The question for Elway is what shape does that change take: Another young QB in the draft with the No. 5 overall pick, or veteran free agent?
"In my opinion, we've already drafted a quarterback, first round a couple years ago. So we've tried that," Marshall said. "I think he's going to get a free-agent quarterback. I think he's going to go spend some money and fix the position, you know, because it's kind of a toss-up with these rookie quarterbacks. You never know. But the only thing about getting a free-agent quarterback is some guys will have to go. I hope everybody gets to stay, but that's just the business."
There is one potential free-agent quarterback continuously linked with the Broncos: Kirk Cousins. That's the name Marshall conjured when asked if he preferred one particular free-agent QB.
"I mean, there's a couple guys out there," Marshall said. "You know. We played against a guy in Week 16 that was pretty good. There's a couple guys out there."
Broncos players -- particularly on defense -- have been effusive in their praise of Cousins. Von Miller noted after that Week 16 game "a lot of teams would kill to have a quarterback like that." Corner Aqib Talib called Cousins "a real NFL quarterback" -- a compliment to the Redskins QB and a shade grenade at his own signal-callers.
Shipping Cousins and the Broncos seems almost too easy. The Redskins could still employ the astronomical $34 million franchise tag. Other QB needy teams -- Jaguars, Jets, Browns, Bills -- have the cash to toss at the QB as well. However, there are few other options set to hit the open market that would be a clear upgrade on what's already in-house (unless Elway can somehow lure another Hall of Fame quarterback to Mile High, Drew Brees).