Although Denver invested a first-round pick in quarterback Paxton Lynch last spring and has been speculatively linked to soon-to-be former Cowboy Tony Romo, the Broncos are likely to move into the future with current starter Trevor Siemian, reports James Palmer of NFL Network (via Chris Wesseling of NFL.com).
“Talking to people within the building, the thought process is that even though they picked Paxton Lynch in the first round, Trevor Siemian is in mind to be the guy moving forward for the next couple of seasons” Palmer said Wednesday.
Palmer added that Broncos defenders, whom Siemian practices against, “have gained an immense amount of respect” for the second-year man because of his toughness. Meanwhile, Broncos coaches admire his calm demeanor.
Siemian didn’t attempt a pass as a seventh-round rookie in 2015, when he sat behind Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler as the Broncos’ defense carried the team to a Super Bowl title. This year’s Broncos are 8-6 and have only a 17 percent chance to make the playoffs, per Five Thirty Eight, as they prepare for season-ending tests against AFC West rivals Kansas City (10-4) and Oakland (11-3).
Siemian’s output in his first taste of NFL action this year has been superior to the production Manning and Osweiler posted last season, but that’s not to suggest Siemian has been great. All told, the 24-year-old (25 on Dec. 26) has completed 61.3 percent of his 416 passes, tossed 16 touchdowns against eight interceptions, and averaged 7.24 yards per attempt in 12 games. His overall performance places him 21st among qualifying signal-callers in DYAR, with now-$72MM Texans backup Osweiler sitting in dead last (32nd). Siemian has been effective relative to his $525K salary, then, and he’s under contract through 2018 at similarly low costs. That’s a plus for a franchise which has big money tied up in cornerstone players like Von Miller, Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Derek Wolfe and Chris Harris Jr., among others.
Lynch is slightly more expensive than Siemian, but his contract is hardly onerous and he’s controllable through the 2020 campaign. The former Memphis star, for whom the Broncos traded up to draft 26th overall, has taken the field in three games this year and started two as Siemian battled injuries. The 6-foot-7, 244-pound Lynch struggled in each of his starts, as he completed a combined 35 of 59 passes for 327 yards, a touchdown and an pick in games against Atlanta and Jacksonville. Now, given that Lynch hasn’t thrived in Year 1, it appears he’ll sit for at least another season.
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