John Elway: 'Possibility' that Broncos add veteran quarterback

INDIANAPOLIS -- These days, when people say "veteran quarterback'' to Denver Broncos executive vice president of football operations/general manager John Elway, they usually mean Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.

By league rules, Elway can't talk about Romo or any other player under contract with another team, but with Romo expected to be released by the Cowboys at some point in the coming weeks, Elway still wouldn't slam the door Wednesday on the possibility of acquiring a veteran quarterback. But Elway added it's not a decision about just the 2017 season but "two or three years down the road.''

Asked at the scouting combine if the team intended to add a veteran quarterback to the mix with Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch, Elway said:

"I'll say we're going to look at all the options -- once they become available, we're going to look at all the options,'' Elway said. "If it's best for the Denver Broncos, if it's best for this team, because it's not only about winning next year but also what it does for the future too. All those things will come in the discussion. Once we get to that point, we know where we are, we'll kick the tires and do our homework on everything and make the best decision for the Broncos.''

Elway also said the Broncos wanted a player at quarterback that "we could hang our hat on for a long, long time.'' Asked if the Broncos could add a veteran quarterback for the short term and still keep both the 25-year-old Siemian and the 23-year-old Lynch on the roster to both develop, Elway added:

"Yes, that's a possibility, I'm not going to say that's not a possibility. At this point in time, everything's a possibility.''

Elway and Broncos coach Vance Joseph have consistently said through the offseason that Siemian and Lynch would compete in training camp to be the team's starting quarterback. Elway and Joseph also have said that if the team expended some resources to make the offense better overall, it would improve Siemian's or Lynch's chances to be successful in the Broncos' pursuit of a playoff spot.

And the future of the two players will enter in any decision the Broncos make once free agency opens. Romo and Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor -- both still under contract with their teams -- are usually the most discussed veteran quarterbacks as possibilities for the Broncos.

"That's a concern: Does it stunt their growth?'' Elway said of Lynch and Siemian. "Where does it put those guys? How do they handle it? And all those type of questions come into the discussion if we were to go down to that road. How does it affect those young guys? How does it affect their reps? Are they still going to continue to get better or is that going to impede their growth?

"Those are things that are under consideration and [we] think about if we're going to bring in a veteran or not.''

For his part, Romo will turn 37 later this month and has played in just five games combined over the past two seasons.

Told the prevailing wisdom by many in the league is that the Broncos would be in the mix to add a veteran quarterback, Elway laughed and said, "Well, I guess I should.''