ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- It is the Denver Broncos' one-a-day vitamin.
Another day, another quarterback is linked to the reigning Super Bowl champions. Thursday it was Johnny Manziel because Broncos coach Gary Kubiak had a conversation with Manziel last month.
In many of the days before, it has been Colin Kaepernick. Until Robert Griffin III was signed by the Browns to replace Manziel, his name was in the hopper as well. If you have thrown a football in the NFL, or are about to, it’s likely someone, somewhere has attached your name to the Broncos quarterback depth chart.
That’s what happens when your starting quarterback, Peyton Manning, retires. And the guy you groomed for four years to be ready to be the starter, Brock Osweiler, leaves in free agency. The Houston Texans, after all, offered a bigger pile of money than the Broncos and the shadow cast by Manning and John Elway for Broncos quarterbacks to come isn’t for everybody.
The Broncos worked through their draft meetings Thursday much the same way they had in the days before and much the same way they will until their draft board is set. Mark Sanchez and Trevor Siemian are on the roster. And the Broncos are interested in adding one or two more quarterbacks to a depth chart.
Yes, they have spoken to many quarterbacks. And Manziel is on that list.
Are they poised to sign Manziel? Of course not. There are too many off-the-field questions, too much baggage -- including potential league discipline -- for any team to to sign Manziel.
The Broncos have looked at every available quarterback, simple as that. It’s due diligence.
Kaepernick met face to face with both Elway and Kubiak. They liked what they heard, but it didn’t change the Broncos' trade offer or Kaepernick’s or the 49ers’ positions on the changes needed in Kaepernick’s contract for a deal to get done.
Thursday, before he spoke at a downtown breakfast event for the Boy Scouts of America, Kubiak said this about Kaepernick: “We were granted the opportunity to have that visit, that was good. Very impressive, [but] like I said our focus is on our football team right now.’’
The most likely scenario for the Broncos is the same as it was a month ago: Sanchez, Siemian and a quarterback who is selected in the draft later this month. Kubiak stressed the importance of the draft Thursday morning and again stressed his comfort level with Sanchez and Siemian.
“I feel good about the two guys that we have, we’ll see what happens,’’ Kubiak said Thursday. “You continue to move forward, try to get better, I’m going to stay focused on Mark and Trevor right now and doing everything I can to get ready for this draft because it’s extremely important … Mark has a lot of background in our system, so he will make up a lot of ground quickly.’’
Kubiak also said: “We need to stay focused on the guys on our team right now’’ and “we're very excited about Mark.’’
Could things change? Sure, since owner Pat Bowlen hired Elway to be the team’s top football decision-maker in 2011, Elway has thrown more than one Hail Mary on the personnel side. Just start with trading Tim Tebow and signing Manning.
After all, the Broncos are Exhibit A as to why folks should really never say never, but they are not signing or trading for anybody unless it’s on their terms, at their pace. That includes Kaepernick, Manziel or anyone else on any list.
The reason they can do it? They’re more than willing to pick a quarterback in this year’s draft and play with the guys they already have.