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Broncos non-tender backup quarterback Brett Rypien

The Broncos considered the low restricted free agent tender of $2.63 million too rich.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Brett Rypien, a No. 2 or 3 quarterback for the Denver Broncos the past four years, is now an unrestricted free agent after he was notified the team will not tender him as a restricted free agent, a source told 9NEWS.

The RFA tenders are now so high they are almost counterproductive for reserve players like Rypien. A first-round tender comes with a $6.005 million salary, a second-round tender is $4.304 million and the low-round tender -- which undrafted players like Rypien fall into -- is for $2.627 million.

Even the lowest tendered salary is higher than what most quarterbacks in Rypien's category receive. The far more experienced Trevor Siemian, for instance, had played the 2020-21 seasons on $990,000 salaries and is scheduled to make $1.97 million as the Bears' backup in 2023.

Credit: AP
Denver Broncos quarterback Brett Rypien (4) walks on the field prior to an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Rypien was signed by the Broncos as a premium undrafted free agent out of Boise State in 2019. He earned three starts during his four years in Denver, including two last season in place of the injured Russell Wilson. 

While it's possible Rypien could return on a deal less than $2.63 million, he is expected to explore the market.

Broncos' new head coach Sean Payton always had a veteran backup quarterback to Drew Brees during his 16 years with the New Orleans Saints.

Among the veteran backup QBs available are Andy Dalton, Sam Darnold, Taylor Heinicke, Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater, Jacoby Brissett, and possibly Jameis Winston.

(Update: The Broncos signed former Patriot and Raiders' quarterback Jarrett Stidham to a two-year, $10 million contract, thus Rypien will move on and play elsewhere in 2023.)



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