The Denver Broncos have acquired veteran quarterback Mark Sanchez from the Philadelphia Eagles for a 2017 conditional draft pick.

9News was the first to report the trade. The pick will be a sixth or seventh round draft choice in 2017 depending on how much Sanchez plays and/or produces in 2016. With the Broncos expected to get compensatory draft picks after losing Brock Osweiler, Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan to free agency, Denver essentially got Sanchez for nothing.

And so once again, John Elway is engineering a comeback.

Sanchez, who will draw a $4.5 million salary in the final year of his contract this year, is considered a borderline NFL starter/top backup quarterback. He is only step one in the Broncos' quarterback search. There will be a step two.

The Broncos could team Sanchez with a more established starter -- San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick is the most frequently mentioned frontline quarterback available in trade and Case Keenum of the Los Angeles Rams figures to draw interest from around the league despite the first-round tender he received as a restricted free agent -- or back him up with a quarterback selection in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft.

The scramble for a new starting quarterback began once Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning retired Monday and his expected heir apparent, Osweiler, spurned Denver two days later by signing a four-year, $72 million deal with the Houston Texans.

The Broncos have some history with Sanchez. About a week prior to the 2009 NFL Draft, Broncos' freshly hired head coach Josh McDaniels arranged to visit with Sanchez on the USC, sparking speculation he would select the quarterback with his No. 12 overall draft pick. McDaniels wound up falling ill and couldn't attend the visit and instead sent general manager Brian Xanders and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.

McDaniels might have found a way to make it had he actually had intention of taking Sanchez. The visit, as it turned out, was a smokescreen that worked as the New York Jets jumped from No. 17 to No. 5 to take the Trojan quarterback. McDaniels selected running back Knowshon Moreno at No. 12. Then Tampa Bay jumped over the Broncos from No. 19 to No. 17 to take quarterback Josh Freeman.

Again, the Broncos weren't taking a quarterback. Content with Kyle Orton, the Broncos took defensive end Robert Ayers at No. 18.

A wiseacre might say that in the end, there were no winners. Such a slight would be unfair to Sanchez, though. Playing the "game manager" role, Sanchez guided the Jets to back-to-back AFC Championship games his first two seasons of 2009-10.

By his fourth season with the Jets, though, Sanchez was struggling mightily. He threw 18 interceptions while posting a 6-9 record in 2012, a miserable season that bottomed out with the infamous "butt fumble" on Thanksgiving Day against New England in one of the most egregious blunders in NFL history.

Sanchez had a nice rebound with Chip Kelly's Eagles in 2014, winning four of his first five starts in relief of Nick Foles. Sanchez won those games by scores of 31-21, 45-21, 43-24 and 33-10.

And so now Sanchez has come full circle back to the Broncos. Only this time the Broncos really wanted him. He will team with Trevor Siemian, a seventh-round rookie from Northwestern whom the Broncos believe can legitimately compete for a starting position in 2017 if not by the second half of 2016.

But again, the Broncos aren't done with their quarterback search. They will get one more.

(Copyright 2016 KUSA)

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