Every now and then, a rumor most odd and random springs out of seemingly nowhere and actually catches me completely off guard. The rumor that the Falcons are interested in Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian, who started for the team in 2016 and parts of 2017, is one such rumor.
The connection here is obvious after you’ve moved past your initial moment of shock. Siemian was the starting quarterback for the Broncos in 2016, when he fared surprisingly well despite his limitations, and Greg Knapp was Denver’s quarterbacks coach this season. Siemian had a rougher year in 2017, dropping from an 18/10 TD/INT ratio to a 12/14 as Denver cratered. Now he’s rumored to be available as the Broncos seek their next starting quarterback in the draft, and a reunion with the quarterbacks coach he had genuine success with makes sense for him.
The only problem is that I genuinely don’t know how much stock to put into this rumor, which wouldn’t appear to make a ton of sense for a number of reasons. Roster Watch is not an outlet I’m very familiar with, so you start from that point and take this with a necessary grain of salt.
Moving on from that salient point, we have to consider that the Falcons already have Matt Schaub on the roster. Schaub is more of a veteran leader than a legitimate option at quarterback at this point in his career, as he’ll be 37 years old in 2018 and hasn’t played well in many years. The Falcons could save $3.75 million by cutting ties with him, retaining $1.25 million in dead money, but they kept him last despite knowing that he was going to be a pretty massive downgrade if he ever got into games. I could see the Falcons exploring backup options if they want to save money, sure, but I didn’t think they’d want to surrender much in the way of resources to get it done.
Finally, consider the compensation. The Broncos already own the Falcons’ fifth round pick in 2018 thanks to the Ty Sambrailo trade, and Denver probably would demand at least a sixth round pick for Siemian. I’m not saying that Siemian wouldn’t be an upgrade as Ryan’s backup—he almost certainly would—or that having a quality backup isn’t worth a sixth or seventh round pick. I am suggesting that the Falcons shouldn’t continue to go into drafts with a limited number of selections, not with big contracts coming up and the need to upgrade the back end of the roster in meaningful ways.
Will it happen?
As I said, a trade for Siemian makes sense because of his connection to Knapp, Schaub’s contract and advancing age, and his potentially cheap price. That said, I can’t consider this more than an interesting bit of a dot-connecting based on the Greg Knapp hiring until we hear it from more than one source, especially considering the Falcons would potentially be renting Siemian for one year until he’s a free agent in 2019 in exchange for a draft pick, however late.
So go ahead and file this one away, and we’ll see if something more comes of it this spring.