In news that could spell more trouble for Mark Sanchez, Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak revealed Thursday that experience will have “zero” impact on how he puts together the team’s depth chart at quarterback.
“I’m looking at what’s taken place the last six months: how they’ve handled themselves, how they’ve handled the team and how they respond to things. That’s what I’m looking at,” said Kubiak (via Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com).
Among Sanchez, Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch, the former is the only Broncos signal-caller with any real NFL experience. Sanchez, whom the Jets chose fifth overall from USC in 2009, has started in 72 of 75 career appearances with New York and Philadelphia. The majority of his appearances haven’t gone particularly well, though, which explains how the Broncos acquired the 29-year-old from the Eagles for a conditional seventh-round pick in the offseason. Sanchez’s track record of uninspired play has carried into Denver, where he has tossed an interception and lost two fumbles in parts of the club’s first two preseason games.
At 17 of 23 for 163 yards and a pick-six in the preseason, Siemian hasn’t exactly resembled an in-his-prime Peyton Manning this summer, either. Nevertheless, Siemian will start the Broncos’ important third exhibition contest against the Rams on Saturday. Siemian, whom the Broncos selected from Northwestern in the seventh round of last year’s draft, didn’t attempt a pass as a rookie, but the 25-year-old’s inexpensiveness could help give him the edge over Sanchez. Siemian is owed a minimum salary this year, while Sanchez is set to earn $4.5MM ($1MM guaranteed). The Broncos would save $3.5MM by releasing Sanchez, and they’d keep the pick they agreed to send to Philadelphia in exchange for his services.
Unlike Sanchez, there’s no chance Lynch is going anywhere. The first-round pick from Memphis has begun garnering some first-team reps lately, according to Legwold. However, the 6-foot-7, 244-pounder remains a work in progress – particularly with respect to calling plays – as Tom Pelissero of USA Today detailed Thursday.
“When I first got here, my head was kind of spinning,” Lynch told Pelissero. “I had the playbook. I was trying to learn everything. But now it’s kind of slowing down and I can come out here and relax and play a little bit. I’m a lot more confident.”
If Kubiak thinks the 22-year-old Lynch is capable of backing up Siemian (assuming he takes the starting job), Sanchez might find himself on the free agent market in short order.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.