There has been a lot of talk about the future of the Broncos at certain positions specially at QB seeing that this is a contract year for Orton. Some of the fans have taken to speculation as to whether the Broncos will draft a QB in next years draft or if they will re-sign Orton or promote from with in.
This is a very interesting situation, and one that will be the topic of many rumors and speculation for the remainder of the season or until something is done by the front office. The way I see it i is really not all that tough to see what Mcdaniels might be headed towards.
Orton has done an impressive job so far in handling the transition while learning and leading the offense, and he has surprised all of his critics including me. He has been a key part to their success and has been getting better with each passing moment, but he is one of many Broncos in a contract year, and while he is a key part there are others that will demand the attention of the front office as well.
Some of the key members of the Broncos that face free agency include, Brandon Marshall and the king of doom himself Elvis Dumervile. I believe that those two will represent the priority when it comes to being re-signed. I know that may seem a little out there for some of us but the more I think about it the more it makes sense.
Marshall is huge part of our offense and is a headache for opposing defenses to cover, even more prove of this is the fact that the more McDaniels incorporates Marshall into the offense the better it has become.
Add to this that Marshall has presumably turned the corner on his antics and has fully bought into the system and he becomes more indispensable with each week. I have seen Marshall become a better blocker and his attitude and route running have improved dramatically.
If the front office hasn't already begun drafting long term contracts and talks with Marshall, they soon will, this is one that we simply must keep. He will demand a big contract but one I'm sure will be riddled with clauses regarding his off the field issues and attitude.
I don't forsee this as a problem, from what I've heard, Marshall is more than willing to take his lumps, as they say, and negotiate his up-coming long term deal. I have even heard that he is just find with an incentive oriented contract because he is out to prove his worth and that he has changed for the better. The Broncos have the cap space to certainly accommodate Marshall and I think they will.
Then there is Elvis. What can I say about this kid, non stop motor, great technique and certainly is very very coachable, not to mention the fact that he just simply gets the job done and then some. Elvis' knack for getting to the QB isn't something that you can coach or teach, its a gift.
He has become a disruptive force in the defense and by standing him up during running downs he is more than efficient against the run. Elvis is just as important to the Broncos as is Marshall and he too is one that we simply must keep with the organization if we are to be successful in the future.
His unique skill set and attitude as a "team guy" will demand a big payday from the Broncos, one that could very well be along the lines of Ware's contract in Dallas. This is a deal that will get done towards the end of the season but I don't believe that Elvis will even sniff free agency, because as I stated before he is definitely a keeper.
Another that I would like to talk about is half of the Ryan brothers, Ryan Harris. While he is not in the final year of his contract, he is an exceptional player.
I'm sure most fans would agree with me when I say that Harris is a very important player in Denver's O line and one that if not for Clady could very well be the starting left tackle for the Broncos, and could very well be for any other team. He is one that I think should be re-signed as soon as possible.
That brings us to our QB, Mr. reliable Kyle Orton. While he has played at a very high level and will surely be and upgrade at the position for over half of the NFL, Kyle finds himself in a very weird situation.
Many, in the media and front office personnel, have attributed his success here in the Denver to the system, and while this is partly true I think its safe to say that not all of its due to the system. Kyle has proved himself to be more than just a game manager and is on his way to being a bonafide play maker in this offense, with time.
Orton is barely 27 years old and has all the tools needed to succeed, but there are a couple of problems standing between Kyle and a BIG payday. One is the perception surrounding Orton around the league, and that is that he is no more than a product of the system and his performance in a different system would not be comparable.
This is an issue that Kyle must face if indeed he and the team decides to let him try free agency and one that will keep this valuable commodity's price down, from what it should be for a QB of his caliber, one that is a proven winner.
Second and perhaps his biggest issue to getting a big pay day here in Denver, goes by the name of Tom Brandstater. The rookie you say, yes the rookie. Tom showed a lot during the preseason (when he was prepared) to warrant hope for the future as the QB.
Brandstater showed, excellent arm strength, mobility, athleticism and touch when he got a real chance during the preseason, not to mention awareness and a very good ability to make the right read and go through his progressions. Word on the street is that Mcdaniels is very high on this QB and likes him a lot.
This puts Orton in a weird place. Orton knows all to well about the perceptions around the league about him, and he knows that those perceptions will keep his price tag relatively low in the free agent market.
Add to that the fact the Tom and even Simms both performed well given their chances and this will drive his value down even further and elevate the "he's just a system guy" talk even higher, but this all plays in favor of the Broncos.
You see, if Orton would like to stay in Denver, and I believe that he would very much like to, he will have to do it not only below market price, but if Xanders is as good as I have heard he is when it comes to the cap, he will probably have to take a home discount as well. All this boils down to Orton being very available to re sign in Denver, something that I think is of great benefit.
A lot of my "brothers" in orange and blue have speculated that Denver will go the QB route come April but that's just not McDaniels' style. He comes from a system that has taken two lower round picks and turned one of them into a hall of fame QB and another into a capable one. McDaniels likes to develop his QBs within the system and not pay much for them, that is one of the main things he brought with him from New England.
I have a very strong feeling that he will go defense to start next years draft, specially if we retain Orton. Among the bounty of defensive talent coming out of next years draft are LB Spikes from Florida and NT Cody from Alabama.
I won't presume to know which way we will go but I would love to see Cody wearing the orange and blue, can you picture it a line that starts Baker and Thomas at DE and Cody in at NT, that would be a very nice defensive line indeed.
Then again we might draft Spikes who is a very good prospect at LB and I would not mind seeing that either, but who knows, Mcdaniels might go for something else entirely and draft Taylor Mays or he might go the QB route, in the end though, I have no doubt that McDaniels and Xanders will do what is best for the team and that is something we should take great comfort in.