The Broncos' search for a starting quarterback begins where the season ended: Northern California. Denver has called San Francisco about a trade for Colin Kaepernick, according to an NFL source.
The Broncos are keeping all options open, knowing they will face competition for the quarterback.
Denver scouted Kaepernick and invited him for a visit before the 2011 draft. General manager John Elway saw Kaepernick up close during dual practices with the 49ers last summer at Dove Valley. It's unclear what San Francisco would want to trade Kaepernick, who has requested a trade through his agent. It would likely involve a second-round pick, and possibly an additional later-round pick. Elway has a good relationship with 49ers general manager Trent Baalke.
The NFL Network reported Thursday the Cleveland Browns and New York Jets also have inquired about Kaepernick. Those teams possess better picks, but Denver could include more picks to sweeten the deal.
The Broncos braced for quarterback Brock Osweiler's exit when talks went static in the days leading up to free agency's opening on Wednesday. Kaepernick went 17-6 as a starter from 2011-2013, but 10-14 the past two seasons. With coach Jim Harbaugh forced out before last season, Kaepernick struggled under new coach Jim Tomsula. Tomsula benched Kaepernick, who finished the season with a 2-6 record and six touchdown passes and five interceptions. He underwent surgeries on his thumb and knee. The Broncos liked Kaepernick enough at Nevada, where he played with Denver tight end Virgil Green and linebacker Brandon Marshall, that they considered selecting him in the draft.
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