Never underestimate John Elway's ability to pull the rabbit out of a hat.
Elway worked his way out of a much bleaker corner a half-decade ago with a stroke of pure brilliance. He not only landed the biggest free-agency fish of the 21st century (Manning) while drafting a valuable second-round insurance policy (Osweiler), but also checkmated billboard-wielding Tim Tebow acolytes at the climax of Tebowmania.
Here's what else we learned on Thursday:
- As if the quarterback conundrum wasn't puzzling enough, Elway finds himself in a bidding war for running back C.J. Anderson after the Dolphins signed the restricted free agent to a four-year, $18 million offer sheet on Thursday. It's fair to wonder if the Broncos might have avoided this backfield predicament by simply shelling out the extra $882,000 to discourage prospective suitors with a second-round price tag.
- While Elway is forced to work out of a jam, Brock Osweilerrefuted reports that his late-season benching drove his decision to leave Denver for Houston. Although Osweiler said it was "the most difficult decision of my life," he believes strongly that the Texans give him "the best opportunity to be successful" going forward.
- Two years ago, Raiders owner Mark Davis warned that there were no more excuses for general manager Reggie McKenzie, who had proven capable of roster "deconstruction" but not "reconstruction." Thanks to a strong 2014 draft that yielded young franchise quarterback Derek Carr and Defensive Player of the Year candidate Khalil Mack, McKenzie has built a foundation that is finally luring quality young talent on the open market.