Miami Dolphins Jeff Ireland Playing Smart Ball With Denver


The Miami Dolphins have pulled the trigger on one deal, Reggie Bush, and are still in a holding pattern on another, Kyle Orton.  The Bush deal is reported to be a late round draft pick but that is not confirmed.  On the flip side, it’s uncertain whether the holdup in the trade for Orton is contract or compensation.  It appears to be leaning towards the latter.  If that is the case, then Jeff Ireland is playing smart ball and Denver’s new shot caller, John Elway is trying to make his mark as well.

It’s rumored that the Broncos want a second or third round pick for Orton.  That appears to be the biggest hurdle in getting a deal done.  If that is true, than it’s apparent Jeff Ireland is not willing to part with a pick that high.  Likely a 4th or 5th is what is being offered.  At the center of this stare down is Orton’s 9 million dollar 2011 cap balance.  And Denver can’t afford it.

Talk this morning centered on Denver possibly re-working Orton’s deal to keep him in Denver but reality dictates otherwise.  Orton will likely be a back-up.  Today, Orton took the field to a smattering of cheers from Bronco fans in attendance on the first day of Denver training camp.  He lined up as the first team QB.  Is this a realistic option for Denver or is this the ESPN highlight to show Miami they are willing to stand firm?

If Jeff Ireland wants to wait, he will wait.  Later this afternoon, more QB’s are likely to hit the open market, specifically Vince Young who apparently is drawing no interest from Miami at all.  But he will be an available option and could be more appealing with the addition of Reggie Bush (imagine that mobility in the back-field).  The Cardinals are still in talks with Philly about Kevin Kolb so it’s possible that by days end, the Broncos may be forced to make decision.  Release their QB or eat a negotiated salary and let he and Tim Tebow battle it out in camp.

Either way, Ireland is playing his cards right.  The market for Orton is drying up and Miami is slowly becoming the only player for his services.  If the Dolphins wait it out, the price will not go up…it won’t go down either.   Both teams need this to happen.  Miami needs the QB and Denver needs compensation.  So the power play will continue until no other options remain.  Then it becomes ego and pride.