Don't Trade Me, Bro: Josh McDaniels' Denial of QB Trades Smells Odd

Reid BrooksAnalyst IMay 24, 2010

LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 15:  Head coach Josh McDaniels of the Denver Broncos speaks to his players during a time out during the game against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on November 15, 2009 in Landover, Maryland. The Redskins defeated the Broncos 27-17. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Larry French/Getty Images

I'm not going to call Josh McDaniels an outright liar.

I am, however, going to point out that any logical person would have a very hard time believing he isn't planning to trade/cut one of his quarterbacks in the very near future.

In a post-practice meeting, McDaniels denied that he has any interest in trading one of his four field generals, instead insisting that he planned on letting them all fight it out.

According to ESPN's Bill Williamson, Champ Bailey even said that Kyle Orton is still the man for the Denver Broncos and has his full endorsement.

There are multiple problems with McDaniels' statements, but before getting into them, I'll offer up a defense of Josh.

The timing isn't right for cuts or trades yet.

Josh McDaniels wants to see how everyone he added to the roster handles his system through training camp. I'm fine with that. In fact, it would seem that is why he has four quarterbacks now in the first place.

He is only going to be able to start one guy, however, so the biggest reason his public claims stink is mathematics.

I sincerely doubt the Denver Broncos are going to head into the season with four quarterbacks on their roster. Someone is getting the boot from Dove Valley.

If someone is going to get cut, it is most likely to be Tom Brandstater, but I doubt that is what McDaniels will do.

That would leave Kyle Orton, Brady Quinn, and Tim Tebow on the roster, and I'm not sure a team can thrive in the regular season with what would undoubtedly be some serious quarterback drama (with that trio).

It would be similar to the Jake Plummer/Jay Cutler 2006 season (a total bomb).

Tebow isn't going anywhere, as he has received the Josh McDaniels nod as the quarterback of the future in Denver, so that really only leaves two guys who are expendable.

Orton and Quinn have both been starting NFL quarterbacks and definitely have trade market value, so it wouldn't make sense to simply cut one of them.

I fully expect that before the season starts, one of those two players will be jettisoned from the Rocky Mountains for (I hope) a decent return in value.

What McDaniels is saying, basically, is that he isn't ready to do that because he hasn't made up his mind. Or he could have just learned his lesson from the Cutler trade.

But the biggest problem for McDaniels is going to be that by hosting this open competition, despite everything he has said about how much he loves Kyle Orton, he has endorsed the idea of Orton moving on.

No coach brings in two extra quarterbacks in the offseason if they are happy with the play of their starter.

We don't really even know how Orton's level of play will react to this competition. I doubt he was offended by the addition of a low-priced Brady Quinn, but the last time a Denver coach brought in a quarterback of the future was the 2006 Jake Plummer/Jay Cutler season, when Plummer's level of play inexplicably tanked.

Could Kyle Orton suffer the same fate?

Expect Orton or Quinn to be off the roster by the start of the season. I really like Kyle (and have written a passionate defense of him) but still think that Quinn is in the lead right now.

Funny enough, it's a battle for a temporary crown. In two years, neither of them will be on the roster anyway.

I say that because I don't believe either of them can do what we all really want.

Neither of them can win a championship now—and that would be the requirement to fend off the Tim Tebow era.