Denver Broncos: 4 Free-Agent QB Options After Aaron Rodgers Chose to Stay With the Packers

The Denver Broncos went all-in on the Aaron Rodgers sweepstakes. Nathaniel Hackett is the new head coach and moves over from the Green Bay Packers.

The Broncos put together a nice set of offensive weapons to lure Rodgers and would be willing to pay a heavy price to finally solve the years of quarterback ineptitude. But, Rodgers decided to return to the Packers.

Since Rodgers didn’t go to Denver, then the Broncos need to settle for some other options — and there are plenty of other ways to go if that is the case. Here are four possible free-agent quarterbacks that Denver could pivot to.

Ryan Fitzpatrick

Ryan Fitzpatrick surely isn’t the name Broncos fans were hoping for. But, if Rodgers doesn’t go to Denver and Russell Wilson doesn’t ask for a trade out of Seattle, the options might not be too many.

Fitzpatrick is a savvy veteran who can do just enough to get by. The Broncos have the weapons on offense and a solid defense. The only thing missing is an average quarterback — and Fitzpatrick should be just good enough to get them to the next level. Furthermore, if the Broncos draft a QB in the 2022 NFL Draft, the rookie can take some good notes from the veteran and be ready to roll when 2023 rolls around.

The best part about this move? He would be dirt-cheap, especially coming off a season-ending injury.

Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston is easily the biggest name available in the QB market this time around. He was on a roll before suffering a knee injury, one that changed the New Orleans Saints’ season in a big way.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been linked as an option and a reunion for Winston after the retirement of Tom Brady. The Saints are considered the favorites to bring Winston back, and other QB-needy teams such as the Pittsburgh Steelers also make sense.

This would be the most expensive option on the market, but he would be the safest choice for Denver if they go this route. Winston has the talent and would be a massive upgrade over Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock.

Mitchell Trubisky

Yes, Mitchell Trubisky, the former Chicago Bears’ No. 2 draft choice. He fell out of favor with the Bears and signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills to backup Josh Allen. With an entire season watching one of the best QBs in the NFL, hopefully, Trubisky learned a thing or two.

This time around, he deserves another shot, and the weapons in Denver would be more than helpful.

Somebody out there will kick the tires on Trubisky, and the Broncos could do a lot worse than the former North Carolina star. After all, they didn’t rule out Lock as the starter, and nine out of 10 would probably rather start Trubisky.

Marcus Mariota

The Broncos might need to go to FA for a QB.
Mitchell Trubisky and Marcus Mariota | Robin Alam/ Steve Marcus/ Icon Sportswire via Getty Images/Getty Images/

Once again, this is another former high draft choice that needs another chance at a starting job. He got more work with the Las Vegas Raiders down the stretch in a unique role, and now he heads for free agency.

Mariota is another hot name on the market, with the Steelers and others interested in the former Oregon star. Could Mariota go from one AFC West foe to another and help lead the Broncos to a playoff spot?

We all know the talent is there. Unfortunately, it just didn’t click with the Tennessee Titans. But the thought of Mariota, Williams, and Jeudy on the same offense is scary, and Hackett would be able to work wonders with a special talent like Mariota.

He would be another cheap option and could, at the very least, give the Broncos a decent QB competition heading into camp with Lock and a rookie QB.

Stats Courtesy of Pro Football Reference

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