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Broncos' Acquisition of A.J. Bouye is First Documented Case of Drew Lock Being a Recruiting Asset

A.J. Bouye was given a say in where he was traded and he wanted to land in Denver. A new report sheds light on why the veteran cornerback chose the Broncos.

For a few lucky NFL veterans who find themselves on the trading block, having a say on where you land is the exception, not the rule. Some general managers will acquiesce to what the vet in question might prefer but even then, there are limits to what an NFL team is willing to do to accommodate a player about to be traded away. 

Jacksonville Jaguars GM Dave Caldwell was one such front-office shot-caller, letting veteran CB A.J. Bouye choose where he ended up on the trade market, based on the options on the table. Bouye chose the Broncos, and according to 9NEWS' Mike Klis, Denver wasn't the only team interested in acquiring him. 

The Broncos gave up the very 2020 fourth-round draft pick acquired via the Emmanuel Sanders trade to land Bouye. With a full day in the books since the trade, we've gotten more context on why Bouye preferred the Broncos. 

Obviously, head coach Vic Fango and defensive coordinator Ed Donatell had a lot to do with it, as Bouye was very involved in free-agent negotiations with the Chicago Bears back in 2017 where he crossed paths with the coaching duo. Although he ultimately chose to sign with the Jags, there was little doubt in Bouye's mind that the fit with Fangio would be a good one, both from a personality and a scheme perspective. 

But it wasn't just the Xs and Os and coaching acumen in Denver that attracted Bouye. It also had a little something to do with that confident young quarterback the Broncos rolled out down the stretch last season. Fangio wasn't even the first thing that popped into Bouye's mind when GM John Elway called him on the phone. 

“The first thing that came to mind, I was definitely paying attention to Drew (Lock) and his quarterback play,'' Bouye told Klis. "I saw how they played certain teams out of the division, like Houston (Lock's breakout game when the Broncos went up 38-3). And I just like this scheme. I think it’s a good opportunity for DBs to make plays. And how they finished the season strong, I was paying attention to all that.’’

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Ladies and gentlemen, it turns out that the Bouye trade is the first documented acquisition or recruitment, if you will, that can be attributed to Drew Lock's presence. That could be an encouraging harbinger of what's to come for the Broncos. 

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When Peyton Manning called the signals in Denver, free agents around the league wanted to come to the Mile High City and many of them were willing to do so at a slight discount. That's what having a bonafide franchise quarterback can do for a team. 

Elway exploited that asset to the utmost, bringing a third Lombardi Trophy home in the process. Now, it might be a tad early to call Lock a bonafide franchise QB, but it wouldn't be a stretch to simply add 'future' as a prefix. 

With the Bouye trade being the first domino to fall in the Broncos' 2020 offseason, that 'future' could be a lot sooner than some might think. Elway has already laid the foundation for a post-Super Bowl 50 rebuild, as much as he hates using the 'R' word, with the Broncos' last two draft hauls and free-agent signing periods. 

The biggest missing component was the franchise-caliber QB but Elway got lucky, trading up in round two of last year's draft to secure Lock. Armed with upwards of $57 million in cap space, Elway can create another $10M in relief by moving on from QB Joe Flacco. 

$67M in cap space, plus the 11 picks the Broncos are projected to have in the draft post-Bouye trade, will give Elway the ammunition to put the finishing touches on this rebuild. It'll be interesting to see what type of feedback we get from the free agents the Broncos sign in two weeks' time and how often Lock's name comes up in the plus column as a reason to choose Denver. 

It feels good, doesn't it? Having a QB in Denver with that type of magnetism and star power? Only the Football Gods know what the future holds for the Broncos but it's an exciting time. 

Indeed, this team feels like it's 'bounced off the bottom'. Bouye was the first domino. Fans are dying to know how the rest of the board falls. 

Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen and @MileHighHuddle.