Narrator: Previously on Broncos…As the 2010 season ended, things were just starting to heat up at the quarterback position.
Tebow: “There’s only one person that carries the ball right here.”
Orton: “They’ve made the decision, and I’m not going to fight the decision. It’s the decision.”
(Quick hit montage of Orton, Tebow, Goodell, D. Smith with frantic music)
And that, my friends, is how the Broncos cliffhanger would’ve looked if this were a primetime drama coming back on the air this fall after leaving viewers craving answers all summer. Give the team credit…even though this was all inadvertent, a fine quarterback controversy still gave fans something to look forward to after a summer of lockout. Perhaps a training camp battle, or at least head coach John Fox and Broncos management drawing a line in the sand and throwing full support behind one or the other.
Kyle Orton's season in Denver was doomed from the start...and his play didn't help his case. (personal photo)
As it turns out none of that happened really happened. Sure, Denver put Kyle Orton on the trading block in August, getting interest from the Dolphins, and then having the whole thing fall apart resulting in Orton once again entering an NFL season as the Denver Broncos “best chance to win.” As lines in the sand go, that one was basically dotted.
In the end, and by that I mean the middle of the 2011 season, those four words, “best chance to win” are why Tim Tebow has become a thermonuclear, triple supernova in the media, and Orton is now running the waiver weave.
Tebow managed to do what Orton couldn’t: justify his support.
It’s hard to be negative about Orton. By all accounts he’s a good man, a new father, and a guy who has absolutely proven capable of earning a living playing professional football. If there was a quarterback line drawn in the sand this past August, Fox and Broncos management ended up on the Orton side while tens-of-thousands of less-informed yet paying customers would’ve moseyed to Tebow-land. After 11 weeks of regular season action, Orton’s crew of experts could only offer frustration and and a 1-4 record as evidence. Tebow’s crew…hope and 4-1.
One quarterback disintegrated while the other delivered.
Fortunately for Orton he has the most defined path in this whole equation. It’s a seller’s market for quarterbacks as teams with a chance face serious issues with ailing quarterbacks. Orton will land somewhere be it Chicago, Houston, or Kansas City. On a quick side note, two of those situations present a pretty odd turn of events:
Chicago: The Bears would be replacing Jay Cutler with the man they traded away to get Jay Cutler. That quarterback would then face the team he was traded to in exchange for Jay Cutler a few weeks later. Bizarre.
Kansas City: The Chiefs would be replacing Matt Cassel with the man who was ultimately traded to a division opponent after said opponent scorned its then quarterback by showing interest in Matt Cassel. Weird.
Somewhere in St. Louis Josh McDaniels is alternately cackling for his meddling and weeping for his incompetence.
Getting back to the Orton move, it’s a deal that makes complete sense for Kyle, and partial sense for the Denver Broncos. Orton goes where he goes, and in exchange Denver has one less complication come the 2012 offseason. That’s one less complication with about five still remaining when it comes to Denver’s quarterbacking future.
- Where do the Tebow-led Broncos finish, and what does that mean?
- Can Denver possibly keep Tebow and start someone else at quarterback without inciting an Occupy Dove Valley mob?
- Could you even trade Tebow if the team finishes below .500?
- Have you already won too much to grab a premier quarterback in the draft?
- What’s up with Brady Quinn?
Yes, this works for the Broncos as they potentially save $2.5 million dollars (which amounts to very little when talking about populating the team with premier players). It works for Orton who could get a chance to lay down some good tape ahead of a free agency offseason. Sure, things could get weird really quickly with all of this, but for now this parting of ways may be the one thing that’s actually made any lick of sense in what’s become the most gleefully nonsensical NFL season any team has seen in a very long time.
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