Broncos want premium pick for Orton?

Denver Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton (L) scrambles away from New York Jets safety Eric Smith (33) in their NFL football game in Denver October 17, 2010. REUTERS/Rick Wilking (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)’s Jason La Canfora writes that the Broncos aren’t going to part with quarterback Kyle Orton for a third or fourth round pick like some are suggesting.

There’s no doubt Orton’s internal value is high and his $8.5 million contract is sufficiently low. You can have him at the right price — Denver is obviously rebuilding, needs picks and Orton is in the final year of his extension — but it won’t be cheap.

If the right call comes in and the offer is strong, it will be considered, according to sources. But the idea that a third- or fourth-round pick might get it done is woefully misguided. A high second-round pick that converts to a first-rounder based on production, now that could be a different story.

La Canfora can be shaky at times when it comes to projections for players or teams, but he speaks the truth here.

Let’s not make Orton out to be Peyton Manning. Peyton he is not. But surround him with enough talent in the offense and the guy can win. During his three seasons with the Bears, he was 21-12 as a starter. In 2009, his first year in Denver, he threw for 3,802 yards, completed 62.1% of his passes and finished with an 86.8 QB rating. Last year, he finished with an 87.5 QB rating.

No, Peyton he is not. But the guy is serviceable and he’s a starting quarterback in the league. As La Canfora points out, he has value to the Broncos and they’re not going to trade him away for third or fourth round pick just because Tim Tebow is waiting in the wings. Teams often have success when they can foster competition all over their roster – especially at quarterback.

Granted, if the Broncos can get a second, or a second that converts to a first like La Canfora suggests, then by all means: trade him. But until then there’s no point in giving him away for spare parts.

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Cardinals interested in Kyle Orton?

Denver Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton (L) is about to get sacked by Arizona Cardinals Clark Haggans (R) during the first quarter of the Cards Broncos game at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ December 12,2010. UPI/Art Foxall

According to Rotoworld (via 3TV News in Phoenix), the Cardinals have had preliminary contact with the Broncos about quarterback Kyle Orton’s availability.

Profootballtalk’s Gregg Rosenthal has it on good authority that teams can discuss trades “generally” even if following through isn’t yet allowed. Neither team is breaking the rules by engaging in hot-stove talk. The Broncos reportedly believe the Cardinals’ interest in Orton is strictly as a “Plan B” in case a deal can’t be worked out for Kevin Kolb. It’s refreshing to hear Arizona’s fallback plan is more than just a wink-and-nod understanding with Marc Bulger.

Orton would certainly be a better option than Bulger, who hasn’t taken a snap since 2009 and hasn’t been effective since 2006. Orton can put up good numbers in any offense and would probably flourish with a couple of key playmakers around him. As Rotoworld points out, he would be a nice fallback option for the Cards if they couldn’t acquire Kevin Kolb from Philly.

Orton on the trading block? Broncos say no.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Broncos are denying that quarterback Kyle Orton has ever been on the trading block.

Broncos official texted on report Denver had shopped QB Kyle Orton: “Kyle Orton Has NEVER been available or discussed. Ever! Period.”

The Broncos aren’t going to risk upsetting Orton by making it public that he’s on the trading block. Because if they do have intentions of trading him and a deal never goes through, then their starting quarterback will go through the entire season knowing that his team wanted to deal him in the offseason.

The Broncos find themselves in a tricky situation. Orton’s contract expires at the end of the year and with three developmental quarterbacks (Brady Quinn, Tim Tebow and Tom Brandstater) behind him on the depth chart, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for the Broncos to try to get something for the veteran QB now before he bolts at the end of the year.

Then again, the Broncos need to go with the quarterback that they believe gives them the best chance to win now. With a year of Josh McDaniels’ offensive system already under his belt, that player is Orton – not Quinn or anyone else. Will Orton get Denver to the Super Bowl this year? Probably not, but he’ll likely perform better than any other quarterback on the roster and therefore, it might not be worth it for the Broncos to trade him for a mid-round pick. (I’m just speculating what they would get for him, but it would most likely be a mid-to-late rounder.)

That said, if Quinn turns in a great training camp/preseason and proves that he can be a capable starter, then the Broncos would obviously be more apt to trade Orton before the season. It makes no sense to have two capable starters on the roster when one of them will surely be moving on in a year. Might as well get something in return for him now.

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Should the Broncos trade Kyle Orton?

Before trading three picks in order to select Tim Tebow in the first round of last April’s draft, the Broncos acquired Brady Quinn in a trade with the Browns and already had veteran Kyle Orton and developmental quarterback Tom Brandstater on the roster. With all four of the signal callers listed on its depth chart, Denver now has a freaking mess surplus at the position.

The most likely scenario is that Orton will be the starter this year, while Quinn serves as his backup. Tebow will probably be worked into the offense in specialty packages and Brandstater will likely spend most of the season on the practice squad. Then, once Orton’s contract expires at the end of the year, Quinn and Tebow will battle for the starting job in 2011, while Brandstater assumes the No. 3 role.

But what if the Broncos shook things up right now? What if the team traded Orton and then Quinn, whom Josh McDaniels and his staff think very highly of, started? That would mean that Tebow would get more reps in practice (it’s easier for teams to give players more reps if they’re the backup than the No. 3) and the Broncos also wouldn’t have to worry about possibly losing Brandstater to another team. (Other teams can sign taxi squad players at will, as long as they put them on the active roster.)

As Woody Paige of the Denver Post writes, Orton isn’t the long-term answer in Denver. He merely serves as a bridge between now and whenever Tebow is ready to start, so why not trade him now? Quinn might not give the Broncos the best chance of winning, but it’s not like Orton is Peyton Manning.

McDaniels and the Broncos made it clear on the opening night of the draft that Tebow was their future. Seeing as how they traded for Quinn (who has starting experience, mind you), it might not be a bad idea for them to deal Orton if they can find any suitors. He’s going to leave after the season anyway, so it’s worth it for Denver to get compensation for him now if they can.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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