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Broncos never made contract offer for Kirk Cousins

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Broncos stars spent the past two months pining over a quarterback who never officially received an offer from their organization.

While Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller proclaimed he was "all-in 100 percent" for the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes, general manager John Elway had one foot out of the prospective bidding war by the time free agency's negotiating window opened last Monday.

After interviewing Cousins' agent Mike McCartney for nearly two hours, The MMQB's Peter King revealed that Denver neglected to participate in the "silent auction" involving the Vikings, Jets and Cardinals.

That's not to say Elway didn't share Miller's interest in Cousins. Once he realized the price tag would skyrocket out of a comfortable range, though, Elway didn't want to get left holding the bag in a relatively deep quarterback market. As NFL Network's James Palmer reported on March 13, the Broncos decided to pivot toward a full pursuit of former Vikings QB Case Keenum when they realized on the Monday night before free agency they wouldn't get Cousins. They ended up never making an offer for Cousins, Palmer reported.

A mere hour after McCartney began fielding each team's allotted best offer, the Broncos landed Keenum on a two-year, $36 million contract.

When Elway stood before the NFL world last Friday and declared we got our guy, he had plausible deniability in his corner.

We may never know how the Broncos' front office graded Cousins' attributes and value relative to Keenum's. But we do know that Elway preferred the option of Keenum-in-the-hand on a $36 million, two-year commitment over the prospect of Cousins-in-the-bush at nearly $90 million in guarantees.

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