Denver Broncos: Jake Plummer Should Back Up Peyton Manning

Kevin Van PeltCorrespondent IMarch 30, 2012

DENVER - NOVEMBER 19: Jake Plummer #16 of the Denver Broncos passes the ball during the game against the San Diego Chargers on November 19, 2006 at Invesco Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Jake Plummer has been retired for over four years now, but he would still make a better backup for Peyton Manning than Caleb Hanie.

Plummer was a solid quarterback for the Denver Broncos. In three full seasons with the Broncos, he twice led them to a wild-card berth in the playoffs and in 2005 led Denver to the AFC Championship game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

After 11 games in 2006, Plummer was replaced by rookie quarterback Jay Cutler. Some thought the move was not right considering what the former Arizona State quarterback had done for the team. He was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the season and retired soon after.

Earlier this week, Plummer was a special guest at the Broncos' facility throwing passes to draft prospects. While this won't cause any quarterback controversies, it would be nice to see Plummer come back as a second stringer to Manning.

This idea may sound crazy to some, if not most, of the people in Denver. However, if Plummer was dedicated to coming back, the Broncos should give him a chance.

Denver is the one team that needs a quality backup the most. Manning's neck is something that is not guaranteed to hold up through the entire season. Caleb Hanie has shown what kind of backup he could be with his awful showing last year with the Chicago Bears.

Chicago was in position to make the playoffs before Cutler got injured and Hanie was called to replace him. He threw nine interceptions in just six games and did not seem to have a high football IQ at times, evident by his infamous spike play.

Plummer's experience will be very helpful if he is needed and would keep the teams morale at a higher level knowing that he would replace Manning instead of Hanie. He has shown that he can lead a team to the playoffs and is reliable to make the big plays.

There is a chance that Plummer will be rusty, but a rusty Plummer is better than Hanie at his best. Also, he would be able to work off the rust during this offseason and work alongside a future Hall of Fame quarterback.

The Broncos need to at least bring him in to training camp to see what he can do. He is a young 37 and would be one of the best backup quarterbacks in the league if he returns to the field at the level that he left the game.

Plummer still has what it takes to get the job done but his return may be unlikely due to the fact that he probably won't want to return. If he does think about making a comeback, the Broncos need to sign him right away.