The NFL has reached that stage of the season where some of the teams are slipping into “What have we got to lose” territory and are free to start tinkering with their clubs with a look toward the 2018 – 2019 NFL season.
One of those is the Denver Broncos, who journey this season has seen a team with perennially high expectations seen it all come crashing down upon them.
They have lost six games and for the second time in two seasons, has seen quarterback Brock Osweiler fail to pay dividends at any price.
Osweiler was offered $14 million per season back in late 2015 as the heir-apparent to Peyton Manning, but Osweiler found a bigger fish in the Houston Texans who signed him to a four-year deal ahead of last season for $72 million in order to find out that he could not play.
He was sent to Cleveland, which discovered a similar deficiency in Osweiler and when a winless team looks for better options at quarterback, it speaks volumes.
The Broncos now plan to throw a virtual rookie into the fray. Paxton Lynch cost Denver a high draft pick, but he was beaten out by a seventh rounder, Trevor Siemian, for the starter’s job.
The logic behind the Broncos’ decision to field Lynch is two-pronged. They have to find out if he can play and possibly be a long-term solution for the team’s needs at quarterback. They also need to play Lynch in order to make their plans for the offseason, whether to draft another project or seek a pricey veteran on the free agent market.
Lynch was hurt during the pre-season, so he is as untested as is possible, but even if he had stayed intact, he was not able to win the starting job in training camp.
The Broncos have not undergone a six-game losing streak since 1990.