News that the 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 by early 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.
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.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.