Did Kyle Orton buy his own ticket out of Denver?
** Warning! ** Before reading, understand that I came up with a theoretical scenario to try to explain the Broncos quarterback situation. It's been brought to my attention that many readers think it's crazy - if it is crazy then let's hear what you think is going on at Dove Valley. It's like trying to understand why you drive on a parkway and park on a driveway...it makes no sense.
Since Josh McDaniels has been Head Coach of the Denver Broncos, the team has made some shocking moves at the quarterback position. Last offseason, Jay Cutler was traded to the Chicago Bears for draft picks and Kyle Orton. Then this offseason the Broncos traded fan favorite Peyton Hillis for Brady Quinn (this move was adamantly defended by McDaniels as simply improving depth and competition at the quarterback position “Kyle is our starter, no doubt about it”). To complete the quarterback scramble, the Broncos picked Tim Tebow in the 1st round of the NFL Draft last month.
For Broncos fans, the Tebow move was a total shock. McDaniels said over and over that Kyle Orton deserved the starting spot and he was the man for the job. So what exactly was it that made McDaniels feel that drafting a quarterback in the first round of the NFL Draft was necessary? Did he start taking the fans opinions into account? No way. Did the game tape bring up red flags about Orton that McDaniels missed during the season? Nope, he had a few months to form his decision on Orton’s play last season. What exactly was it that made Josh McDaniels think Kyle Orton was not the long term solution in Denver?
I think Kyle Orton got on Denver Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen’s bad side. How did Orton pull this off? All offseason Orton had been vocal about his inability to get a big free agent contract, thanks to there not being a CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement). Had there been a CBA in place, Orton would have been an unrestricted free agent after the 2009 season. However, because of the expiration of the old CBA, Orton and other free agents were restricted, and basically didn’t get to cash in on huge contracts. Last month, Kyle Orton was in Hawaii for the NFL Player’s Association Meetings to discuss what they could do to get a new CBA in place. At the meetings, Orton made comments that the NFL Player’s Association was not ruling out a strike after the 2010 season. While Orton was in Hawaii, the Denver Broncos traded for Brady Quinn.
I think the timing on the Brady Quinn trade had nothing to do with Orton being in Hawaii. However, I think Orton’s actions after the Quinn trade had EVERYTHING to do with Tim Tebow being drafted in the first Round of the NFL Draft. Orton made no public appearances after the Brady Quinn trade until he came back to Dove Valley on April 6th. At his first appearance, Orton showed up in an NFL Player’s Association hat, not in a Denver Broncos hat. To me, this was a clear sign of Orton putting the NFL Players Association ahead of the Denver Broncos. This is where -theoretically- Pat Bowlen lost his patience with the Kyle Orton project and gave Josh McDaniels orders to start Plan B….draft a franchise quarterback. Bowlen had already listened to Orton speak publicly about not getting a long term contract, instead signing for $2.6 million next year. Then Bowlen had to see his quarterback use a press conference at Broncos headquarters to help the Player’s Association in their battle with the NFL Owners….BYE BYE KYLE ORTON.
It's definitely possible that Kyle Orton was only meant to be a short-term solution at for the Broncos. Pat Bowlen did make comments about drafting a young quarterback in the draft this year. "I want Kyle back," Bowlen said . "Orton is a good quarterback. I'd also like to think we might have the opportunity to draft a young quarterback, not necessarily to come in and play right away, but if you have the opportunity to draft somebody, that would be a plus for us." Did Bowlen mean they were looking a better backup? Did he want to use a first round pick on a quarterback? Was he looking for a new starter?
Remember when Jay Cutler was finally traded last year after weeks of rumors? Pat Bowlen grew tired of trying to reach out to him through phone calls and voicemail and gave orders to trade him. I think Kyle Orton paid for his ticket out of Denver with his NFL Players Association hat. What do you think?