Presumably, over the next few days we’ll finally figure out who the Denver Broncos want to line up at quarterback this season. It has been a mystery until now, with the draft starting on Thursday, but the latest news has them shifting focus a bit. With the team no closer to coming to a deal with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the Broncos “are in” on Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford, Mike Klis of 9News in Denver reported.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport also reported that the Broncos called the Eagles for a very basic discussion about Bradford. No compensation was discussed, and the main takeaway was that Philadelphia wants to hold on to the former No. 1 overall pick. This, coming hours after an ESPN report that said the 49ers have not had any internal discussions about acquiring Bradford.

Like the Kaepernick deal, making a trade for Bradford might be tricky. The Eagles just paid Bradford an $11 million signing bonus, so unless the Eagles are just willing to admit a huge mistake and move on, they’ll want a high draft pick. Reports this week, after Bradford asked for a trade, indicated the Eagles weren’t that excited to trade Bradford and were asking for high draft-pick compensation.

The Broncos, on the other hand, haven’t panicked this whole offseason at quarterback, but trading a high pick for Bradford — who has been mediocre and injury-prone in his career, and is on an expensive deal for only two years — would seem to be a panic move. Bradford is lauded in some circles for his talent, but he’s rarely produced in the NFL.

Denver doesn’t have a great option, however. They’ve asked Kaepernick to take a pretty major pay cut this year and next year, and he has understandably resisted that. The 9News report said the Broncos and 49ers talked Monday for the first time in two weeks, and nothing had changed regarding Kaepernick. Brian Hoyer and Ryan Fitzpatrick are still available, but Hoyer might not be a huge upgrade over current Broncos top quarterback Mark Sanchez and Fitzpatrick is waiting for a big contract. The other realistic option is to draft a quarterback, but moving up in the draft is costly and there’s no guarantee there will be an option they like available at the 31st pick.

One would think a solution materializes over this week’s NFL draft. Maybe Denver takes a rookie it likes. Maybe it trades for Bradford. Is that why Bradford did a 180 over the weekend about wanting to be traded? Perhaps the Bradford leak is an attempt to squeeze Kaepernick into a pay cut — or to pressure the 49ers into paying off Kaepernick to facilitate a deal.

One way or another, there aren’t too many teams that go into this draft with a more interesting unresolved story line than the defending Super Bowl champs.

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