Boise State Football

Brett Rypien’s contract guarantee reportedly is a record for Broncos GM John Elway

Brett Rypien said that waiting through the last day of the NFL Draft and not hearing his name called was “a nightmare scenario.”

But he got plenty of interest as an undrafted free agent, and there’s good reason he chose to sign with the Denver Broncos.

Rypien was given a guarantee of $146,000, which included a $10,000 signing bonus. That guarantee is among the most lucrative in this year’s undrafted free agent class, and likely the highest among quarterbacks.

According to 9News in Denver, it may be the most the Broncos have given to an undrafted free agent, and certainly the most in John Elway’s eight-year tenure as general manager. The $136,000 is a full season’s pay on the practice squad, and veteran reporter Mike Klis wrote that “it virtually assures Rypien will be part of the Broncos’ quarterback room in 2019, although it’s not a full guarantee.” The guarantee is comparable to what a sixth-round pick typically is given.

“I wanted a team that was going to be invested in my development,” Rypien told The Athletic. “I knew the coaching staff believed in me and thought I was a draftable player. I had a really good relationship with coach (Rich) Scangarello throughout the entire pre-draft process, so I think that was probably the biggest part for me. I want to go to a place where I knew I was going to get a shot to develop and be a guy eventually.”

Scangarello, Denver’s first-year offensive coordinator, spent the last two seasons as the 49ers’ quarterbacks coach. He helped Nick Mullens, undrafted in 2017, perform solidly in eight starts last year after injuries hit the team’s depth chart. Rypien drew plenty of comparisons to Mullens as the draft approached.

The Broncos have three other quarterbacks on the roster — veteran Joe Flacco, 2019 second-round pick Drew Lock and fourth-year backup Kevin Hogan. Denver’s rookie minicamp runs Friday through Sunday. The Broncos will play five preseason games, starting with Aug. 1’s Hall of Fame Game against the Falcons in Canton, Ohio.

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Dave Southorn is a 2004 graduate from the University of Colorado. He has covered Boise State athletics since 2005, and worked at the Idaho Statesman since 2013. He’s won multiple Idaho Press Club awards and once won a contest designing a play for the Seattle Seahawks.If you like seeing stories like this, please consider supporting our work with a digital subscription to the Idaho Statesman.