ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Peyton Manning’s successor isn’t Brock Osweiler or Colin Kaepernick or Mark Sanchez, all of whom had better offseason odds than NFL novice Trevor Siemian.

When Broncos GM John Elway declined to overpay Osweiler, Manning’s longtime backup bolted to Houston 48 hours after his mentor called it a career. Elway quickly acquired Sanchez from the Eagles but he really had his eyes fixed on Kaepernick, who rejected a pay cut to facilitate a trade from the 49ers to Denver.

So, Elway moved on – and he moved up in the first round of the draft, selecting Paxton Lynch of Memphis, who very well might be the franchise’s future.

The present, though, belongs to Siemian, a QB who won the starting job with a mix of brains and brawn, precision and poise, steadiness and spunk.

The Carolina Panthers will certainly try to unnerve Siemian in his first NFL start Thursday night in the 2016 season opener .

Thing is, nobody at Broncos headquarters has ever seen the 2015 seventh-round pick get rattled.

Not when he was Osweiler’s backup for two months last season when Manning was hurt.

Not when he ran the scout team against Denver’s destructive defense that brought home the Lombardi Trophy.

Not even when Coach Gary Kubiak named him the starter.

“He’s the same guy: cool, calm and collected,” said wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. “He’s not going to change. He’s not going to waver. I know that he wants to show the world, ‘Hey, look at this guy out here, No. 13.’ I think he can make plays and make all the throws.”

So, just who is Trevor Siemian?

(Let’s start with a pronouncer: It’s Sim-EE-in).

He was a high school star in central Florida who could have gone to any number of schools that would have loved that strong right arm that also made him an outstanding third baseman. He chose Northwestern, though, as much for its academics as its athletics.

He played in 44 games for the Wildcats but started just 14 – yet still finished as the school’s fourth-leading passer.

He tore an ACL in his final college game and that scared away plenty of teams but not the Broncos, who chose him with the 250th overall pick, after which Siemian declared, “I can’t think of a better scenario” than to learn from Manning and Osweiler.

By training camp last year he was healthy enough to practice and he quickly showed Elway that he wouldn’t be able to slip him through waivers to get him on the practice squad. He made the 53-man roster and spent the season soaking in all he could from his coaches and colleagues.

“It was a great opportunity for me last year to learn a lot from Brock and Peyton,” Siemian said as the Broncos began their offseason program last spring. “At this point, I’m kind of getting antsy to apply some of those things I picked up from those guys.”

Siemian had a year’s head start in Kubiak’s West Coast offense, and he used that advantage to show Elway that his answer at quarterback had been under his nose all along.

Siemian mixed that knowledge with accurate, strong throws and poise under pressure to win his teammates’ trust.

COWBOYS: A prosecutor says charges won’t be filed against Dallas rookie Ezekiel Elliott following domestic violence allegations.

The office of Columbus City Attorney Richard Pfeiffer cites conflicting and inconsistent information in evidence supporting the filing of criminal charges.

Pfeiffer’s office said it examined the credibility of all identified witnesses.

Elliott’s agent Frank Salzano said Tuesday Elliott and his family were pleased with the outcome and Elliott looked forward to putting the issue behind him.

49ERS: San Francisco signed linebacker Tank Carradine to a one-year contract extension through the 2017 season. Carradine was originally drafted by the 49ers in the second round in 2013. After being hurt for the majority of his rookie season, Carradine has appeared in 23 games in his career. He has 51 tackles, four sacks and one forced fumble over the past two seasons.

BEARS: Chicago signed kicker Connor Barth to replace Robbie Gould. Barth played in 12 games for Tampa Bay last season, going 23 of 28 on field goals and making 25 of 26 extra points. He signed with the Saints in May and was released on Saturday.

CARDINALS: Arizona signed quarterbacks Zac Dysert and Aaron Murray to the practice squad.

BILLS: Buffalo signed receiver Brandon Tate in the team’s latest bid to upgrade its special teams return position.