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Broncos sign backup quarterback Caleb Hanie

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We noted this afternoon that the Broncos were trying to make it happen, and now it has happened: Caleb Hanie is heading to Denver.

Hanie has signed a two-year contract with the Broncos, reports.

That will likely make Hanie the No. 2 quarterback behind Peyton Manning in Denver, and if Hanie is the No. 2 it shows that the Broncos are all-in on Manning. If they weren’t totally sold on Manning being healthy, they’d sign a more experienced, proven backup. But Broncos boss John Elway is apparently sold on Hanie as the man to back up the 36-year-old starter coming off four neck procedures.

Last year Hanie struggled mightily after taking over for the injured Jay Cutler in Chicago. The Bears were poised for a playoff run before Cutler went down, but they went 0-4 with Hanie as the starter, and Hanie’s numbers were terrible: He completed 51 of 102 passes for 613 yards, with three touchdowns, nine interceptions and a passer rating of 41.8.

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87 Responses to “Broncos sign backup quarterback Caleb Hanie”
  1. trbowman says: Mar 24, 2012 6:51 PM

    I’d rather have Luke McCown.

  2. zampft says: Mar 24, 2012 6:52 PM

    Broncos cut Peyton Manning

  3. nyyjetsknicks says: Mar 24, 2012 6:54 PM

    There backup is better then the starter last year. Talk about an upgrade.

    This is how you assemble a team, Jets.

  4. smartanis says: Mar 24, 2012 6:54 PM

    Caleb Hanie must have some incriminating pictures of John Elway.

  5. touchdownbroncos says: Mar 24, 2012 6:55 PM

    This dude is not good

  6. jjwalkerisdynomite says: Mar 24, 2012 6:57 PM

    They could have signed my left shoe for less money.

  7. ray0414 says: Mar 24, 2012 6:58 PM

    apparently curtis painter wasnt available?

  8. beej6 says: Mar 24, 2012 6:59 PM

    In an ideal world, a backup should be able to hold the fort if the starter goes down. But when so much money is tied up in the starter, and generally when the starter plays every snap, it’s hard to justify paying a backup significant money.
    It almost happened last week – if both Alex Smith and Peyton Manning would have signed with the Niners. The Texans were fortunate last season that TJ Yates played capably when Matt Schaub went down.
    But it seems like teams would rather go “all-in” with the starter. But if he goes down (see Manning’s Colts last year!), look out.

    Not sure Caleb Hanie’s the answer; if the Broncos have no one else on the roster, I bet they spend a mid-round pick on a QB next month.

  9. bearsstillsuck says: Mar 24, 2012 7:00 PM

    Denver is a place where quarterbacks with stats like Caleb’s get billboards and are celebrated.

  10. bgdabengal says: Mar 24, 2012 7:00 PM

    so they actually found someone worse than Tebow?

  11. lombardihero says: Mar 24, 2012 7:01 PM


  12. ezb103 says: Mar 24, 2012 7:04 PM

    The pic tells the whole story if he ever sees the field

  13. ray0414 says: Mar 24, 2012 7:06 PM

    maybe thats how peyton wants it, he wants to have the crappiest backup in the world so that nobody could possibly show him up. cause as hanie proved last year, if the main QB goes down, your season is over if hanie becomes the starter. worst move elway has every made.

  14. nflfollower says: Mar 24, 2012 7:07 PM

    Why? I have to believe there’s something better out there.

  15. elrock7 says: Mar 24, 2012 7:08 PM

    They also have Adam Weber under contract. Hanie will be better with Denvers offence, than he was with the Bears. No Forte, no receivers, no O-line, no chance!

  16. ray0414 says: Mar 24, 2012 7:12 PM

    i think beej6 is right, they will probably draft a QB in the mid rounds. i could see kirk cousins from michigan state being a decent backup, at least better than caleb hanie.

  17. prosourcetalk says: Mar 24, 2012 7:12 PM

    Why didn’t they just trade for Drew Stanton? Did Elway not see him play last year? He’s even worse than Gabbert!

