Rosen, USC’s Sam Darnold, Wyoming’s Josh Allen and Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph all getting top-10 projections from many outlets and analysts.

Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield has even shot up the invisible in-season draft board on his way to winning this year’s Heisman Trophy.

The four names I mentioned before have all shown flashes of brilliance this season, but have also provided far more head-scratching moments than many expected. From questionable decision-making and costly turnovers to injuries and inconsistency across the board, the flaws of this year’s top passers have been more evident than their strengths in 2017.

But while Rosen and Darnold continue to dominate the talk of who should go No. 1 overall, Louisville’s Lamar Jackson has been quietly putting together another fantastic season, showing the kind of marked improvement as a passer that should have him firmly planted in that conversation.

Instead, we’ve been forced to endure the tired but unsurprising barrage of “he’ll have to move to wide receiver at the next level” takes. Nobody’s talking about the athletic, talented but raw Allen needing to switch positions at the next level, but Jackson? Oh, definitely.

Before we go any further, let me make this clear: Lamar has flaws. Ugly ones, at times. He’s inconsistent, can be wildly inaccurate, and makes some head-scratching throws. Hell, he’s thrown two odious interceptions against Mississippi State in the TaxSlayer Bowl since I started writing this.

You feel more comfortable drafting the Blaine Gabberts, Christian Ponders, EJ Manuels, Brady Quinns, J.P. Losmans, Kyle Bollers, Joey Harringtons, Patrick Ramseys, JaMarcus Russells, Tim Couches, Akili Smiths, Ryan Leafs, Jason Campbells, Cade McNowns and Jim Druckenmillers?

Knock yourself out.

I’d rather ride or die with a player who could break the mold and become something the league has never seen before.

Again, he’s not perfect. He still needs refinement, and he’ll have bumps along the way. There’s plenty of “boom-or-bust” to his game, but he’s absolutely no more of a risky pick than any other quarterback in this class.

I’m not saying he will be a first-round pick. I’m not saying he’ll be an immediate NFL star, the next Deshaun Watson or a 10-time Pro Bowler who revolutionizes the position. I’m just saying he’s capable of everything we’re projecting for Rosen, Darnold and the rest of the bunch, if not just a little bit more.

Another Scouting Report from The Drafster:

Lamar Jackson is one of the most electrifying play makers in this years draft. Not only is he a solid passer, but he has no problem beating you with his legs. In his previous two years where he had more control of the offense, he passed for 7,203 yards with 57 touchdowns along with 19 interceptions, while running for 3,172 yards and 39 touchdowns. His running ability is likely more responsible for his hype rather than his passing ability.

However, if he wants to adapt to the NFL, Jackson will have to earn to survive without his legs as often. In his sophomore year of college, Jackson had 260 rushing attempts, his junior year he had 232 attempts. In the NFL, he will never see that many attempts, and never should. He has a special talent with running the ball, he has the speed and the elusiveness. This skill should definitely still get put to use, it just needs to be turned down multiple notches.

As said earlier, his running ability has probably accounted for more of his hype than his actual passing has. However this isn’t a fair claim. Lamar has nice velocity on his delivery that can get the ball into a tight window. He has very good accuracy on his short to mid-depth passes, but struggles with his deep ball at times. His on target down the field passes will be some of the most well placed throws you’ll see. His off the target passes downfield are usually barely off but still inconsistent nonetheless.

As far as his skills in the pocket, you’ve of course got the good and you got the bad. On one hand, he has a very good sense for when the pass rush is getting to close, and he’ll either get the ball off right then and there, or he will take off. On the other hand he could use some improvement on his footwork. When dropping back, his feet seem to move slightly slower than you would like, which is the cause for his inaccurate passes. On top of footwork, I noticed whenever he would decide to bolt out of the pocket and run, he would stumble out of his break. As a runner his feet are fine, but while working in the pocket it needs improvement.

Jackson is by no means a finished project and will probably take a season or two to achieve what he is capable of. But it is promising seeing how dynamic of a player he is even with his flaws. If he were thrown into a starter role, I see his rookie year being one of those seasons where certain games he will light up the scoreboard, but then a week later he struggles heavily.

Current Draft Value: Mid to late 2nd rounder.

Broncos GM John Elway on the QB Search – “We Are Going to Explore All Options”

John Elway doesn’t want to tear down a championship football team. He wants to add one missing piece: Quarterback, Kevin Patra of NFL.com reports.

The Broncos are poised to hit free agency targeting the biggest fish in the pond, Kirk Cousins. Elway plans to make a hard charge at quarterbacks hitting the open market before turning his attention to the draft if he strikes out.

“I think we are going to explore all options in free agency and see where that goes,” he said. “Obviously we’ve got the 5th pick in the draft too. So that will all play into it. So, we’ll continue to look at all the options out there when it comes to quarterback.”

Since landing Peyton Manning in free agency in 2012, Elway has struggled to unearth and develop a quarterback. He used a second-round pick on Brock Osweiler (2012), a seventh-round selection on Trevor Siemian (2015), and traded up to get Paxton Lynch in the first round (2016). None could help buoy a championship defense.

The misses at quarterback won’t deter Elway from swinging hard again.

“Believe me, I’m not done swinging and missing,” Elway said. “Misses don’t bother me. We’ve just got to figure out a way to get it right.”

The Broncos GM is confident if he can land a foundational quarterback Denver can leap right back into the Super Bowl hunt.

“I still think we aren’t too far away,” he said. “Obviously, we’ve got to get better at [the quarterback] position. We didn’t play well there last year — and that doesn’t go all on the players, there were some things we should have done differently that we didn’t do. I feel like we can get back in the thick of things rather quickly because we still have a good defensive football team. On the offense, we’re going to get better with Bill Musgrave being the offensive coordinator … Figure out what we do at the quarterback position. So, I’m excited about where we are and think we have a chance to get back in the thick of things quickly.”

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