John Elway 'not done swinging and missing' for QB

INDIANAPOLIS -- "Life is too short to rebuild in the NFL" -- John Elway, Denver Broncos general manager.

John Elway doesn't want to tear down a championship football team. He wants to add one missing piece: quarterback.

The Broncos are poised to hit free agency targeting the biggest fish in the pond, Kirk Cousins. Elway plans to make a hard charge at quarterbacks hitting the open market before turning his attention to the draft if he strikes out.

"I think we are going to explore all options in free agency and see where that goes," he said. "Obviously we've got the fifth pick in the draft too. So that will all play into it. So, we'll continue to look at all the options out there when it comes to quarterback."

Since landing Peyton Manning in free agency in 2012, Elway has struggled to unearth and develop a quarterback. He used a second-round pick on Brock Osweiler (2012), a seventh-round selection on Trevor Siemian (2015), and traded up to get Paxton Lynch in the first round (2016). None could help buoy a championship defense.

The misses at quarterback won't deter Elway from swinging hard again.

"Believe me, I'm not done swinging and missing," Elway said. "Misses don't bother me. We've just got to figure out a way to get it right."

Swing one is Cousins.

Elway said he has the cap space to bring in a high-priced quarterback. The Broncos, however, will have competition for Cousins' services from teams like the Minnesota Vikings and New York Jets.

If he can't land Cousins, other free-agent options include Case Keenum, Sam Bradford, Teddy Bridgewater and AJ McCarron. Elway could also use the No. 5 overall pick on another rookie quarterback.

The Broncos will use the allure of a playoff-ready defense and two Pro Bowl caliber receivers to woo Cousins and others. Elway said Wednesday "the plan is" to bring back both Demaryius Thomas (picking up his option) and Emmanuel Sanders.

The Broncos GM is confident that if he can land a foundational quarterback, Denver can leap right back into the Super Bowl hunt.

"I still think we aren't too far away," he said. "Obviously, we've got to get better at [the quarterback] position. We didn't play well there last year -- and that doesn't go all on the players, there were some things we should have done differently that we didn't do. I feel like we can get back in the thick of things rather quickly because we still have a good defensive football team. On the offense, we're going to get better with Bill Musgrave being the offensive coordinator ... Figure out what we do at the quarterback position. So, I'm excited about where we are and think we have a chance to get back in the thick of things quickly."

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