ENGLEWOOD - Yes, Trevor Siemian heard about the report speculating Tony Romo has made the Denver Broncos his first preference next season.
“That’s so farrrrrr out of my reach,’’ Siemian said, smiling while extending his healthy right arm towards the right side of the locker room. “That’s way beyond my pay grade.’’
The report has not been completely dismissed because of the wild card that is Broncos’ general manager John Elway. Since he took control of the Broncos’ 4-12 roster following the 2010 season, Elway has managed to operate with an all-in executive style each and every year.
It’s worked out to five AFC West Division titles in his first five years and the Broncos are a successful six-game finish away from making it six of six for ol’ No. 7.
Elway has retooled to the point only Demaryius Thomas remains from the roster he inherited. But Elway’s next rebuilding project will be his first.
Although Romo doesn’t make sense for the Broncos on several fronts, we all know Elway made a somewhat similar move 4 ½ years ago with Peyton Manning.
Let’s compare the two situations, first with their similarities:
*Manning was 36 years old when the Broncos signed him in 2012. Romo will be 37 next year.
*Manning was a highly successful quarterback coming off a neck injury that forced him to miss the entire season prior to joining the Broncos.
Romo has also had a mostly successful NFL career but he is on his way to missing most of the past two seasons with first a broken collarbone and then a broken back.
*Manning, despite his accomplishments, was dumped by his original team, the Indianapolis Colts, because of an incoming rookie quarterback named Andrew Luck.
Romo, despite throwing 34 touchdown passes against just 9 interceptions in his last healthy season of 2014, apparently feels it’s time to move on because his Dallas Cowboys are currently winning big with rookie Dak Prescott.
But there are also some differences between the two situations.
*Manning averaged better than a 12-4 record in his eight seasons prior to signing with the Broncos.
Romo has been hurt so often, his average record is 8-5 in his past nine seasons. Good, but not Manning great.
*Here’s the biggest difference: Elway determined following the 2011 season he was not going forward with Tim Tebow as his quarterback when he signed Manning. What particularly concerned Elway as he projected Tebow beyond his magical season of 2011 was on third down and between 4 and 9 yards to go, the lefty was just 11 of 35 for 87 yards and a 26.5 passer rating.
And Tebow’s playing style was going to make it difficult to get through a 16-game season and playoff run.
Elway does like his current quarterback situation of Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch. He didn’t use a first-round draft pick on Lynch this year with the idea of bringing an aging, accident-prone, if decorated quarterback a year later.
As Lynch develops through a rookie learning curve made steeper by the no-huddle, spread offense he used in college, Siemian has an impressive 7-2 record in his first season with the Broncos on the strength of a third-down passer rating of 90.4.
The Broncos said 'yes' to Manning. They most likely will just say 'no' to Romo .
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