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.

87 responses to “Broncos sign backup quarterback Caleb Hanie

  1. 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.

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

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

  7. 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.

  8. “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??

  9. 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.

  10. 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???

  11. hanie resurrected josh mccown’s career.

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

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


    That is…… the post of the day.


  22. 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.

  23. 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.

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

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. @elrock7

    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?

  28. @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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

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

  33. 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.

  34. 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!!!

  35. @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.

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

  37. 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.

  38. 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!

  39. 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

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

  41. 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.

  42. 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…

  43. @dimitry7688

    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?

  44. 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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