INDIANAPOLIS -- Given the opportunity to slam the door on Tony Romo chatter, the Broncos swung it wide open Wednesday.
Broncos general manager John Elway declared, "We will look at everything." Coach Vance Joseph praised young quarterbacks Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch, but qualified his remarks to Denver7 by adding "any player that comes available in free agency we are going to look at."
What Joseph lacks in experience, he brings in wisdom. The easiest path to success for a first-year coach is a proven signal-caller. Romo brings a breathtaking resume -- 78 regular-season wins, 248 touchdown passes -- and alarming apprehension. He made four starts over the past two seasons, and those who chronicled him Dallas repeat the same mantra -- that Romo can play at a high level, but few are convinced he can stay healthy. If the two broken collarbone injuries represented a fluke, the fractured L1 vertebra in his upper back carries concern.
Can Romo, who will be 37 in April, remain upright and effective? To enhance Romo's chances, the Broncos must improve the offensive line. Denver allowed 40 sacks last season, leaving Trevor Siemian with an injured left shoulder and left foot.
Look for the Broncos to be aggressive in free agency, particularly at guard. There are plenty of options, including Cincinnati's Kevin Zeitler, Dallas' Ronald Leary, Green Bay's T.J. Lang and Detroit's Larry Warford.
Zeitler projects to receive in excess of $10 million a year as the top-ranked guard available. The Broncos like multiple options in this group and are expected to make a strong early push beginning during the tampering allowed period on March 7. The strategy for tackles could differ. Andrew Whitworth represents the best, but he is 35 years old. Denver, according to sources, is reluctant to set the left tackle market, and could decide to remain patient to see what develops.
It makes sense in this regard. There's no reason to make a left tackle a big ticket item if the money is better used to bulk up the defense. Elway believes the defense remains championship caliber, and wants to bolster the group. There are multiple avenues to pursue along the line, among them a defensive end like Calais Campbell or tackles Brandon Williams, Dominique Easley and Dontari Poe.