  18. mrslay1 says: Mar 24, 2012 7:14 PM

    Nobody expects to win big with the backup. That’s why he’s the backup. If Manning goes down the season will be over for Denver no matter who is the backup.

  19. pacificnw7722 says: Mar 24, 2012 7:17 PM

    “Elway is apparently sold on Hanie as the man to back up the 36-year-old starter coming off four neck procedures.”

    Does anyone know how many concussions Elway had in his career??

  20. august589 says: Mar 24, 2012 7:18 PM

    What? Was Billy Volek asking for too much money? Volek would have beeen a better choice. He’s used to being a clipboard holder, anyway. Broncos made a mistake on this one.

  21. shorttracknews says: Mar 24, 2012 7:20 PM

    Obviously you didn’t watch any Bears games Elrock7. They were 7-2 before the game Cutler got hurt which they eventually lost. 7 wins with the same “no receivers” and 7 wins with the same “no O-Line”. Hanie even had Forte a couple games before he got hurt and still looked horrible. Make all the excuses you want, he was the worst QB in the NFL last year. I mean my God, he lost to the whole AFC West…what does that tell you???

  22. allopez5 says: Mar 24, 2012 7:24 PM

    didnt they learn from the Colts about not having a serviceable backup?

  23. elrock7 says: Mar 24, 2012 7:26 PM

    I think I would trust Elway’s evaluation of a QB over that of pretty much anybody else.

  24. commandercornpone says: Mar 24, 2012 7:28 PM

    hanie resurrected josh mccown’s career.

    tebow beat hanie, so… lets dispense with the “hanie is better than the broncos last starter” pap.

  25. elrock7 says: Mar 24, 2012 7:30 PM

    Shortracknews, all that tells me is how bad the Bears are without Cutler. Hopefully we won’t find out how good or bad Hanie is, but I’m sure he will be better than he was last year.

  26. troybulletinboard says: Mar 24, 2012 7:30 PM

    good luck with THAT…

  27. 808smith says: Mar 24, 2012 7:32 PM

    Proud to be a CSU Ram!

  28. 2chronix7 says: Mar 24, 2012 7:32 PM

    you all don’t get it, if Manning goes down then Elway would WANT THE BRONCOS TO LOSE and put them in better position to draft a QB next year.

  29. detsportsdude says: Mar 24, 2012 7:34 PM

    Elway got Henne and Henie mixed up….whoops.

  30. nyjad says: Mar 24, 2012 7:37 PM

    Hanie is freakin horrible, even Tebow is better than him. As another poster stated they should have just traded for Stanton instead

  31. crnvic847 says: Mar 24, 2012 7:38 PM


    He didn’t lose to the Chargers.

  32. thcnote says: Mar 24, 2012 7:43 PM

    The picture shows him 2 steps into a 3 step drop that’s how bad his O line was plus no WR. He would be better in Denver but not sure how much.

  33. branun says: Mar 24, 2012 7:48 PM

    Caleb Hanie has a lot learn to be a true no. 2. You heard it here first: Broncos will draft a QB in the draft and Hanie will end up as the no. 3 at the beginning of the season.

  34. ifuhaveatebownerlongerthan4hours says: Mar 24, 2012 7:49 PM

    Let’s remember one thing before you throw Elway under the bus. Hanie played behind the same line that allowed Jay Cutler to nearly get decapitated every other pass. Canie was running for his life without a running game to help. So, none of the Monday morning quarterbacks in this comment section know how to evaluate talent better than Xanders and Elway. We will see how Hanie fares behind a quality line.

  35. nflfollower says: Mar 24, 2012 7:53 PM

    A little off topic but I just saw Vince young on NFL network sitting in as an analyst. Why?!?!?

