By itself, the Robert Griffin III contract agreement with the Cleveland Browns had no impact on the quarterback situation in Denver.
RGIII became the Browns’ new backup quarterback after it became evident the Broncos weren’t interested in the former No. 2 overall draft pick out of Baylor.
A month ago, when the Broncos thought Brock Osweiler would return to be their franchise quarterback, Denver general manager John Elway thought briefly about Griffin as one of several potential backups.
But after making a few phone calls, Elway was concerned about Griffin’s character. Elway never did express interest in the former Washington quarterback who was the NFL’s Rookie of the Year in 2012 but had several fallouts with Coach Mike Shanahan, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and teammates.
Griffin did play the good soldier last year when he served as Washington’s No. 3 quarterback that meant not even dressing on game days. Still, the Broncos went in another direction after losing Osweiler to free agency and Houston.
They first picked up veteran Mark Sanchez while at the same kept an eye on Colin Kaepernick, the disgruntled quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers.
The Broncos may have two deadlines with Kaepernick. One is April 1, when $11.9 million of his $14.3 million payout in 2016 becomes fully guaranteed.
This is the biggie. If the Broncos do acquire Kaepernick, they can’t pay him $14.3 million and surrender a second or third-round draft pick. Not when they currently have a mere $2 million in cap space.
So there are two issues involved in a Kaepernick trade: Contract and draft pick compensation. Kaepernick wants a trade but not a pay cut.
The other deadline is April 28, the first round of the draft where the 49ers have the No. 7 overall pick. The Broncos could wait to see if the 49ers release Kaepernick on April 1 rather than risk getting stuck with his contract. Then again the 49ers insist they won’t release him.
But should the Broncos wind up with Kaepernick, who would be the 49ers’ quarterback? It’s difficult to believe San Francisco would be counting on Blaine Gabbert. The 49ers could wait to see if they get one of the coveted quarterbacks with their No. 7 pick before surrendering Kaepernick.
The Browns are expected to use their No. 2 overall pick on either Carson Wentz or Jared Goff. That pick would start ahead of RGIII.
If the Dallas Cowboys don’t take a quarterback at No. 4, the 49ers would be in position to select the draft’s second-best quarterback.
RGIII’s signing with Cleveland does make Browns’ veteran backup Josh McCown available. McCown, Houston’s Brian Hoyer and Los Angeles’ Nick Foles are the most experienced quarterbacks available in trade. Ryan Fitzpatrick is the top free-agent quarterback.
The Broncos, though, haven’t been moving on any other those quarterbacks, an indication they are waiting on Kaepernick’s deadlines.