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Denver Broncos, John Elway 'have a plan' for Paxton Lynch

By
Alex Butler
Denver Broncos quarterback Paxton Lynch is expected to be in a quarterback competion against Trevor Siemian this offseason to decide who will start for the franchise. File Photo by Gary C. Caskey/UPI
Denver Broncos quarterback Paxton Lynch is expected to be in a quarterback competion against Trevor Siemian this offseason to decide who will start for the franchise. File Photo by Gary C. Caskey/UPI | License Photo

April 7 (UPI) -- Tony Romo is in the broadcast booth and officially out of the Denver Broncos' mind as a quarterback option for 2017.

That leaves second-year gunslinger Paxton Lynch and 2016 starter Trevor Siemian primed for a position battle heading into the season.

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And that's just fine for Lynch. The 23-year-old Memphis product was the No. 26 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, but only saw action in three games. Lynch completed 49-of-83 passes for 497 yards, two scores, and an interception last season for the Broncos.

"You have a young man who has unbelievable core values," Lynch's agent Leigh Steinberg said. "He has a faith-based, strong and supportive family with parents and a brother. His core values are faith, family, friendship, and he's surrounded by great friends. He's internally motivated and he well understands that the adjustment process from college to pro football takes time. So the best thing he can do is work as hard as he can this offseason so he is ready for the competition this summer."

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Steinberg, who also represents Texas Tech prospect Patrick Mahomes, said that he and his client have a "fair belief" that Broncos general manager John Elway is "as good of an executive as he was a player."

"Elway drafted him and they've got a plan," Steinberg said. "Last year, Denver was trying to go back to the Super Bowl, so the real question is, 'how does he have the most effective 10-12 year career he can have."

"Not when it starts."

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Siemian, who entered last season without a career passing attempt, completed 289-of-486 passes for 3,401 yards, 18 scores, and 10 interceptions and posted an 8-6 record as a starter.

Lynch trained with quarterback guru Charlie Taaffe earlier this year. He also worked with the throwing coach before the NFL Scouting Combine.

NBC Denver reported that former coach Gary Kubiak was more of a fan of Siemian than Lynch. Since Kubiak departed, that leaves the door more open for Lynch's ascension.

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Elway maintains that "it will be a great competition" between Lynch and Siemian this time around.

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"Like we've said, we really feel good about the two young ones that we have," Elway told reporters at the NFL Owners Meetings last month. "Trevor did a good job for us last year and Paxton was young. The plan is to stay the course there and see what's available in the draft. We'll go from there."

"But we like both. Paxton was a first-rounder last year for a reason, and then Trevor came in and played very well. It'll be a great competition between them this spring."

ESPN reported last month that the New York Jets were attempting to trade for Siemian as news circulated regarding the franchise's interest in Romo, but nothing materialized.

Siemian underwent offseason shoulder surgery, including the repair of torn ligaments where the clavicle, scapula, and AC joint connect. He was give a four to six month timetable for recovery in January, according to NBC Denver.

The Broncos begin OTAs on April 10, but Lynch arrived in Denver a week ago.

Steinberg pointed to a cast of stellar franchise quarterbacks who didn't get to start immediately when asked about the start to Lynch's career.

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"The point is that he's competitive," Steinberg said. "He would have loved to start last year. He will be hyper-competitive to start this year. If it were to happen though, if you look at, I've shared with him that Philip Rivers, Carson Palmer, Aaron Rodgers, and some of the best quarterbacks in football didn't get to start immediately."

"He came out of a spread," Steinberg said. "He's dealing with it really well. He's in putting work in the offseason. He has been. He will come back for OTAs. He has been working and training with the same people who trained him for the combine, in Charlie Taaffe of QB Country in Orlando."

"I think as soon as the offense [starts] throwing the ball deep, and [Lynch] is getting outside the pocket if he can...some of his strengths, you know it will be a new coaching staff," Steinberg said. "My guess is the game plan will be a little more suited to some of his strengths."

Lynch said last season that it immediately felt like he "was wanted" in the Broncos facility.

"Once I got here and walked into the building, it felt like home," Lynch told reporters after getting drafted. "Kind of like when you get recruited out of high school to go to college, you walk in and you know that's where you're going to be for hopefully all four years. Here, [it's] your whole career. When I walked in, I felt good. I felt like I was wanted here. Like I said, I'm excited to spend a lot of time here and be around this coaching staff and all these players."

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Elway told Pro Football Talk last month that he thinks he drafted the team's franchise quarterback in Lynch.

"I think so. I'm excited about Paxton. But you never know," Elway told PFT. "Last year, picking Paxton in the first round, and the talent level that we see, Paxton is going to have a great career in the NFL. The bottom line is bringing him along the right way and developing him the right way."

In his 2016 NFL Draft profile, the NFL Network's Mike Mayock said Lynch had "elite arm talent and athletic ability." Lynch has a terrific frame, at 6-feet, 7-inches, and was compared to Marcus Mariota by NFL.com before entering the league.

While the first day of voluntary workouts is April 10, voluntary minicamp is set from April 25 to April 27 for the Broncos. Rookie orientation is from May 11 to May 13. OTA offseason workouts are from May 23 to May 25, May 30 and May 31, June 1, and June 5 through June 8. Mandatory minicamp is from June 13 to June 15.

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