Report: Broncos Agree to Terms with QB Jeff Driskel to Serve as Lock's Backup
As day two of the legal tampering period neared its end, the Denver Broncos still found themselves staring at multiple roster holes. The team had swung and missed on every free agent it had pursued, with the exception of OL Graham Glasgow, who agreed to a four-year contract with the Broncos on Monday.
One of those glaring roster holes was the backup quarterback spot. The Broncos chose not to tender restricted free agent Brandon Allen, the QB who started three games for the team in 2019, bridging the gap between the Joe Flacco and Drew Lock era.
GM John Elway had other ideas, zeroing in on former Florida Gators stand-out Jeff Driskel. Per 9NEWS' Mike Klis, the Broncos are expected to sign Driskel to serve as Lock's backup.
Not that it was ever in question, but Klis also pointed out that the Driskel addition "all but guarantees" the Broncos will either trade or release Flacco. If Elway can convince an outside team to take on Flacco's albatross of a contract, with him coming off a significant neck injury, it would be one of his most impressive accomplishments as a general manager.
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As for Driskel, he likely originally landed on the Broncos' radar as a draft prospect in 2016. The Broncos drafted Paxton Lynch in the first round that year, while Driskel would go on to hear his name called in the sixth round by the San Francisco 49ers.
The Broncos did get a good look at Driskel that summer in the preseason bout vs. the Niners and even more extended view of the QB in Week 13 of the 2018 season. The Broncos traveled to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals, and while most fans remember that game for Phillip Lindsay's 157-yard, two-touchdown powerhouse performance on the road, it was Driskel who likely made an impression on Elway's memory even in defeat as Denver emerged victorious 24-10.
Driskel has eight career starts, having suited up for San Francisco, Cincinnati and most recently, the Detroit Lions where he started three games in place of the injured Matthew Stafford in 2019 (going 0-3). A once highly-coveted college recruit coming out of high school, the 6-foot-4, 235-pound Driskel has already established himself as a bit of a journeyman.
While I have my doubts that Driskel could carry the Broncos for any stretch of time in the event of an injury to Lock, at least the team gets a semi-experienced backup who, ostensibly, could competently operate Pat Shurmur's scheme. Driskel won't pose much of a threat to Lock's standing as 'the guy' within the Broncos locker room and similarly to Allen, offers just enough experience to be a teaching resource for the second-year signal-caller.
The details of Driskel's deal with the Broncos are not yet known, but we'll pass them on as soon as we hear word.
UPDATE: The Broncos gave Driskel a two-year deal per Mike Klis of 9NEWS. The value of the contract is not yet known.