5 Best Broncos Options for a Peyton Manning Contingency Plan
There could be answers on the roster currently, but how prepared is Denver to turn control of the team over to totally unproven signal-callers?
If Denver wishes to try and save their season with a more seasoned player there could be names that fit the bill for what Denver is looking for.
Here are the best options for Denver if a contingency plan becomes necessary.
Let's begin with the most obvious plan and say that Caleb Hanie will be handed the reins first if Peyton Manning cannot play.
Love the move, or hate the move, the Denver Broncos decided they liked Hanie enough to bring him in as the primary backup to Peyton Manning. Still, the overarching belief is that Denver has no intention of seeing anyone but Manning at quarterback, and that is why they did not spend much on a backup.
However, if tragedy befalls the Broncos, then it wold be logical to see Hanie come in first considering he will have the most experience with the new offense.
The Broncos are hoping that they see more of the "Heroic Hanie" who almost brought the Bears back in the NFC Championship two years ago, as opposed to the "Turnover-Happy Hanie" who cost the Bears a shot at the playoffs last season.
The surprise of the Denver Broncos 2012 draft class is expecting to spend a lot of time on the sidelines watching, studying and perfecting his throwing motion before stepping into an actual NFL game.
However, if Manning goes down and Hanie is hapless, the call might go down the sidelines for Osweiler to "grab his hat" and head out there.
This has to be an emergency scenario, and one that must be supported by significant improvement in practice by Osweiler before throwing him to the wolves and running the risk of ruining his psyche forever.
If the Broncos decide that they have a season worth saving and they face an injury later in the season taking Manning out of the equation, then looking beyond their roster could be an option.
It's possible that Colt McCoy may still be on the market, provided that no other team has run into the same scenario sooner than Denver and already pulled the trigger on a deal.
If Denver is willing to part with a mid- to late-round draft pick in order to try and salvage their season, then McCoy could be an excellent option for the team.
If the price winds up being too high on McCoy, or he is off the trade market, there may be a decent option available in Arizona.
John Skelton is really pressing to potentially take over the starting role completely, but Kolb has a lot more invested in him and will be given every chance to succeed and should keep the job.
That leaves Skelton, a player who had a much better winning percentage last season than Hanie, as a player on the market that Denver could look to for a much cheaper price than McCoy.
This would be a very desperate situation, but if Denver needs a veteran signal-caller and cannot afford to deal for one on the open market they may still be able to score McNabb as a free agent for a decent price.
The one huge caveat is that recently there has been no price that was worth signing McNabb for based on his poor performance.
Denver would be taking a huge risk, but potentially no more risky than trotting out Hanie or Osweiler in a season that might still hold playoff potential for the Broncos. McNabb can be a game manager and offers enough historical performance to keep defenses on their toes.