Drew Lock could have held out of Broncos training camp in search of a quarterback premium. Instead, he elected to take less money and get to work.
John Elway and the Broncos make no secret of their desire for Joe Flacco to be their starting quarterback. That doesn’t mean Drew Lock’s progress isn’t important to the team. Fortunately, the former Missouri star has elected to choose getting into training camp on time over the possibility of making extra money.
Typically, quarterbacks chosen in the first round of the NFL draft receive some sort of “premium” based on playing the most coveted position in the league. It was strongly rumored that the idea of receiving such a premium was the last sticking point keeping Lock and the Broncos from agreeing to a rookie contract. Fortunately for the Broncos, their rookie signal caller elected to prioritize getting into camp on time over extracting such a premium from his new organization.
Lock agreed to a four-year contract with the Broncos on Thursday. According to the talented young passer, it was very important that he not miss a “single rep” on the practice field. That’s just the sort of attitude that head coach Vic Fangio and his staff need from their first round draft pick.
The team clearly want to give Flacco every opportunity to start all 16 games this season, but that plan is fraught with problems. First, there’s a reason why the Ravens let Flacco leave Baltimore so easily. He’s well beyond his prime as a quarterback. At best, the Broncos might hope that he can serve as an average starting quarterback for the 2019 season.
Even if that happens, it’s imperative for Lock to get ready to play in 2020. The Broncos’ brain trust might be open to the idea of Flacco extending his time as the starter, but the odds strongly favor Lock taking over the job next year. Even if the Broncos are unwilling to give Lock meaningful game action, they need him to soak up a ton of practice reps.
If Lock had elected to hold out for any meaningful length of time, it would have made it difficult for the team to install him as the backup. Third string quarterbacks very rarely get any appreciable amount of practice reps during the week. That would have ruined any chance Lock might have had to press Flacco for the starting spot in the immediate future.
No matter how you look at the Broncos prospects in 2019, getting Lock into camp on time is great news for the franchise’s long-term future. The rookie quarterback made a mature decision by choosing practice reps over any sort of contract premium.