Speculation pointing toward new Denver Broncos general manager George Paton acquiring a veteran quarterback this offseason coincides with the availability of a veteran quarterback Paton knows particularly well.
Bleacher Report formulated a list of the best landing spots for impending free-agent Mitchell Trubisky, and the digital media giant believes the Broncos may swap incumbent starter Drew Lock for the soon-to-be-ex-Chicago Bears Pro Bowler.
Lock didn't solidify himself as the long-term starter. In 2020, he threw 16 touchdowns and 15 interceptions, completing just 57.3 percent of his passes through 13 starts. For comparison, Trubisky had a more efficient 2020 campaign, throwing for 2,055 yards, 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions with a 67.0 percent completion rate in 10 contests.
At the end of the season, Fangio chose not to name Lock the starter for 2021 and made a comment about the need for improvement.
The Broncos could go into the upcoming campaign with Lock in the pole position to start, but Trubisky would give the team a chance to pivot if the Missouri product doesn't make strides in his third season.
The No. 2 overall pick of the 2017 draft has started 50 games for the Bears since entering the NFL, throwing for 10,609 yards, 64 touchdowns and 37 interceptions on 1,010-of-1,577 passing (64.1%). Something of a dual-threat, he's chipped in 1,057 yards and eight TDs on the ground.
Trubisky's best season to date came in 2018, when, under the guidance of offensive-minded head coach/play-caller Matt Nagy, he accounted for 3,644 total yards and 27 scores en route to a division title and Pro Bowl berth.
It's been downhill from that point, however. In 2020, he temporarily lost his starting job to Super Bowl 52 hero Nick Foles before regaining the controls for the Bears' playoff push. Trubisky completed 19 of 29 balls for 199 yards, one TD, and no interceptions amid last week's 21-9 Wild Card round loss to New Orleans.
Among a free-agent class of signal-callers that includes Dak Prescott, Philip Rivers, Andy Dalton, Ryan Fitzpatrick, per Spotrac.com, Trubisky is projected to net $8.3 million annually on the open market entering his age-28 campaign, similar to the two-year, $17.6 million deal that Marcus Mariota signed with the Raiders last March.
The Broncos are projected to have approximately $18.9 million in immediate salary-cap space in 2021 but can create an additional $25.2 million by releasing cornerback AJ Bouye and defensive lineman Jurrell Casey, among other potential roster tweaks to create spending money.
In other words, they'll boast more than enough to sign Trubisky, if Paton — the former Vikings assistant GM — and head coach Vic Fangio — the former Bears defensive coordinator from 2015 — deem the familiar field general an upgrade on Lock.
An "if" that's likely undecided at the present time.
Check back in March when this rumor may or may not get Freezing Cold Take'd.