ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Meet Brett Rypien, the Broncos’ undrafted bonus baby.
Actually, it wasn’t his bonus, although $10,000 is where the “premium” undrafted rookie level begins. More precisely, it was the $136,000 guaranteed salary the Broncos gave Rypien that drew notice.
“At the end of the day I’ve still got to earn my spot on the team,’’ Rypien, the nephew of former Washington quarterback Mark Rypien, said following the Broncos’ final rookie minicamp practice Sunday. “For me, I thought it was a good fit on offense that I think I can do well in and have great people to learn from as well.’’
That $136,000 salary not so coincidentally is the equivalent of a full year’s practice squad pay. Meanwhile, veteran backup QB Kevin Hogan received a $300,000 guaranteed signing bonus in March so Rypien is not guaranteed a 53-man roster spot.
Still, he does have a good chance of making it as the No. 3 quarterback behind Joe Flacco and fellow rookie Drew Lock.
Rypien was a four-year starter at Boise State, where he threw 90 touchdowns against just 29 interceptions while completing 64.0 percent of his passes. His deep college resume' is one reason why he received strong pre-draft interest from Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello. The two met at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis and it was Scangarello who helped sell Rypien on the fact his physical skills and mental aptitude mesh with the Denver offense.
“This is an unbelievable franchise,’’ Rypien said. “Had a lot of success in the past. Had a lot of great players that have come through here. Two great veterans in Joe and Kevin to learn from and it’s great to be with Drew as well. I think I can learn a lot from him.’’
Rypien would know the Broncos’ history more than most rookies as he grew up knowing about the quarterback exploits of his uncle Mark, who capped his 14-2 regular season in 1991 with the Super Bowl MVP award in a win against Buffalo.
“He’s been a great mentor for me throughout my entire life,’’ said Rypien, who was born July 9, 1996 – five years after Mark’s best season. “A guy who has been through it all. All the highs and lows of this game. Won a Super Bowl and went through the backup circuit for a while as well. He’s a great guy that I can lean on.’’