Jake Delhomme released: Should the Broncos take a run at him?

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 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.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts