It’s time to move on from Tony Romo. Like fully believing we were going to buy that picturesque home only to have the deal fall apart at closing, we must move on and find another home. The other houses on the market, at least the affordable ones that are available, may not have the same features as the Romo model. A jet tub (mobility), walk-in closets (ability to read a defense), granite countertops (a strong, accurate arm) – all of this we want as Broncos fans. But for now we are left with Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch. And though they might not look like that fancy, southern-style mansion in Dallas, with a little work they might just be exactly what Broncos Country was looking for all along. Remember: The grass is not always greener on the other side of the 50.
The Denver Broncos are currently under contract with two quarterbacks in Lynch and Siemian. Although they are not four-story mansions, they are attractive at their current price, and they are something the Broncos can work with. But like any home improvement project, it might take some time.
The most expensive of the two contracts, Lynch, will cost the Broncos just north of $2 million in 2017 ($2,153,704 cap hit). Siemian will cost the Broncos only $628,195 this year. Now, those are enormous numbers to you and me, and any one of us would like to make that annually. But in the NFL world of NFL quarterbacks, those contracts are virtually nothing.
For some perspective: Siemian and Lynch’s contracts collectively will equate to just over $2.7 Million for 2017. The Panthers, who were 6-10 last season, will pay Cam Newton over the length of his contract an average of $20.7 million per year.
Newton in 2016 threw for 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, earning the Panthers last place in the NFC South. That’s $1,092,631 per TD.
In a combined effort, the Broncos quarterbacks threw for 20 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions. For the Broncos, that’s an investment of roughly $140K per TD.
I am in no way saying that either of the Broncos’ quarterbacks are better than Cam Newton, but what I am saying is they are in no way a money pit either. Both Lynch and Siemian are a value for the next few years, and if at anytime they falter or prove to be too much of a project, there is no reason the Broncos cannot tear it all down and rebuild at the QB position.
Siemian, while not exciting to the fan base and certainly not elite, is smart. He is a team leader and is plenty capable of playing (somewhat) mistake-free football. Siemian is much like a small apartment. You can live there for a low cost and wait it out until the new home is built. It’s not a shack in the woods, and its not a money pit falling apart around you. Siemian is who he is: Efficient at a low cost. And that is okay, for now.
Lynch, on the flip side, just might be that new dream home, built in the middle of Broncos Country. Vaulted ceilings, lots of space, an open floor plan and plenty of closet space to store trophies and Super Bowl rings. Still in the construction phase, Broncos fans know what they want in a QB. But until the finished product is complete, no one, including the Broncos, will totally know what it looks like and what the long-term value is.
While not expensive in terms of salary cap, the investment that is Lynch did come at a cost. The Broncos need to know by season’s end what they have in their 2016 first-rounder. They know they need to build fast, because the majority of Broncos fans are already itching to move on.
The builders of this project are quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. Lynch’s draft profile read like a blueprint: Lots of potential, but certainly a project. John Elway believes Lynch has what it takes to be an NFL quarterback. He believed it enough to move up in the first round of the 2016 draft to get him. Now it’s time to make believers out of Broncos fans, who believed, if only for a second, that Tony Romo was moving in.