If John Elway, the new GM of the Denver Broncos was trying to make a statement about his negotiating skills by not taking the best offer on the table for QB Kyle Orton, way back in August, then he should rethink his strategy. Today, the Broncos cut loose their “star” QB that couldn’t be had for less than a 2nd round pick. On the other side of that coin sits Jeff Ireland who decided that Orton wasn’t the best option for Miami given the price tag associated with him. Or maybe it was Steven Ross who was rumored to have laid the hammer down on that contract.
Either way, someone in Miami is a very smart man.
The story goes like this, in case you are wondering about the Ross involvement. Ireland was under tighter spending control this past off-season as Ross didn’t want him to spend big money deals coming out of the lock0ut. The call came in about Orton wanting upwards of six to eight million a year and Ross told Ireland to not pay that much for a guy that Ross didn’t view as an upgrade for the team. Ireland then signed Matt Moore instead.
Orton started the season as the starter and the new love child to Broncos fans was quickly relegated to third string behind Brady Quinn. Orton quickly fell out of favor with both the fans and the coaching staff and Tim Tebow leap frogged Quinn to take over the team. Since his taking over, the Broncos have lost one game. No one however expected Orton to be unemployed before next season.
The fact that Orton was indeed released is a surprise because the Broncos already paid all but 1.34 million of his 8 million dollar contract. So what’s next for the Denver QB that almost landed in Miami as the teams future? Well there are several teams in dire straights for a QB and it’s unlikely that he will clear waivers.
Indianapolis would be a smart choice to land his services as they lack a veteran leader. Curtis Painter has not filled in admirably for Peyton Manning. Could a return trip to Chicago be in the works now that Jay Cutler has been sidelined with a broken thumb until the last week of the season? What about Arizona where struggling starter Kevin Kolb is still injured and his back-up has provided no sparks? Then of course there is Seattle where the Seahawks are barely winning games behind poor QB play.
The list goes on. Matt Schaub in Houston is done for the year and has an offensive arsenal at their disposal. In Kansas City Matt Cassel was placed on IR prior to yesterdays MNF game. Both teams still have a shot at a playoff birth.
One team to rule out is the Dolphins who seem to have found an answer at their QB position, at least for the remaining season. Moore has been impressive in taking over for Chad Henne after a shaky start, winning three in a row and in the process quieting the very crowd who chanted “Orton, Orton” at a Miami Dolphins stadium practice during training camp.
So much for the golden boy savior. Orton will now move on to his third team in three seasons. Traded by the Chicago Bears in a deal that brought Jay Cutler to Chitown, Orton was ready to be moved last off-season when the team drafted Tebow in the first round. They kept him through 2010 and then again tried to trade him this past off-season. Where he goes now will be known by tomorrow afternoon at the latest.
Regardless, it ends a lot speculation in Denver and has a lot of people in Miami smiling after the backlash they received for not bringing him to south Florida.