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It's Now or Never to Trade Orton

By Dave Bruning

The Denver Broncos have been given a small, second window of opportunity to trade Kyle Orton, and they should make it happen.

The original opportunity came during the preseason and the Broncos’ would-be trading partner was the Miami Dolphins. It appeared the trade would happen, but things fell apart at the altar. I applauded John Elway at the time for not caving in and giving Orton away for the low-ball offer the Dolphins were fishing with. Now, however, the time has come to cut bait.

Miami starting quarterback Chad Henne injured his shoulder and has undergone season-ending surgery. Backup Matt Moore is what the Dolphins are staring at as their new starting quarterback. A trade of Orton to Miami for a 3rd or 4th round pick makes sense for both teams and the timing is perfect. Miami is on a bye this week, and Denver has their bye next week. Let’s look at the trade in a little more detail.

Denver head coach John Fox has steadfastly maintained Orton is the starter despite overwhelming public outcry for Tim Tebow. I respect Fox’s stand here as Orton clearly won the job and is the better player. The head coach must play the best players; it is one of the most important ways to gain the respect of your players. Trading Orton would eliminate any second guessing about preferential treatment for Tebow or caving in to public sentiment. Hell, Brady Quinn should share the new-found playing time over a 3-4 game trial period and then let the player who performs the best finish the season as the Broncos starting quarterback. It is time find out if either player can be a starting NFL quarterback. My gut feeling is the answer is no.

From Miami’s perspective they acquire a veteran quarterback at a minimal cost whom they tried to obtain in the preseason. Let’s face it, neither of these teams is going anywhere and both should be shopping for a new starting quarterback in next year’s NFL draft. Andrew Luck of Stanford, Landry Jones of Oklahoma and Matt Barkeley of USC all will be available, and both of these teams are staring at a top-5 draft pick next year.

This proposed trade will not in all likelihood improve either team. It is a trade of convenience and necessity. Denver and Miami stumbled at the altar once. The second window will close quickly. I hope Elway picks up the phone and Miami answers.

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