If the Denver Broncos don’t trade up for a quarterback in the NFL draft, they will likely add a veteran QB to mentor and/or compete with Drew Lock this summer. One of the last remaining notable veteran free agent QBs is now off the board.
Alex Smith announced his retirement Monday, marking the end of a career highlighted by three Pro Bowl nods and a remarkable Comeback Player of the Year campaign in 2020.
The most notable veteran QB options still available for Denver to consider now are potential trade candidates. Gardner Minshew of the Jacksonville Jaguars might be the most intriguing option. Other candidates include Nick Foles of the Chicago Bears and Teddy Bridgewater of the Carolina Panthers.
The Broncos have already had talks with the Panthers about a potential Bridgewater trade, but Denver likely wouldn’t trade for the QB’s current contract (he has a $22.9 million salary cap hit this season).
If the Broncos do bring in a veteran QB, it probably won’t happen until after the NFL draft. If Denver adds a top quarterback prospect (such as Justin Fields or Trey Lance), that might rule out the need for another QB.