$333 Million Option Floated as ‘Ideal Bridge QB’ for Sean Payton, Broncos

Sean Payton, Denver Broncos

Getty Denver Broncos Coach Sean Payton.

The Denver Broncos could swing for the fences in their search for an answer at quarterback, and should according to The Denver Post’s Troy Renck. Their QB room currently consists of Jarrett Stidham and Ben DiNucci.

They also missed out on at least two veteran targets: Sam Darnold (Minnesota Vikings) and Sam Howell (Seattle Seahawks).

Renck explores the idea of Broncos head coach Sean Payton reaching out to Tom Brady.

“Ground Control to Major Tom: It’s Sean. Lock your hatch and put your helmet on,” Renck wrote on April 13. “The Broncos’ ideal bridge quarterback has surfaced from his “Space Oddity,” otherwise known as retirement. Wouldn’t it be something if Denver attempted to lure Tom Brady back this season?

“The idea is preposterous. Or is it? Why would Brady, who turns 47 on Aug. 3, want to return to the NFL? For the same reason rock stars date supermodels – because he can.”

“Wouldn’t it be funny if Payton reached out to Brady, who would have Jarrett Stidham as his backup? Just like old times,” Renck wrote.

Renck’s suggestion for the Broncos comes after Brady’s remarks about being contacted to play.

“I’m not opposed to it if they would,” Brady said on the “DeepCuts” podcast on April 11. “I don’t know if they’re going to let me if I become an owner in the NFL team. But I don’t know. I’m always going to be in good shape, always be able to throw the ball.

“To come in for a little bit like MJ [Michael Jordan] coming back? I don’t know if they let me but I wouldn’t be opposed to it all.”

There are some notable caveats to consider, though.

Broncos Figure to Be Longshots to Land Tom Brady

Mark Davis, Tom Brady, Denver Broncos

GettyLas Vegas Raiders owner and managing general partner and Las Vegas Aces owner Mark Davis (L) and Tom Brady.

Brady’s $332.9 million in career earnings from football alone offer enough security to pass on any unfavorable offers.

Host VicBlends also asked about three teams – the San Francisco 49ers, Las Vegas Raiders, and New England Patriots – specifically. Each of those teams has a pre-existing connection to Brady, who retired after the 2022 season.

He orchestrated the most recent dynasty in 20 years and six championships with the Patriots.

49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan also acknowledged attempting to sign Brady amid Brock Purdy’s elbow injury ahead of the 2022 season. The Raiders, meanwhile, are the team of which Brady is hoping to become part owner.

“There is hope for Denver,” Renck wrote in conclusion. “Didn’t Jordan also play for the Washington Wizards?”

The idea that the Broncos could secure the seven-time Super Bowl champion and 15-time Pro Bowler seems far-fetched. The Broncos are further from competing than any of the teams Brady was asked about. Adding Brady could change that, though.

Brady would tie George Blanda as the second-oldest quarterback ever to play in the NFL.

He is already the oldest quarterback to start a game, starting all 17 outings for the Buccaneers in 2022.

Tom Brady’s 2022 Season in Context

Tom Brady, Denver Broncos

GettyTom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Brady completed 66.8% of his passes for 4,694 yards, 25 touchdowns, and nine interceptions in that final season, spent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after a brief retirement the preceding offseason.

He led the NFL in attempts and completions that season and posted the sixth-most passing yards of his career.

His touchdown rate was a career-low in a healthy season, though.

Peyton Manning was the last Broncos quarterback to throw for at least 4,000 yards, and he did it back in 2014. Russell Wilson threw 26 touchdown passes last season but was an ill-fit for Payton’s offense from the outset.

Brady and Payton – who were at the heart of the Miami Dolphinstampering scandal – could be wholly different. The latter’s system demands the QB play just as the former prefers.