INDIANAPOLIS -- **John Elway wants Brock Osweiler back, and plans are in place to talk about a contract, but there is no rush to force Peyton Manning into a decision in order to accelerate the process with Osweiler.
"I think the first focus is to talk to Brock and see where Brock is and see what we've got going there," Elway said. "But again, we've got Brock and Malik [Jackson], so that's why everything's going to be so fluid.
"I think the closer we get to the league year, then things are going to start coming into focus for us, and all the talks we're having with the agents are going very well, too. So far, so good. There's going to be bumps in the road, but we'll deal with those as they get closer."
Elway saw enough from Osweiler to re-affirm the belief that he has long had in the 2012 second-round pick -- that when the time came, he could be a quality NFL starting quarterback.
"We wouldn't have been world champs without Brock," Elway said. "We needed both quarterbacks to play like they played. It allowed us to be world champions."
Osweiler had some struggles during his seven starts, but led the Broncos back from 14-point deficits for overtime wins over the Patriots and Bengals. In both of those games, he delivered clutch late-game drives that tied the game or put the Broncos in front."I think that with the sample size that we got from Brock, we were excited about what we saw," Elway said. "I think when you look at the seven games that he started and the way that he played, he made some good strides.
"You never know what a quarterback can do until he gets in there, gets underneath the gun. I think he proved a lot to us," Elway said. "He's a guy that is a tough guy. He's a guy that will stand in there. He can make all the throws.
"Obviously you always like to have a little bit more consistency, but that's what young guys continue to get better and better [at] and usually it's their consistency that gets better."
One option that appears to be off the table is placing the franchise tag on Osweiler. With a projected cap charge in excess of $19.7 million for a quarterback, that appears prohibitive as the Broncos try to squeeze as many of their desired players under the cap as is possible.
But with the franchise tag deadline on March 1, that would not appear to be an option even if it is feasible from a cap perspective, since Elway said he plans to talk again with Manning in a week to 10 days.