  36. gator2006 says: Mar 24, 2012 7:57 PM

    The Colorado State fanboys will be erecting billboards for this guy

  37. dmitchell624 says: Mar 24, 2012 7:59 PM

    Two words for Hanie’s failure last year

    Mike Martz

  38. rflashj says: Mar 24, 2012 8:00 PM

    Pat Robertson has to be laughing right now.

  39. eugenesaxe says: Mar 24, 2012 8:06 PM

    At least he isn’t Curtis Painter.

  40. elrock7 says: Mar 24, 2012 8:16 PM

    Maybe Vince is auditioning for Sapp’ job!

  41. elrock7 says: Mar 24, 2012 8:21 PM

    Commandercorn saysthat tebow beat hanie. If he is talking about the same game I watched, I saw 2 bonehead plays by Barber, and 2 very long FG,s by Prater. Not much by TT in that one.

  42. pacodawg says: Mar 24, 2012 8:21 PM

    I expect him to outshine Manning in training camp.

  43. comeonnowguys says: Mar 24, 2012 8:24 PM

    The guy’s nothing spectacular, but based on word starting to come out, you would think Hanie ran over Martz’s dog, knocked up his daughter and broke his favorite recliner given the degree to which Martz hung him out to dry.

  44. rajbais says: Mar 24, 2012 8:26 PM

    Caleb Hanie is a poor man’s Curtis Painter!!! 🙂

  45. gridassassin says: Mar 24, 2012 8:27 PM

    And Hanie absolutely blew when he started in Denver last year while with the Bears.

  46. mikeyfresh25 says: Mar 24, 2012 8:33 PM

    I wonder what Jim Sorgi has to say about this.

  47. babyjebus says: Mar 24, 2012 8:50 PM

    I reck’n what the donkeys like best about Hanie is his 0-3 record against a weak AFC West last year.

  48. jutts says: Mar 24, 2012 8:56 PM

    Oh My God……… This guy is the worst player ever to put on an NFL uniform. you gotta be kidding. Maybe they didn’t see what he did with his big chance.

  49. InFact says: Mar 24, 2012 8:59 PM

    Manning has low self esteem, evidently.

  50. InFact says: Mar 24, 2012 9:09 PM

    Denver’s $ ratio for #1 to #2 leads the league:

    $30 million guaranteed for one year: $666,000 guaranteed for one year

  51. fumblenuts says: Mar 24, 2012 9:12 PM

    rajbais says: Mar 24, 2012 8:26 PM

    Caleb Hanie is a poor man’s Curtis Painter!!! 🙂


    That is…… the post of the day.


  52. stevenfbrackett says: Mar 24, 2012 9:12 PM

    It looks like Denver is making the same mistake Indianapolis did: assuming Peyton could never get hurt and having a backup that is as non-threatening to Peyton’s ego as possible.

    And just as with Indianapolis, when Peyton goes down, it will likely be disastrous.

    But what if by some some miracle Hanie finds his groove and manages to be above average and brings multiple wins to the team? They are right back where they were last year with a full blown quarterback controversy — except they won’t hesitate to pull Hanie even if he has won twice as many games as Manning and has earned the right to stay as starter.

  53. snoopyjoecool says: Mar 24, 2012 9:28 PM

    Talk about a stroke of luck for Caleb. Can you think of a better environment for a QB to learn? Having Manning as a player and Elway in the front office could be huge for his career. There is so much more to the game than just physical ability.

  54. eknirb says: Mar 24, 2012 9:49 PM

    Hanie’s just..terrible. It was actually rather hard to watch some of those fill-in games of his last season.

  55. gosuhgo says: Mar 24, 2012 9:51 PM

    You know who I like? Shaun Hill. Everyone makes fun of him for checking down every play but that’s what the damn backup does. Manages the game. I don’t know why they would even bother with Hanie. He obviously cannot win games.

  56. prosb4hos says: Mar 24, 2012 10:00 PM

    Obviously Elway wasn’t kidding about having no Plan B.

