It’s been an interesting year for Denver’s newest cult hero, Trevor Siemian. He won a Super Bowl, watched a legend retire, then watched Manning’s heir apparent chase dollar signs to Houston. Following that, the Broncos traded for a veteran quarterback in Mark Sanchez to keep the wheels on the track and drafted a new heir apparent quarterback in the first round.

Once real(ish) football started in August, Siemian was named the co-starter – an interesting designation to say the least. Then, when preseason games started, it became apparent that Sanchez was a turnover machine (still) and Paxton Lynch clearly wasn’t ready to play; this left Siemian as the last man standing. The second-year player from Northwestern earned (sort of) the opportunity to quarterback the defending Super Bowl champion.

Despite not losing a game, Siemian faced criticism after looking like a glorified game manager in Weeks 1 and 2. He responded with a four-touchdown breakout performance in Cincinnati, earning him AFC Player of the Week honors. Looks like his job is safe, right? Not so fast. Now his name has been mentioned as trade bait. George R. R. Martin couldn’t come up with this stuff.

On Thursday Adam Schefter floated the idea that were the Broncos given “an attractive-enough” trade offer they’d listen. There’s a lot to digest here.

First, there isn’t a person more tapped into the smoky rooms of the NFL as Schefter. So, when he says something like this it carries a ton of weight. As the insider you’d have to believe that this isn’t some half-cocked clickbait headline. Traditional wisdom would tell you that Schefter wouldn’t put his sources in jeopardy by tossing around an untrue story just so The Mothership could drum up clicks on a slow news day.

Then again, we also live in an era of sensationalized news stories.

Second, this could be a case of reading the Schefter tea leaves a little too closely. Look around the NFL; it’s quarterback-starved. Half of the league started the year with no hopes of a successful season because of their dire situation under center.

It isn’t unfair to theorize that following Siemian’s Week 3 performance that a desperate team loaded with draft picks may come knocking (we’re looking at you Cleveland). John Elway and Company believes they have their quarterback of the future in Lynch, that’s no secret. Considering the possibility they’d want to make room for that guy sooner rather than later isn’t blasphemous or clickbait non-sense. It’s a fair question.

Finally, not expecting a high level of play from either quarterback, the Broncos top brass didn’t want to throw Lynch to the wolves early in the season. The first three games on Denver’s schedule were no trifling matter, but the schedule gets much easier from here. It isn’t far-fetched to believe that Denver wanted Siemian to manage things through the hardest part of the schedule, allowing Lynch more time to get up to speed. Then, presumably after getting subpar quarterback play, Denver could throw in their prized steed at quarterback. The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

So which is it?

Schefter isn’t in the business of pulling clickbait headlines out of thin air. He breaks enough real news stories that he doesn’t need to resort to the lowest common dominator. Throw that theory out the window.

In all likelihood the truth of this story sits somewhere in the middle of the other two options.

Elway has been very shrewd with his personnel decisions and in the draft. It isn’t crazy to hypothesize him flipping an overproducing asset to stockpile draft picks. Especially when everyone knows how high the team is on Lynch. Also, as vice president Elway has been very callous when making personnel decisions he believes are in the team’s best interest (i.e. forcing Peyton Manning to take a pay cut). Denver won last season with mediocre quarterback play. There’s no reason to believe they didn’t think they could do it again while not killing Lynch’s confidence.

That’s why this story has legs, there isn’t a doubt in anyone’s mind Elway wouldn’t swindle a team desperate for a quarterback as well as boot Siemian out the door unceremoniously. Elway is cold-blooded.

The key word here is swindle, because it’d take the earth and moon to pry Siemian away from the Broncos. Particularly because he’s playing so well and the team has been vigorously justifying him being the starter for months.

That said, with the way 2016 has gone for Trevor Siemian it’d be a fitting end to his time in Denver if Elway traded him midseason.