Northwestern fans, unite.
Back in March, after Peyton Manning retired and Brock Osweiler defected to Houston and the Broncos busted the glass in event of emergency and traded for Mark Sanchez, a member of the organization told me that they really, really like Trevor Siemian. The person then told me to stop laughing, before pointing out that Siemian had a year in the system, and that he had a chance to learn from Manning and Osweiler.
They weren’t just blowing smoke. On Monday, Siemian was named the starting quarterback for Week One against the Panthers.
Whether the seventh-round pick from the Big 10 school that rarely contends in the Big 10 keeps the job remains to be seen. Last year, the Broncos were willing to yank Manning and, seven games later, to bench Osweiler. The moves worked, as evidenced by the gleaming silver trophy with a look and feel that has held up very well through five decades. Rookie Paxton Lynch eventually could be the quarterback in Denver for the rest of the current decade and beyond, but Siemian will get the first opportunity in 2016.
The next question becomes whether they’ll cut Sanchez before Week One, when his $4.5 million salary becomes as a practical matter guaranteed. For now, only $1 million of it is. Also, if they keep Sanchez beyond Week One, the Broncos will owe the Eagles a seventh-round draft pick.
At the top of the depth chart, Siemian is the guy. And the job now becomes getting him ready for the first test, which arrived in 10 days when the Panthers come to town.