News thatthe Carolina Panthers had released veteran quarterback Jake Delhomme
just a year after inking him to a hefty contract extension immediately started grapevines buzzing in every NFL city with QB question marks, including Denver. But judging byearly takes on the DenverBroncos.com message board
, fans aren't wowed by the notion.
True, one commenter wrote, "Yes sign Jake Delhomme!" -- although in a quasi-ironic way. But another offered, "Before anybody even suggests it... NO," and a third followed with, "No more Jakes at QB for us."
Sounds about right -- and here's why.
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No denying that Delhomme has had his moments in the pros, and not just during the year when he took the Panthers to Super Bowl XXXVIII -- and came close to defeating the New England Patriots when Tom Brady was in his primest prime.
Delhomme's got an above average arm, an admirable toughness and a magnetic manner that's common among genuine leaders.
But he's also 35 years old and in clear decline. Last season was his weakest as a pro thanks to a frighteningly high interception total and a serious lack of productivity before a broken finger knocked him out for the season, giving backup Matt Moore a chance to show that the Panthers could be better without Delhomme than with him.
As a career starter, Delhomme probably wouldn't be satisfied in a backup role -- not yet, anyhow. And at his age, he would only be a stopgap for the Broncos, a team that needs to build for the future, not just plug a few holes. Here's hoping he gets a chance somewhere -- in St. Louis, perhaps -- but not Denver.