The Denver Broncos made a mildly surprising decision to keep Paxton Lynch on their 53 man roster. Don’t expect it to change the quarterback’s future.
If Paxton Lynch wasn’t a first round pick there’s no way he’d still be on the Broncos roster. John Elway and company can sleep a little better with the quarterback on their roster, but all they’ve managed to do is postpone the inevitable. Barring a rash of injuries, Lynch’s chances of becoming a meaningful player in Denver have disappeared.
Reports from Denver claim Lynch will survive the team’s initial wave of cuts to get down to 53. That doesn’t prevent the franchise from dropping Lynch in favor of a player who’s cut by someone else. It’s not impossible that the former Memphis signal caller could still find himself out on the street before the regular season begins.
Even if he does manage to stick, he’s still going to enter the season as the team’s third-string quarterback. Chad Kelly has thoroughly outplayed him during the preseason. As such, he’s ascended to second on the depth chart behind free agent acquisition Case Keenum.
That’s a pretty sharp fall for a player who was drafted to be the Broncos’ franchise quarterback just three seasons ago. Most scouts expected Lynch to take some time to adjust from the college game. Memphis’ offense during his time there did not remotely resemble anything that can work in the NFL.
Unfortunately, he hasn’t developed into anything close to a starter. His inability to show anything positive during his three preseason outings this year sealed his fate. Throwing for 90 yards on 24 attempts didn’t do anything to impress Vance Joseph and company.
The truth is that it would have been best for everyone involved to let Lynch find a new team. The Broncos clearly don’t have any confidence in his ability to develop into a starter. If they did, he’s still be a backup on their depth chart.
From Lynch’s perspective, being cut now likely would have given him an opportunity to land on another team’s roster. There are still fans of his talent on coaching staffs around the NFL. Getting a chance to leave the pressure-filled environment of Denver and learn a new offense might have given him a new start to kick-start his career.
Instead, Lynch’s best hope is to hold a clipboard for the Broncos this season. If he survives for the entire 2018 campaign, he’s going to fight the exact same battle next preseason. Denver is still going to cut Lynch in the end, it’s just a question of when.