Denver Broncos linked to Justin Fields as they do ‘serious homework’ on available QBs

Mike Battaglino
4 Min Read
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos reportedly could turn to Justin Fields as they look for a quarterback to replace Russell Wilson.

“The Broncos are doing serious homework on all the available quarterbacks, including both free agents and players currently rostered,” wrote Dianna Russini of The Athletic.

“With many of the best available free agent quarterbacks already in new homes, potential replacements for Russell Wilson include Jimmy Garoppolo or Ryan Tannehill. They could also go the trade route, making Justin Fields and Sam Howell interesting options.

“While their No. 12 draft choice is approaching — and they still have Jarrett Stidham — it appears that a move is likely to happen prior to April 25.”

Fields’ future with the Chicago Bears is in flux with the team likely to use the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft on a quarterback, probably Caleb Williams from the University of Southern California. That has Fields on the trade market, opening up an opportunity for the Broncos, who hold the No. 12 overall pick in the first round.

Wilson was officially released by the Broncos this week, parting with him after a very disappointing season under head coach Sean Payton. Denver will absorb an $85 million salary cap charge over the next two seasons, reportedly choosing to have most of it count against its 2024 cap.

Garoppolo was released by the Las Vegas Raiders, and Tannehill is a free agent after playing last season for the Tennessee Titans.

The Washington Commanders could make Howell available in a trade. They are expected to use the No. 2 overall pick in the 2024 draft on a quarterback and also recently agreed to terms with veteran Marcus Mariota.

Fields was the No. 11 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft by the Bears but has not lived up to that first-round status in his first three seasons. Last season was arguably his best as he reached career-highs with 2,562 passing yards and a completion percentage of 61.4 percent. In the 2022 campaign, he accumulated 1,143 rushing yards.

However, that has not translated into a winning season for the Bears, who are 16-35 combined in Fields’ three campaigns. Chicago holds the No. 1 pick via a 2023 trade with the Carolina Panthers and also has the No. 9 overall pick in this April’s draft.

Fields remains on his rookie contract, which could give the Broncos a more affordable option for this season while determining if he can become their long-term solution at quarterback.

Wilson was thought to be that answer when he was acquired in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks and signed to a mammoth contract. However, a decline in his play and seemingly poor relationship with Payton ended his time in Denver after just two seasons, and he has agreed to sign with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has focused on New York sports. He has covered the NBA and NFL for almost three decades and is still waiting for the next championship for the Knicks and Jets.