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Broncos’ universe of potential quarterbacks includes Josh McCown


At some point, it will indeed be easier to list the NFL quarterbacks that the Denver Broncos aren’t considering.

The latest name to add to the list of the quarterbacks that Denver is exploring belongs to Browns quarterback Josh McCown. Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the Broncos will consider trading for McCown or signing him if he’s cut.

McCown joins a list of options that includes 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor, free-agent quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer, and anyone who could be acquired in the various rounds of the draft.

McCown is due to make $4.375 million in 2016, considerably less than the $7 million that the Broncos reportedly are willing to pay to Kaepernick.

To many, it seems as if the Broncos don’t have a plan. Their plan apparently is to be selective and prudent, exploring all options and showing no desperation.

To many, simultaneously slow-playing the situation and playing hardball as to all options available regarding the most important position on the field shows that Broncos G.M. John Elway finally has leaned too far over his skis. At this point of his career, however, how can anyone seriously question Elway’s methods?

Elway has shown a propensity to take strong positions, draw clear lines, and stick to them. He didn’t hesitate to throw Tim Tebow overboard for a franchise quarterback coming off of four neck surgeries. Last year, Elway pinched the same franchise quarterback for a $4 million pay cut, properly assessing that the end was near (even though the franchise quarterback later earned the money back based on the team’s success). Last month, Elway let the 2012 second-round pick who showed enough potential in 2015 to earn $18 million per year from a new team walk away.

That brand-new Lombardi Trophy sitting in the lobby at the team’s headquarters validates Elway’s approach -- along with the fact that the team has been to the playoffs every year since Elway arrived in 2011, with a pair of Super Bowl appearances.

When Elway got the keys to the franchise, I was skeptical. Very skeptical. Elway has proven me, and plenty of others, wrong. So why are folks assuming that a guy who has been right for five years suddenly doesn’t know what he’s doing?

Eventually, he’ll get someone that he wants. At the price he wants to pay, and not a penny or draft-round more. That doesn’t mean the Broncos will rocket to a second straight championship. But amid the bad situation that has emerged in the aftermath of Super Bowl 50, Elway isn’t acting like he has the barrel of a .45 pressed to his temple.