  57. cannonballdookie says: Mar 24, 2012 10:02 PM

    nyyjetsknicks says: Mar 24, 2012 6:54 PM

    There backup is better then the starter last year. Talk about an upgrade.

    This is how you assemble a team, Jets.

    Yeah, the guy who single handedly tanks his team out of playoff contention and throws picks like it’s going out of style is better than the guy who drags Denver out of the abyss and wins 6 in a row. Great logic there guy.

  58. lunchbox92 says: Mar 24, 2012 10:02 PM


    Tebow didn’t do much against the Bears last year, huh? He threw for 236 and a touchdown, ran for another 49. He also put a long would-be touchdown pass on the hands of an open Demaryius Thomas, but was dropped, so these numbers could have been better. Are you sure you saw the game?

  59. rollerino1 says: Mar 24, 2012 10:05 PM

    I have to admit I am a fan of Peyton Manning, but is his ego really this fragile?

  60. larryboodry says: Mar 24, 2012 10:17 PM

    @nflfollower: There is something better…jjwalkerisdynomite’s left shoe.

    @shorttracknews: As another poster has mentioned, the Bears actually won the SD game where Cutler got hurt, which made them 7-3. Hanie went 0-4 as the starter, and McCown 1-1.

    And yeah, as bad as Hanie was against Denver, it was Marion Barber who cost us that game by stepping out-of-bounds, and then fumbling in OT.

  61. TheWizard says: Mar 24, 2012 10:23 PM

    Nobody expects to win big with the backup

    Belichick does.

  62. ricardocabeza says: Mar 24, 2012 10:25 PM

    I totally disagree with you guys. I have been a Bears fan for over 3o years and am well versed on bad quarterback. Elway sees some upside to Hanie. Lets not forget that he came off the bench in the NFC championship game and led the best Bears drive of the game. This guy has not had a reasonable amount of playing time to call him a washout. He has a strong arm, good size and lived through Mike Martz and a bad O-line. He absolutley positively needed to leave Chicago for the sake of the the team and himself. Being on the same team with Manning and Elway is a huge opportunity for Hanie. Handed the reigns of a good offense he might just take off.

  63. bspurloc says: Mar 24, 2012 10:40 PM

    Hanie will be the starter really soon….

  64. racerx1225 says: Mar 24, 2012 10:55 PM

    At least its not Jamarcus Russel.

  65. dynaco says: Mar 24, 2012 11:05 PM

    Elway is the Dan Snyder of the AFC.
    The pencil neck geek QB won’t last the season, costing the mules a playoff birth.
    But he’s Elway so he’ll shine no matter what.

  66. dynaco says: Mar 24, 2012 11:10 PM

    TheWizard says:
    He can expect it till the cows come home.
    Just like he expected to beat the G-MEN(twice).

  67. bears5683 says: Mar 24, 2012 11:12 PM

    I was pretty convinced that Hanie would be doing something for a living that has nothing to do with the NFL. I guess I was wrong.

  68. InFact says: Mar 24, 2012 11:20 PM


    Are you the same man who bought shares in Enron when it became a penny stock?

  69. andyreiddoublecheeseburger says: Mar 24, 2012 11:40 PM

    The Broncos have a fixation for bad Bears QBs (Orton, Hanie); maybe they can reacquire the worst of them all- Jay Cutler.

  70. ccolvin62 says: Mar 24, 2012 11:46 PM

    way to go Caleb learn all u can from that great peyton u guys will make a great team… cant wait to see what happens when u show them who caleb is……. carla c.

  71. larryboodry says: Mar 24, 2012 11:53 PM

    Go home, hater!

  72. mrslay1 says: Mar 24, 2012 11:57 PM

    I have watched the NFL football for 45 years and have never seen the Bears have a OL that could protect a fly. But they love to blame QB’s. Cutler is outstanding and if he had a OL and some weapons it could be seen. But never with the Bears! If Manning or Brady had played for them we would have never heard of them!!!

