A television report out of Phoenix, AZ says that the Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals have had preliminary discussions about a Kyle Orton trade. The rumor was characterized as a “plan B” for the Cardinals, who would first like to try and acquire Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb.
As bad a rap as Orton has gotten among certain clouds of people, he is undoubtedly the best quarterback “available” this offseason. You want to tell me Kevin Kolb is a better player than Orton right now? As they say on ESPN, “Child please!”
What has Kevin Kolb proven in this league? he is two years younger than Orton, and has probably three seasons worth of less experience, and possibly more. Kolb is still raw, and the Eagles are asking for first round value in return. I even saw a rumor that the Cardinals would deal Patrick Peterson for Kolb. Who are these people kidding?
If the plan A for the Cardinals is to acquire Kolb, then they are somewhat delusional, even though it makes sense.
So what does the future hold for Orton?
Kyle Orton was fifth in the NFL last year in yards per game at just over 280. He knows how to get the ball up and down the field efficiently, but when asked to be the primary playmaker for an offense, he falters. For a team like Arizona looking for a franchise quarterback, trading any valuable assets for Orton doesn’t seem to make much sense. The Cardinals need a guy they are going to keep around for a long time, and perhaps they think Orton can be that guy–I do not know.
A more likely destination for Orton–in my mind, at least–is Seattle or Minnesota. Those are two teams that believe they can win now, and in Seattle’s case, a team that is fresh off of winning seven games and an NFC West title. They are potentially losing Matt Hasselbeck, and probably will not have him back in all likelihood. If Seattle is going to compete for another division title and try to keep something going, they are going to need a veteran guy there, and Orton fits the bill.
It is likely the Broncos will have to pay a portion of Orton’s contract, which could be up to $10 million next season, or right around that number. If the Broncos pay 2 or 3 million, I think they could get a 2nd round pick or similar value in return. Depending on the status of the CBA, the Broncos could trade Orton for picks or for a player. If Brandon Mebane turns out to be a restricted free agent as opposed to unrestricted, they could swing a player-for-player trade and pick up a run-stuffing defensive lineman.
This is all a moot, regardless. No trades can be made for a while, so it’s odd that this rumor is coming out now, but it’s interesting to think about. Kyle Orton has said he believes he is a starter, and I think that if the Broncos go with Tim Tebow, Orton will request a trade out of Denver so he can start elsewhere next year.
This will all develop in time, but for right now, it’s just something to chew on.