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.

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