  73. larryboodry says: Mar 25, 2012 12:03 AM

    @andyreiddoublecheeseburger: Seriously, dude, it’s been three years, you need to get over your anger issues…Most Bears fans love Jay, he was not the pariah many Denver fans portrayed him as, and now with Marshall to throw to he will be even better.

  74. mc9399 says: Mar 25, 2012 12:53 AM

    hahaha the only reason elway wants caleb is because if peyton goes down, their guaranteed the 1st overall pick with hannie at the helm.

  75. nuclearwarfare says: Mar 25, 2012 12:59 AM

    I do feel bad for the guy. In the few Bears games that I had to watch in my area, the cameras always found his parents, wife, and sister sitting in the stands. They always looked so bored while he was on the field getting knocked around and throwing terrible passes.

    It’s gotta be tough to struggle that badly in front of your whole family.

  76. stevenfbrackett says: Mar 25, 2012 1:14 AM

    andyreiddoublecheeseburger says: Mar 24, 2012 11:40 PM

    The Broncos have a fixation for bad Bears QBs (Orton, Hanie); maybe they can reacquire the worst of them all- Jay Cutler.

    Bah, Cutler is far from the worst Bears QB. Have you forgotten the perennially horrible Jim Miller? Honestly, how did he manage to keep his job? Of course, even he wasn’t nearly as bad as Cade McNown. That was a bad QB!

  77. dimitry7688 says: Mar 25, 2012 1:34 AM

    bet u they don’t sign hanie if tebow is still the “starter”…they would of brought in volek and probably drew s. to compete with him and hope that they beat him out come week 1…smh

  78. rolloxd says: Mar 25, 2012 2:02 AM

    Elway: If Manning gets hurt, i want Barkley.

    Thats what i got from this signing, as a Bronco fan.

  79. raiderlyfe510 says: Mar 25, 2012 2:16 AM

    I say he starts 8-12 games for the Donkies.

  80. 408rayda says: Mar 25, 2012 3:08 AM

    Looks like there still a chance for the Raiders!!!

  81. 408rayda says: Mar 25, 2012 3:20 AM

    Looks like the raiders will still have shot at the division… when Peyton goes down in the first game…one too many neck fusions!

  82. Celsior says: Mar 25, 2012 4:20 AM

    Hanie? That disaster of a QB formerly with the Bears? I suppose Elway’s college football team dropout son, Jack, wasn’t available.

  83. hmpennypacker says: Mar 25, 2012 5:44 AM

    Introducing the new Denver Broncos back up quarterback; Curtis Painter 2.0!

  84. hillzmickelzon says: Mar 25, 2012 8:16 AM

    Really john? Can vince young get a call maybe a tryout? I mean he did beat the superbowl champs in new york but hey thats just my thought. Peyton wants a caddie not a backup, i bet the most action Hanie gets all year is bringing coffee to the QB meetings.

  85. grizzlybear34 says: Mar 25, 2012 9:12 AM

    When Manning goes down with the last injury of his career, out trots Hanie.

    6 months later, Goodell approaches the podium…

    “Welcome to the 2013 NFL draft, the Denver Broncos are on the clock…”

    Peyton Manning becomes the reverse Steve Deberg…

  86. lunchbox92 says: Mar 25, 2012 12:19 PM


    Look, if they had Tebow and brought in Volek or Drew Stanton to compete with him, there’s a chance that Tebow could get beat out for the job. Whether they bring in Volek, Stanton, Hanie, Vince Young, whoever, Peyton Manning wouldn’t get beat out for the job.

    I’m a Tebow fan, but can we just stop with the “Broncos wanted Tebow to fail” narratives already?

  87. bigbeefyd says: Mar 26, 2012 5:23 PM

    commandercornpone says:Mar 24, 2012 7:28 PM

    hanie resurrected josh mccown’s career.

    tebow beat hanie, so… lets dispense with the “hanie is better than the broncos last starter” pap.
    Um, actually, Marion Barber going out of bounds beat Hanie…just sayin’

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