While his name has been displayed prominently in the headlights for 40 days and nights, Drew Lock stays inconspicuously in the background.
The Broncos’ quarterback — for now — is lying low.
Never a day passes without a report, a rumor, a rant, a trade discussion about Lock or a potential Broncos’ QB replacement for him, supporting testimony by a teammate and a new Hall of Fame quarterback, declarations by two teammates who prefer somebody else at quarterback in Denver, a mixed positive-challenging review from old Hall of Fame quarterback who is the team’s outgoing general manager and a rather innocuous evaluation by the Broncos’ incoming general manager, who promptly deliberated a deal that would have sent Lock and a first-round draft choice to the Lions for Matthew Stafford.
The Drew Chronicles have become a continuous, even contentious colloquy.
Meanwhile, with a home in suburban Denver that he purchased under his full name — Andrew Stephen Lock — Drew has intended to spend the majority of his time in the offseason working out, studying his playbook and trying to improve his game.
His last public statements were made to the general media Jan. 3 in a Zoom conference after the Broncos lost their final game, then the next day in an exit interview with Sydney Jones of denverbroncos.com in the Dove Valley facility.
Against the Raiders, Lock finished the season with one of the most striking performances of his two seasons, completing 25 of 41 passes with two touchdowns and a personal high of 339 yards — and no interceptions or fumbles.
But the Broncos fell one point short, 32-31, @Mile High. The Broncos ended up 5-11, and Lock was 4-9 after missing three starts with an injury to his business shoulder.
Lock was at or near the bottom of every NFL starting quarterback ranking and category.
Lock hasn’t been an active contributor in any dialog, but he certainly must understand he is on the unmerry-go-round of quarterbacks.
Lock didn’t go to Tampa to watch the team from his hometown — Kansas City — in the Super Bowl. Unlike other players, include a few from the Broncos, he didn’t show up at media row to promote a commercial product, appear on a podcast or pregame network TV and radio shows or subject himself to any Q-and-A’s recently.
Lock has put himself on mute.
Yet, he has been included in deal speculations involving veteran quarterbacks Stafford, Deshaun Watson, Carson Wentz, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Mitchell Trubisky, Jimmy Garoppolo, even Aaron Rodgers and, get the latest, Russell Wilson (apparently because he once played in the Rockies’ organization and said Tuesday on a radio gig he figured teams were reaching out to the Seahawks about him).
In NFL mock drafts the Broncos have been hypothesized as a candidate to select Justin Fields, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance and Mac Jones.
Between wishful thinking and foolhardy conjecture, Lock detractor trailers have offered proposals that the Washington Foosball Team and Rockies’ executives wouldn’t consider.
Oddsmakers who must be based in Panama will take bets on Lock starting in Indianapolis, New Orleans, New York and probably in the XFL in 2022.
Here’s the best bet:
Lock to be the Broncos starting quarterback in 2021.
On the way out of the past season, Lock assumed he was a lock to return as the starter, and he did receive quasi-assurances from John Elway and Vic Fangio. But, then, in early 2012 Tim Tebow was deemed the training camp starter by Elway.
When George Paton took control, he opined that Drew was “talented. He can develop.’’ However, the GM would add: “I think we all want the franchise quarterback, and that’s the No. 1 goal. You try to draft and develop and acquire any way you can. We are looking.’’
Then Paton entered a brief discussion with the Lions in regard to Stafford, who was sent to the Rams for considerably more return.
Watson is not coming to Denver.
Most of the others have prohibitive contracts, and Trubisky, a free agent, is not an upgrade. Most likely the Broncos will sign a veteran to push Lock or be ready if he falters through the first half of the season.
For the time being, though, Lock is the starter and is silent.