Only Vikings, Jets have shown interest in Cousins so far

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. - There is one way to make a steely-eyed Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback get a little uncomfortable in his own skin.

At the scouting combine, two weeks before the start of free agency, Elway did compare the "fluid" nature of chasing a quarterback in free agency this year to the pursuit of Manning.

Kirk Cousins, who spent his first six National Football League seasons with the Washington Redskins, is the top free-agent quarterback available (not counting Drew Brees, who is expected to remain in New Orleans).

By striking out on Cousins, Keenum, Brees, and perhaps even other players that might cost too much money against the cap to justify them sitting on the bench (Denver failed for a second time to acquire Tyrod Taylor), the Broncos may be setting themselves up for the best possible long-term success in the 2018 NFL Draft. And not before many had noticed the Broncos were not among the teams to get the initial shout-out. In landing a player they see as their true starter, the Broncos also expand their options with their first-round draft selection this year.

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Say what you want about John Elway's history of drafting quarterbacks - we don't know what he can do with a top five pick at that position. Is he the guy when he was at Houston or the Rams or is he the guy who played for us? He finished the season with 3,547 passing yards, 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions. According to a source, the Broncos are expected to move on from Trevor Siemian, a former seventh-round pick who started 24 games, and have already fielded calls from interested teams. After reaching the peak of Super Bowl 50 two years ago, the Broncos have sunk on the heels of two playoff-less seasons. Keenum sent the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game by throwing a miraculous game-winning touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs against the Saints in the Divisional Round. I feel like we can get right back in the thick of the things rather quickly.

But the biggest impact of all of this is the multimillion-dollar admission that Lynch has not become what the Broncos hoped he would be.

In 2012 it was Peyton Manning, and this year it's Case Keenum.

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