INDIANAPOLIS -- As the NFL Combine with its 336 draftable prospects winds down, free agency and its million-dollar players opens in less than two weeks.
What we learned here is there is no ‘if.’ Kirk Cousins is the Broncos’ No. 1 goal this offseason. No more training camp quarterback battles.
“It will help us all,’’ said Broncos head coach Vance Joseph. “We played three quarterbacks last year. No one wants to do that. You want one guy and one guy only. If someone gets injured, you want to have a capable backup. You don’t want to play three quarterbacks. I think all involved will get better by not playing three quarterbacks.”
It’s not easy figuring out how the Broncos are going to add Cousins without depleting their roster elsewhere. Multiple bidders – Minnesota, the New York Jets and Arizona are also interested -- will push Cousins’ price tag to a record $30 million a year.
Broncos’ general manager John Elway is going to keep receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders and their combined $20.75 million against the 2018 payroll. He’s going to keep Derek Wolfe and his $8.4 million.
Even if they acquire strong safety Su’a Cravens from Washington – trade talks are not dead – the Broncos are planning to hang on to Darian Stewart and his $4.5 million.
Given the pricey investments the Broncos won’t shed, they would be lucky to afford Josh McCown. Elway laughed at that.
“We’ll be aggressive in free agency,’’ he said, “and see what happens.”
The Broncos did interview all the top draftable quarterbacks here Friday night. Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen, Lamar Jackson, Sam Darnold. All of them.
But those guys are the fallback plan. Elway wants the Broncos to get better yesterday. He made it clear he will not rebuild.
“I didn’t say it. I’m not going to say it,’’ he said. “Life’s too short to rebuild.’’
It all points to Cousins. Cousins, Cousins, Cousins. If not Cousins, maybe Case Keenum for about $19 million a year. Cousins, Cousins and Case.